Readiness. This is an important topic that can often get overlooked.
I have talked to a number of parents that are concerned about their child’s development after their child has spent some time with some same-aged peers. Our children are constantly growing and learning new skills. The main thing to keep in mind is that not all children are going to learn the skills at the same time.
This can also be said about things like sleeping, eating, and toileting. If I was to line up 10 6 months olds, they may all have different sleep needs. In order for each child to get their desired amount of sleep, we have to consider their needs and follow their lead. We can start by following age-appropriate guidelines but then it is important to follow our child’s lead.
So then how do you know that your child is ready for a new skill, to drop a nap, or to meet a milestone? Often it is a gut instinct but there are a few factors that can be great indicators. These factors are:
Your child’s age will be a guide as to the different things that they can accomplish. You do have to keep in mind that age is a guide and not all children will be able to do the same things at the same age.
Your child’s biological needs will change with age; therefore, your child may naturally do things differently. For example, as your child ages, their sleep needs change and reduce on a regular basis (just ask any parent trying to figure out a good nap schedule for their child).
Your child will begin to observe the environment around them at a very young age. They will try to grab things, explore things or want to do things that you do. This will inspire them to learn new things or they will accidentally do something that they like to do so they will keep doing it. A great example of this is when our little one’s rollover. They are now interested and have the desire to do this new skill. They will keep trying until they are successful.
There will be some children that will avoid new things unless they feel supported or encouraged. You can help your little one get ready to accomplish a new skill by encouraging and supporting them. Bring out the pompoms and cheer!!!
How can you help your toddler and preschool-aged children become interested in new things? You immerse them in it. Read a number of stories. Watch shows/videos. Talk a great deal about the skill. Make it really fun!! This will inspire a number of children to do things like using the potty, riding a tricycle or running bike, or move to a big bed.
Everything in small steps. Then using positive reinforcing words or gestures can help. In cases where a child is really apprehensive to try a new thing using a reward can help your child get started. As the skill is achieved you can wean the reward.
Here is a great quote by Srividya Srinivasan that sums this up…”Sometimes, we don’t know we are ready until someone tells us we are”
Now please have fun watching all these new skills develop.
If you are concerned that your child is not meeting milestones and you are not sure what to do feel free to book a free 15 minute consultation with me. I will lead you in the right direction and either let you know how I can help or guide you to the appropriate professional for your concern.