A World of Style – Developmental Benchmarks by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., advisor to The Goddard School®
The developmental benchmarks of early childhood – the “normal” times when certain skills are supposed to appear – can never do justice to the infinite variety of ways that development actually occurs. Yet it is tempting for parents to compare their children to charts and tables of “average” this or “typical” that. Moreover, comparison is inevitable in many childcare setting where parents can’t help but see how their child measures up to others. Concern about early learning can put added pressure on parents to watch for signs that language and cognitive development are “on schedule.”
However, from a practical point, timing doesn’t mean very much. The order of development of new skills is more important than the timing of the appearance of any one skill. Jargon before vocabulary, crawling before walking, sucking before drinking. Children pass through these gateways at vastly different rates.
As long as your child is progressing in each area, it doesn’t matter if he is a bit “behind” on something, and, satisfying though it may be, it doesn’t mean anything if he is a bit “ahead” on something else. For example, numerous studies have confirmed that the vast majority of children who talk later than average are just as smart and do just as well in school as early talkers. If is perfectly normal for a child’s interests and temperament to lead her further and faster in some areas than in others. It is also perfectly normal for these interests to change over time.
Benchmarks can be helpful, provided they are used as general guidelines. If you have concerns, check with your pediatrician. A good rule of thumb: don’t let other children’s progress get in the way of your respect for the individuality of your child.
Creatively Boost Confidence
Children need support and guidance to build and maintain a positive sense of self. As parents, we can facilitate this by helping them craft personal About Me collages that depict positive images and words that resonate with them.
To craft an About Me collage, you will need the following materials:
- A workspace with enough room to spread out and work
- A piece of cardstock or poster board, 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches or larger
- A pair of child-safe scissors (parents can also help with any cutting)
- Craft glue or a glue stick
- Copies of photos of your children
Help your children find images and positive words in magazines that describe them in a positive light. If your children are artistic, you might cut out an image of an easel or a famous artist they like. If your children are expressive, you could cut out images of a microphone or actors in a play. If your children are funny, you could cut out images of silly faces or funny words. Help your children use their imaginations to craft a one-of-a-kind collage they can hang in their bedrooms and see every day. You can work on this fun, confidence-building project with your children periodically over the years so you can look back and see how each child’s self-image has changed.
These great little Spinach and Cheese Omelet Cupcakes are an easy, grab-and-go breakfast treat and can be made ahead for busy mornings.
2 cups washed baby spinach
4 large eggs or the equivalent in egg substitute
2 egg whites
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
A dash of salt and pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a cupcake tin with cooking spray. Mix the spinach, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and egg whites. Add the eggs to the spinach mixture, and then add the shredded cheese. Mix well. Pour the mixture into each cup in the cupcake pan until the cup is halfway full. Bake until the omelets are fully cooked, which will take about 20-24 minutes. Let them cool about two minutes and serve them, or wrap them up in foil and store them in the refrigerator for the next morning. Reheat them in a microwave or toaster oven.
Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration
March 3rd- 7th
Green Eggs & Ham, Fox in Socks
Crazy Hat Days!
March 11th – 14th
Week Long Open House
Magic Show on Thursday
St. Patty’s Day Celebration
We will Plant Seeds
for our Garden
Let’s Play Cafe
We will measure, mix
and bake special treats
240 W Swamp Road
The Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Systems, Inc. Programs and ages may vary. © Goddard Systems, Inc. 2012
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