Every child is different, and develop at different rates. I just look at my sons and can tell the difference instantly. It is important to not judge your children diiferently just because one may develop faster or slow than the other, or try to judge your child based on something read in a book or magazine. They are general guidelines. A judgement or inadvertant comment may hurt a child emotionally. Toddler development is something that every parent is concerned with, whether they are first time parents or veterans. A problem arises when parents become obsessed with toddler development, and begin to analyze their children’s development too closely. Such scrutiny can result in undue concern and anxiety, and the magic of watching their child grow and develop is lost. There are numerous publications designed to help parents track their toddler’s development, but they should be used only as a guide, since everyone develops at a different rate.
An Ambiguous Subject
Toddler development, while different in every child, has general guidelines that a large percentage of children follow. This pattern is found in many parenting resources, but if your child doesn’t follow the guidelines perfectly that doesn’t mean he has a problem. First, the term “toddler” applies to children in a broad age range that have already achieved a number of developmental milestones. Many toddlers by the age of two should be able to walk, run, point out a few objects, recognize many other objects when pointed out to them, talk a few words, and babble frequently in unrecognizable sounds. They should have improved dexterity and be able to put objects in bins or buckets, and some development of fine motor skills should be evident. Again, these are simply guidelines and not hard and fast rules.
Should You Be Concerned?
In some rare cases, the development of a toddler can actually be impeded by a mental or physical disability. These disabilities may be evident from the beginning, or may appear when the child is older. Toddler development issues can range from a simple learning disability such as difficulty with reading or transposing numbers and letters, to something more serious like autism or Aspergers Syndrome. Less severe disabilities can be treated with medication or a modified learning technique. In other cases, parents may have to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate a child with severe disabilities. If you do have cause to be concerned seek help from your health care professional.
Getting Help and Support
There is plenty of information available on the internet and in books and magazines about developmental delays and problems, but the only way to get an accurate diagnosis is to visit your doctor. If your toddler does have developmental issues, you should not feel alone; there are plenty of parents going through similar circumstances. Check in your area to see if there are support groups available where you can share your concerns and frustrations and possibly get some new ideas about how to handle your toddler.