4: Developmental Milestone
This chapter provides information on physical, mental and emotional growth and development in children and teenagers. The information will assist the Children’s Service Worker and parent to know what to expect from a child as he matures. Child development information can help parents know when they are expecting too much, as well as become aware of lags in development that may need professional help.
Normal Stages of Human Development Birth to 5 Years Physical and Language Emotional Social Birth to 1 month:
Feedings: 5-8 per day
Sleep: 20 hrs per day
Sensory Capacities: Makes basic distinctions in vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch temperature, and perception of pain
Generalized Tension Helplessness
Fed by mother
2 to 3 months:
Sensory Capacities: Color perception, visual exploration, & oral exploration.
Sound: Cries, coos, grunts
Motor Ability: Control of eye muscles, lifts head when on stomach
Smiles at a Face
Visually fixates at a face
Smiles at a face
May be soothed by rocking
4 to 6 months:
Sensory Capacities: Localizes sounds
Sounds: Babbling, makes most vowels and about half of the consonants
Feedings: 3-5 per day
Motor Ability: Control of head and arm movements, purposive grasping, and rolls over.
Enjoys being cuddled Recognizes his mother
Distinguishes between familiar persons and strangers
No longer smiles indiscriminately
Expects feeding, dressing and bathing
7 to 9 months:
Motor Ability: Control of trunk and hands, sits without support, crawls about.
Specific emotional attachment to motherProtests separation from mother
10 to 12 months:Sleep: 12 hrs, 2 naps
Motor Ability: Control of legs and feet, stands, creeps, apposition of thumb & forefinger.
Language: Says 1 or 2 words, imitates sounds, & responds to simple commands.
Feedings: 3 meals, 2 snacks
Fear of Strangers
Responsive to own nameGives and takes objects
12 to 18 months:Motor Ability: Creeps up stairs, walks (10 to 20 minutes), makes lines on paper with crayon
Dependent Behavior Very upset when separated from mother Fear of Bath Obeys limited commands Repeats a few words Interested in his mirror image Feeds himself
18 months to 2 years:Sleep: 12 hours a night, 1 2-hour nap
Motor Ability: Runs, kicks a ball, builds 6-cube tower (2 years), capable of bowel and bladder control.
Language: Vocabulary of more than 200 words.
Temper tantrums (1–3 years)Resentment of new baby
Does opposite of what he is told (18 months) 2 to 3 years: Motor Ability: Jumps off a step, rides a tricycle, uses crayons, builds a 9-10 cube tower. Language: Starts to use short sentences, controls and explores world with language, stuttering may appear briefly.
Fear of separationSense of humor (plays tricks)
Negativistic (2 years)
Differentiates facial expressions of anger, sorrow, and joy
Talks, uses ‘I’ ‘you’ ‘me’Inability to make decisions
Copies parents’ actions
Possessive about toys
Enjoys playing alongside other child
Resists parental demands
Rigid insistence on sameness of routine
3 to 4 years: Motor Ability: Stands on one leg, jumps up and down, draws a circle and a cross (4 years) Self-sufficient in many routines of home life Affectionate toward parents Pleasure in genital manipulation Romantic attachment to parent of opposite sex Jealousy of parent of same sex Imaginary fears of dark, injury, etc. Likes to share, uses "we" Cooperative play with other children, nursery school Imitates parents Beginning of identification with same sex parent, practices sex role activities Intense curiosity and interest in other children’s bodies Imaginary friends 4 to 5 years: Motor Ability: Mature motor control, skips, broad jumps, dresses self, copies a square and a triangle. Language: Talks clearly, mastered basic grammar, relates a story, knows over 2,000 words by age 5 Responsibility and guilt Feels pride in accomplishment Prefers to play with other children Becomes competitive Prefers sex-appropriate activities
General Developmental Sequence
Toddler through Preschool
This information presents typical activities and achievements for children from two to five years of age. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range. This information is presented to help parents understand what to expect from their child.
Physical Development - Walks well, goes up and down steps alone, runs, seats self on chair, becoming independent in toileting, uses spoon and fork, imitates circular stroke, turns pages singly, kicks ball, attempts to dress self, builds tower of six cubes.
Emotional Development - Very self-centered, just beginning a sense of personal identity and belongings, possessive, often negative, often frustrated, no ability to choose between alternatives, enjoys physical affection, resistive to change, becoming independent, more responsive to humor and distraction than discipline or reason.
Social Development - Solitary play, dependent on adult guidance, plays with dolls, refers to self by name, socially very immature, little concept of others as "people." May respond to simple direction.
Intellectual Development - Says words, phrases and simple sentences, 272 words, understands simple directions, identifies simple pictures, likes to look at books, short attention span, avoids simple hazards, can do simple form board.
Physical Development - Runs well, marches, stands on one foot briefly, rides tricycle, imitates cross, feeds self well, puts on shoes and stockings, unbuttons and buttons, build tower of 10 cubes. Pours from pitcher.
Emotional Development - Likes to conform, easygoing attitude, not so resistive to change, more secure, greater sense of personal identity, beginning to be adventuresome, enjoys music.
Social Development - Parallel play, enjoys being by others, takes turns, knows if he is a boy or girl, enjoys brief group activities requiring no skill, likes to "help" in small ways-responds to verbal guidance.
Intellectual Development - Says short sentences, 896 words, great growth in communication, tells simple stories, uses words as tools of thought, wants to understand environment, answers questions, imaginative, may recite few nursery rhymes.
Physical Development - Skips on one foot, draws "man," cuts with scissors (not well), can wash and dry face, dress self except ties, standing broad jump, throws ball overhand, high motor drive.
Emotional Development - Seems sure of himself, out-of bounds behavior, often negative, may be defiant, seems to be testing himself out, and needs controlled freedom.
Social Development - Cooperative play, enjoys other children’s company, highly social, may play loosely organized group games - tag, duck-duck-goose, talkative, versatile.
Intellectual Development - Uses complete sentences, 1540 words, asks endless questions, learning to generalize, highly imaginative, dramatic, can draw recognizable simple objects.
Physical Development - Hops and skips, dresses without help, good balance and smoother muscle action, skates, rides wagon and scooter, prints simple letters, handedness established, ties shoes, girls small muscle development about one year ahead of boys.
Emotional Development - Self-assured, stable, well-adjusted, home-centered, likes to associate with mother, capable, of some self-criticism, enjoys responsibility. Likes to follow the rules.
Social Development - Highly cooperative play, has special "friends", highly organized, enjoys simple table games requiring turns and observing rules, "school," takes pride in their clothes and accomplishments, eager to carry out some responsibility.
Intellectual Development - 2,072 words, tells long tales, carries out direction well, reads own name, counts to 10, asks meaning of words, knows colors. Beginning to know difference between fact and fiction or lying, interested in environment, city, stores, etc.
Developmental Characteristics and Problems in Development for Older Children
Middle Childhood (6 TO 12)
- Rapid physical growth
- Increases in physical strength and motor skills
- Develops perception and memory (short-term, long-term, and sensory)
- Uses strategies to help in remembering
- Engages in problem solving (creative solutions)
- Becomes reflective
- Tells how he or she feels
- Understands how to form relationships
- Learns that shape does not determine quantity
- Learns and understands relative terms (darker, taller, smaller)
- Continues to develop sex typing
- May develop phobias
- Represses wrongdoing
- May experience tics if troubled
- May acquire obsessions and compulsive behaviors
- Conduct disorder problems may become more apparent
- Peers become primary socializers
- Learning problems or disabilities may become more pronounced
- Uses media in attempts to socialize (imitates dress and behaviors of favorite characters)
Adolescence (13 To 18 Years)
- Onset of puberty and sexual maturation (testes and scrotum enlarge, uterus increasing size)
- Growth spurts
- Conforms to peer group
- Follows complex instructions (though may appear to be forgetful)
- Separates reality from possibilities
- Predicts ramification of actions
- Engages in more complex and abstract reasoning
- Criticizes parents, formulates own opinions and views
- Establishes independence from parents
- Dresses for peer approval
- Seeks sense of identity and self-worth
- Fears failure
- Develops moral principles
Stages of Social-Emotional Development in Children and Teenagers
Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development
- Learning Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (Hope)
Chronologically, this is the period of infancy through the first one or two years of life. The child, well - handled, nurtured, and loved, develops trust and security and a basic optimism. Badly handled, he becomes insecure and mistrustful.
- Learning Autonomy Versus Shame (Will)
The second psychosocial crisis, Erikson believes, occurs during early childhood, probably between about 18 months or 2 years and 3½ to 4 years of age. The "well parented" child emerges from this stage sure of himself, elated with his newfound control, and proud rather than ashamed. Autonomy is not, however, entirely synonymous with assured self-possession, initiative, and independence, but at least for children in the early part of this psychosocial crisis, includes stormy self-will tantrums, stubbornness, and negativism. For example, one sees many two year olds resolutely folding their arms to prevent their mothers from holding their hands as they cross the street. Also, "the sound of NO rings through the house, or the grocery store.
- Learning Initiative Versus Guilt (Purpose)
Erikson believes that this third psychosocial crisis occurs during what he calls the "play age," or the later preschool years (from about 3½ to, in the United States culture, entry into formal school). During it the healthily developing child learns to imagine; to broaden his skills through active play of all sorts, including fantasy; to cooperate with others; to lead, as well as to follow. Immobilized by guilt, he is fearful; hangs on the fringes of groups; continues to depend unduly on adults; and is restricted both in the development of play skills and in imagination.
- Industry Versus Inferiority (Competence)
Erikson believes that the fourth psychosocial crisis is handled, for better or worse, during what he calls the "school age," presumably up to and possibly including some of junior high school. Here the child learns to master the more formal skills of life; relating with peers according to rules; progressing from free play to play that may be elaborately structured by rules and may demand formal teamwork, such as baseball; mastering social studies, reading, arithmetic. Homework is a necessity, and the need for self-discipline increases yearly. The child who, because of his successive and successful resolutions of earlier psychosocial crisis, is trusting, autonomous, and full of initiative will learn easily enough to be industrious; but the mistrusting child will doubt the future; the shame and guilt-filled child will experience defeat and inferiority.
- Learning Identity Versus Identity Diffusion (Fidelity)
During the fifth psychosocial crisis (adolescence, from about 13 or 14 to about 20) the child, now an adolescent, learns how to answer satisfactorily and happily the question of "Who am I?" But even the best adjusted of adolescents experiences some role identity diffusion: most boys and probably most girl’s experiment with minor delinquency; rebellion flourishes; self doubts flood the youngster, and so on.
Erikson believes that during successful early adolescence, mature time perspective is developed; the young person acquires self-certainty as opposed to self-consciousness and self-doubt. He comes to experiment with different - usually constructive - roles rather than adopting a "negative identity" (such as delinquency). He actually anticipates achievement, and achieves, rather than being "paralyzed" by feelings of inferiority or by an inadequate time perspective. In later adolescence, clear sexual identity - manhood or womanhood – is established. The adolescent seeks leadership (someone to inspire him), and gradually develops a set of ideals (socially congruent and desirable, in the case of the successful adolescent). Erikson believes that, in our culture, adolescence affords a "psychosocial moratorium," particularly for middle and upper-class American children. They do not yet have to "play for keeps," but can experiment, trying various roles, and thus hopefully find the one most suitable for them.
- Learning Intimacy Versus Isolation (Love)
The successful young adult, for the first time, can experience true intimacy, the sort of intimacy that makes possible good marriage or a genuine and enduring friendship.
- Learning Generativity Versus Self-Absorption (Care)
In adulthood, the psychosocial crisis demands generatively, both in the sense of marriage and parenthood, and in the sense of working productively and creatively.
- Integrity Versus Despair (Wisdom)
If the other seven psychosocial crisis have been successfully resolved, the mature adult develops the peak of adjustment; integrity. He trusts, he is independent and dares the new. He works hard, has found a well-defined role in life, and has developed a self-concept with which he is happy. He can be intimate without strain, guilt, regret, or lack of realism; and he is proud of what he creates - his children, his work, or his hobbies. If one or more of the earlier psychosocial crises have not been resolved, he may view himself and his life with disgust and despair.
These eight stages of man, or the psychosocial crises, are plausible and insightful descriptions of how personality develops but at present they are descriptions only. We possess at best rudimentary and tentative knowledge of just what sort of environment will result, for example, in traits of trust versus distrust, or clear personal identity versus diffusion. Helping the child through the various stages and the positive learning that should accompany them is a complex and difficult task, as any worried parent or teacher knows. Search for the best ways of accomplishing this task accounts for much of the research in the field of child development.
Socialization, then is a learning - teaching process that, when successful, results in the human organism’s moving from its infant state of helpless but total egocentricity to its ideal adult state of sensible conformity coupled with independent creativity.
Sources: Child Development Institute, 1998
Social Work with Children and Adolescents by Paula Allen-Mears, University of Michigan, Chapter 2, 1995.