Understand Ages & Stages
Ages and Stages: Keeping Connected Through Child Development Stages
No two kids are exactly alike—even in the same family. They have different personalities and temperaments. They’re interested in different things and have different gifts. They struggle with different things and have different experiences, both good and bad. And they live in different families, circumstances, cultures, communities, and nations.
At the same time, they’re all growing and developing through child development stages. The timing and emphases will vary, but most families deal with similar issues as children grow up. (For example, children all around the world in all kinds of circumstances learn to sit and walk at similar ages.)
But growth doesn’t “just happen.” Kids develop through their interactions with the world around them. And mothers, fathers, and other parenting adults are central to their world, particularly when children are young. As they grow, their interactions and relationships with many other people also play important roles.
Use these key ideas about intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual development at each age and stage to become more intentional about the ways you interact with your child.
The information on ages and stages is based on a wide range of research-based sources. Key sources that were consulted in preparing this content include the following:
- Bornstein, M. H. (Ed.), (1995). Handbook of parenting: Volume 1—Children and parenting. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Developmental Milestones, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Heath, P. (2018). Parent-child relations: Context, research, and application (4th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
- Kuczynski, L. (Ed.). (2003). Handbook of dynamics in parent-child relations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.