Gaining a Knowledge of Child Development for Effective Parenting

Learn why knowledge of child development will enhance effective parenting. By adopting realistic expectations, a parent promotes healthy child development.

Becoming a parent entails learning and employing a wide range of skills and knowledge. One of the essential areas in which a parent needs to become educated is in the area of child development. There are vital reasons why an understanding and an awareness of the many ways one’s child is developing are crucial to effective parenting.

Developmental Expectations of Children

One of the most crucial reasons for parents to be educated about the development of their child is so that they will be aware of whether their child’s development is occurring at the expected rate. While it is true that children are individuals who develop at their own pace, there are guidelines that will help parents to assess whether their child is developing within a healthy range.

Particularly in early childhood, a parent is often the person in the best position to identify possible developmental delays or problems with her/his child. By bringing to the attention of the child’s doctor any concerns about her/his child’s social, physical, and/or cognitive development a parent make it possible for early evaluation and if necessary, early intervention with her/his child.

Early intervention is often a key component in the successful handling of developmental delays. By addressing developmental delays at an early stage, both parents and health care providers are more likely to positively impact the advancement of their child’s developmental progress.

Encouraging Healthy Development in Children

By having an awareness of a child’s current capabilities, the parent/s are in a better position to encourage and facilitate the continued healthy development of their child. Knowing what their child is able to cognitively and physically achieve will allow parents to provide appropriate activities for their child.

When children are presented with developmentally suitable activities, they are much more likely to achieve success. Being able to successfully participate in play either with a parent or alone will enhance the child’s self-development and will positively encourage the child to want to engage in further developmental activities.

On the other hand, a child who is frequently presented with play situations that necessitate skills that she/he has not yet developed will often become frustrated and discouraged. This can have a negative impact on their attitude towards further learning and development.

Additionally, by engaging in age-appropriate activities with their child parents will more likely develop a positive bond with their child. When a child is able to successfully participate in activities, then he or she is more apt to have fun. Having a good time with one’s child should never be underestimated for its beneficial results.

Realistic Expectations From Parents

As a parent, it is natural that one would have increasing behavioral expectations as one’s child grows and develops. As a result, it is important that every parent has realistic expectations. When parents are aware of the developmental stages of their child, they will be better equipped to determine what is age-appropriate behavior. As a result of having realistic demands, a child is more likely to successfully meet those demands.

Along with encouraging age-appropriate behavior, it is also crucial to learn to present expectations in a manner that the child can easily understand. An awareness of a child’s language capabilities will help the parent to present his/her expectations in a manner that the child can readily comprehend. When a child understands the directions concerning what is required, he/she is much more likely to strive to meet those expectations.

Equally as important as realistic expectations is the need to have reasonable consequences for not adhering to these demands. Developing realistic expectations and reasonable consequences for transgressions go hand in hand. A child needs to be capable of the expected behavior, to comprehend what is expected, and to receive appropriate consequences; when this is the case, the child is more likely to respond with the desired behavior.

There are many benefits, which are accrued when parents have an awareness of their child’s cognitive, physical, and emotional development. By having awareness and understanding of the various aspects of child development and growth, a parent is better able to interact and play with his or her child. This in turn will result in the likely outcome of a strong and positive bond forming between the parent and child.