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Developmental Milestones: Are Your Kids Ready?

by | Dec 28, 2022

A common question in the minds of parents is whether their kids are ready. Are they ready for today, for school tomorrow, or taking the long view, for life? If you have an infant, there are doctor’s visits and numerous written material you can reference to make sure they are hitting the appropriate developmental milestones.

If your kids are beyond the toddler years, though, how do you know if they’re hitting these developmental milestones to be ready for life? Where can you find the information?

If you’re like most parents, you don’t have a ton of time (or any time) to sort through websites trying to find this information. To be honest, you probably don’t even have a spare moment to think about the question and wonder. With the pace of life now, you probably have that question pop into your mind and then get a text alert, your phone buzzes or rings, one of the kids yells that they need something, or you refocus on what you were doing when the question popped into your mind.

There just isn’t enough time to get it all done! If this rings a bell, I urge you to take a few moments to finish this post, even if you don’t think you have the time. It will save you time in the long run.

Teaching, Coaching, and Mentoring

As parents, we all want our kids to become caring, capable, engaging, and financially independent adults who develop strong relationships and are able to meet most any challenge or issue they face in life.

To ensure this happens, we start off as our child’s first teacher. We then add on the role of coach as they grow and hope that as our children become adults, they come to us with their thoughts and ideas and ask us to help mentor them as they make life’s important decisions. Here are a couple of examples of what we mean by that—Teaching Kids about Money: Be a Coach and Mentor and the Dad Train: Coaches, Mentors and Teachers.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also need to help them grow physically, develop their critical thinking skills, become emotionally resilient, demonstrate personal values and strong social interactions, and understand their responsibilities as an adult.

It’s a tall order to help our children reach all the necessary developmental milestones they need to become successful adults, but with at least 18 years to do it all, it’s possible. And we know where you can find the information to help you do it.

All children develop at different rates in each of the five areas mentioned above because no two children are alike in the environment, experiences, or teaching they receive. And we know that children learn best when parents create a supportive environment and help their children participate in as many multisensory actions and experiences as possible.

For babies, small children, and toddlers, a tablet or mobile phone is NOT a multisensory experience! It may provide you with some much-needed free time, but when it comes to your young child’s brain, it does more harm than good.

Resources for Developmental Milestones

So where should you go to get advice and support to help your child?

Parents provides a number of resources and activities that can help you when it comes to developing your child with their physical, social, intellectual, and social development. The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential also has several great resources.

And to add to the resources on the Raising Families website, we recently launched a mobile version of the Readiness Profile aimed at helping parents have the key physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and life skills capabilities for children from birth to 18 available at their fingertips.

The Readiness Profile app grew out of our popular hard copy and PDF versions. We expanded the app to include things you can do on the spot to help your kids increase their capabilities in each of the five areas.

So, as we round the corner from 2022 and roll into 2023, now might be a good time to pause, at least for a few minutes, and take a look at the resources mentioned above. You can see if your child is hitting the developmental milestones they should be for their age and get the information you need to help your kids prepare for the future.

It doesn’t matter their age, whether they are toddlers, in college, or grown adults, the resources mentioned can help.

For most of us, the coming New Year allows us to step forward with new hopes, dreams, and plans in what seems to be a more and more uncertain world.

We can all help our kids be ready for that uncertain world when we help them develop the key skills and capabilities to be caring, capable, engaging, and financially independent adults, one year at a time!  

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Rick Stephens

Rick Stephens is a co-founder of Raising Families. With 33 years of experience as a top-level executive at The Boeing Company and having raised four children of his own, he is able to support parents and grandparents by incorporating his knowledge of business, leadership, and complex systems into the family setting. In his “free time” Rick enjoys road biking, scuba diving, visiting his grandkids, and generally trying to figure out which time zone he’s in this week. Read full bio >>