Posts Tagged ‘Development’

gross motor skills

8 gross motor skills milestones you should know about

Through any development cycle, milestones exist to mark the various stages along the way. Milestones are relevant when learning any new skill. They help us to track progress and recognise reaching each new level as we work towards the end goal.

Developing gross motor skills is an important part of childhood development and as you would expect, there are many milestones children achieve as part of this journey.  Gross motor skills require whole body movement and involve coordinated function of the core muscles of the body to perform daily activities. This includes basic activities such as walking, standing, running, jumping, or sitting upright at the dinner table, and involves hand-eye coordination skills when participating in outdoor activities such as kicking or marking a football, riding a pushbike, skateboarding, or swimming.

When children are developing gross motor skills, the following eight milestones typically occur around these stages in life. To make things easy for you, we have broken down the milestones below:

0 – 6 months

  • Your child is rolling over from front to back/back to front and can sit with support/sit independently.

6 – 12 months

  • Your child is crawling or moving forward on their belly, assumes a seated position unaided, pulls self to stand, and may creep on their hands and knees.

18 months

  • Your child crawls and walks independently, and is starting to climb on furniture.

2 years

  • Your child is walking smoothly and starting to develop agility, starting to run, can pick up toys without losing balance or falling over, and may be able to walk up and down steps with support.

3 years

  • Your child is pedalling a tricycle, jumping in place with two feet together, walking on their tip toes, climbing ladders, and may be able to stand and balance on one foot.

4 years

  • Your child can kick a ball forward, throw a ball overarm, run around obstacles, walk on a straight line, hop on one foot, and stand balancing on one foot for a few seconds.

6 years

  • Your child is developing more mature ball skills and can catch a small ball using their hands. They can hang swinging on a bar in the playground and is starting to skip and gallop.

7 years

  • Your child should be confidently using a fork and knife to eat a meal, easily use scissors to cut, assemble a small puzzle, or build an advanced structure using building blocks.

While these are general timeframes, of course everyone is different, and some children will develop these skills at a different pace to their peers.

Fortunately, as parents we can help and guide our children to achieve many of these milestones and skills without a superhuman effort. Part of encouraging the start of independence towards these essential life skills is to gradually ease the control over to your child. Start early by doing things like giving them a fork instead of hand feeding at mealtimes, which will help them begin to get used to the feel of a tool in their hand. It will be messy at first – that’s all part of the fun! Children love to feel and touch and play while tasting those early foods.

You can also let them take control of their toys or show them how to correctly place a puzzle piece, and then hand it back so that they can have a turn. The human brain is truly amazing, and children will put it to work to learn an incredible amount in a very short time! Their brains really are hungry little sponges and they’re watching us all the time!

Encourage your little one to have a go at home with some small things to start. You are likely to be amazed, and this will be the start of many delightful experiences you will have the joy of sharing over the next 18 years or so!

If you have any concerns with your child’s development, or questions about these milestones, please contact us. We are here to help. You can directly reach out to one of our friendly paediatricians here. We are here to help!

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Social Skills

15 considerations for supporting the development of your child’s social skills

Let’s talk about Social Skills! As adults, we don’t often think much about social skills, as they are ingrained in our daily lives – like getting dressed in the morning or brushing our teeth. Human beings are sociable creatures, and we have developed many ways to communicate our messages, thoughts, and feelings with others. Children, however, must learn social skills from scratch, much like learning to read and write.

Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. This is an incredibly intricate set of skills which takes time and practice to acquire. The ability is built on foundational receptive communication skills (hearing and understanding language from others) and expressive communication skills (sharing thoughts and ideas with others).

Setting good examples in front of our children is the natural place to start, as they instinctively mimic and copy what we do. By demonstrating sound social skills at home, such as speaking to others in respectful tones, listening to what others have to say, and waiting to speak in turn, children subconsciously take this all in, and voila! The beginnings of developing social skills is a work in progress.

Children are like sponges, they absorb everything!

To help support the development of your child’s social skills, start by paying attention to your own behaviours as you go about engaging in the following ways. You will probably learn a bit about yourself in the process!

  1. Facial expressions
  2. Body language
  3. Gestures
  4. Interacting in group situations
  5. Collaborating with others
  6. Exercising patience and taking turns
  7. Sharing
  8. Achieving compromise
  9. Demonstrating empathy
  10. Play skills
  11. Conversation skills
  12. Emotional skills
  13. Problem solving skills
  14. Showing encouragement
  15. Maintaining eye contact

Many of the above skills will come naturally, however when we stop and think about them in isolation, we may notice that we have to work harder to demonstrate some skills than others, or some areas that we could definitely improve upon.

One of our most important jobs in life is to be good role models for our children. By examining our own behaviours from time to time, we may not only enhance our own social skills, but we also ensure we are role modelling desirable behaviours for our children! Over time, you should see your little person starting to use more and more of the skills outlined above in their interactions with others.

Fun ways at home to develop social skills

Playing board games can be a fun way to practice using social skills at home.

Firstly, board games are fun, but they also require patience, self-control, and using manners. For example, after you’ve rolled the dice and moved your character, say, “Your turn!” Then, when your child has finished moving their character, say, “My turn!” before rolling the dice. By verbalising the order of play, it introduces children to the concept of taking turns, helps to develop the elusive character trait of patience, and begin to understand game play etiquette. This prepares them for navigating group settings such as when it’s time to start kindy or school.

Playing board games also helps to introduce children to the emotionally challenging task of how to conduct themselves whether winning or losing! This is a really important skill which will set them up well once they’re taking their first steps out into ‘the real world’ at school. Let’s face it, we are not always going to be ‘the winner’, so it’s important to learn humility in defeat.

If you have any questions about the above skills or your child is having difficulties with some of them, have no fear. You can directly reach out to one of our friendly paediatricians HERE We are here to help!

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Paediatrics

Paediatrics

Allergy / Immunology

Allergy / Immunology

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

Dietetics

Dietetics

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy

Podiatry

Podiatry

Psychology

Psychology

Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology