Home > Physical Development 0-3 > When Should You Worry About Your Child's Development?

When Should You Worry About Your Child's Development?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 2 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Child Children Develop Development

As a parent, it’s only natural to worry about your child. One of the main areas of concern for parents, especially during the early years, is whether or not your child is developing physically, mentally, emotionally and socially as they ‘should’ do. But when should, or shouldn’t, you worry about your child’s development?

As children grow and develop, they gradually gain the ability to tackle new tasks, learn new skills and achieve new experiences. Being a parent, you’ll probably feel proud on a regular basis as your child scales the next mountain and conquers new challenges – and good feelings of excitement and achievement are likely to be reflected in your child’s reaction too.

It’s definitely good to encourage, praise and let your child know you’re proud of them each time they achieve something new. If you’re so positive and thrilled when your child achieves things, when do parents start to worry?

Parents Comparing Children’s Development

One of the key ways in which doubt can creep in is when parents compare what their children can do. If you’ve ever been to a baby and toddler group, playgroup, stood outside a school or simply socialised with friends who are parents, you can’t help but notice occasions when parents – sometimes unintentionally – compare their child’s skills, or boast about ‘what little Johnny can do.’

This comparison can throw out feelings of insecurity in parents, especially if your darling son or daughter hasn’t yet learnt to talk, when another child the same age is apparently able to talk in sentences already.

It’s hard work for parents to ignore the comparisons that others make, especially from those with a tendency to give a minute breakdown of every move or word that is uttered from their dearly beloved child, but it does help if you can learn to stand back from the chatter and not let it cause you to worry.

Set Developmental Stages

Another way that parents can become worried about what their son or daughter can’t do is through reading information about developmental stages. Stages of development are used as a guideline to what children can typically do at certain ages and stages. Although definitely useful as a guideline, they shouldn’t be accepted in stone as gospel.

Realistically, every child is different and, just because your child isn’t yet talking as much as a similar aged child, it doesn’t mean he has a problem. It could just be that he’s learning different skills and will soon catch up with his peers. It’s of course very hard for parents not too worry!

When Should You Worry?

A lot of the time, parents are worrying unnecessarily about their children. But there are times when worry may be justified.

Parental gut feelings are important and shouldn’t be ignored if you feel that something is wrong. Some children are slower to develop than others, but if your child seems to continually be lagging behind his peers, or is having particular problems in certain areas, then it’s always worth expressing your concerns to a health practitioner.

Sometimes they well be unfounded and they’ll be nothing to worry about. But if they notice problems too, it can make a difference to get a headstart with any help they need.

Your GP or health visitor is there to help you with any worries or concerns you have, so don’t be afraid, or embarrassed, to approach them with queries.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Pat
    Re: The 'Terrible Twos'
    child throws temper tantrum when its cleanup time even when singing the cleanup song, hits my hand and starts pulling the toys back out of the…
    13 March 2020
  • steve
    Re: Child Temper Tantrums
    we work with 5 year olds to 12 year olds.We try to tell the kids what are the basic rules the first day of school.We call them friends from…
    25 October 2019
  • ally c
    Re: B.F. Skinner's Behavioural Theory
    This information has really helped me with my HNC assessment for promoting language, literacy and numeracy. with a theorist…
    16 October 2019
  • pape
    Re: The 'Terrible Twos'
    im a break person at a daycare been that sense 17 yrs
    26 August 2019
  • baby
    Re: Behavioural Disorders in Children
    We have several children at our center that throw tantrums and have behavior issues you have to keep learning ways to deal…
    18 July 2019
  • Dee
    Re: Child Temper Tantrums
    I have 5 children and with each child I learned handle the tantrums differently.
    18 April 2019
  • Pat
    Re: Sibling Rivalry in Children
    I have two kids, 6 and 2, both of them seem to have a very strange attachement to me, they smell my skin and as they do it they…
    3 April 2019
  • Tapiya
    Re: Personality Development in Babies
    So is this all personality development during infancy??in other words i have that hearding on my assignment so should i just…
    9 March 2019
    Re: The Effects of Punishment on Children
    Punishment is never a way of teaching. It can disturb teaching process. Only motivation is good effort below the age…
    1 March 2019
  • tasha
    Re: Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development
    does all children develop various skills and abilities at the same time
    12 February 2019