Celebrating and Encouraging Milestones

Celebrating and Encouraging Milestones

-Emily supports kids in CEDARS Early Childhood Development and School Age Programs.

“Parenthood is about celebrating the child you have, not the one you thought you would have.“

It is such an exciting time to watch your child as they going through so many "firsts", but it can be hard to figure out how to celebrate and encourage these milestones.

Weekends, holidays and vacations are not the only "special times." Every interaction with your child is special. Every hug, smile and encouraging word makes a lasting impression. We may not always see it, but your child is definitely feeling it.

When your child was an infant, it was easy to observe milestones: the first smile, each inch of growth, the first word, crawling, climbing, and walking. You read articles and books eagerly searching for what to expect next. Then when that next big thing happened you were so excited! Your face beamed, you may have been excited to share the great news with someone close to you and quickly reached for your camera.

As your child gets older, these milestones become more difficult to observe and measure. Each child has their own way of learning new concepts and sometimes it may take a little longer. During this time of intellectual, physical, emotional and social growth; your child needs even more recognition and celebration of their development than they did as a baby. Your recognition of this growth and change nurtures your child's development and supports them along the way. Just like adults, children grow and learn more efficiently when they feel good about themselves.

The most important thing you can do is to help your child develop a sense of good self-esteem. Positive self-esteem doesn't just appear. It grows like the body and develops like the mind. It grows with each smile, hug and positive word you share with them when they meet a new challenge. When they do not succeed, they are looking at you even more to help console and encourage them to try again. Children like to repeat successes. It makes them feel secure and builds that all-important confidence that they need to try something new.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, love and involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin