Progress in School

Are you Worried About your Child’s Progress in School?

10 April 2023
Posted by: Chelsea

Your Child’s Progress in School

Many parents will have experienced the occasional doubt and worry about how their child is progressing in their daycare centre or school.
This is perfectly normal and in the vast majority of cases, there is no foundation for such concerns. However, your child’s rate of development is something that should be monitored.

This article discusses ONLY children of a daycare centre or early primary school ages.

What are ‘development issues?’

Although this term is often used, it is totally non-specific. It may indicate many different things, including a child that:
isn’t progressing physically in line with averages for their age (e.g., movement and dexterity);

  • is having some difficulty developing early reading and writing skills;
  • struggles to maintain attention on what’s happening in class or at home;
  • can’t easily play with other children or form relationships with them;
  • seemingly isn’t able to control their temper;
  • etc.

In many cases, it can be difficult to spot such problems in the home environment and they’re picked up first in daycare centres or school.

That’s because many children behave quite differently at home. Additionally, given the pressures many parents are under such as work, home chores and looking after other siblings, issues with a child’s development can go unnoticed.

Paradoxically, the reverse can also be the case, with parents worrying entirely unnecessarily about their child’s development because they may not have extensive experience in helping lots of children to develop.

The schedule fallacy
One of the unintended negative by-products of child development literature is that it may create the impression that children develop in line with a predictable timetable. They do not!

There is no immediate cause for concern if a child is running a ‘little late’ in developing certain skills. For example, if science tells us a skill is usually mastered by the age of 4, on average, then by definition that means some children may have developed it at say 3 and others 5.

So, a child of 4 who hasn’t yet developed that skill is not necessarily in need of attention and help.

That’s one reason why selecting a professional daycare centre is so important – the sooner any real issues are spotted, the sooner they can be addressed. Equally, they can often put parents’ minds at rest through their knowledge of how children grow and the very wide variations in progress that can naturally arise.

Discuss your fears
For some parents, the first concerns relating to developmental issues arise when they’re brought to their attention by a daycare or preschool activity centre. However, in other cases, parents may have their own concerns based upon observations of their child or through making comparisons with other siblings and the children of friends and family etc.

If you are nurturing worries about your child’s development, it is important to get them into the open as soon as possible. One of the first steps would be to have a discussion with your daycare or preschool centre and obtain their input.
In most instances, your worries will be shown to be unnecessary. If the daycare centre shares your perceptions then they or your doctor will be able to refer you to a specialist in the domain you’re worried about.

It’s worth remembering that most child development issues can be ameliorated by appropriate professional treatments and development regimes.

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