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Understanding Milestones and Delays

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It’s amazing how a once helpless and totally dependent infant can over time become a skilled and independent individual. Every adult including you has passed through some developmental stages i.e infancy, childhood and adolescence. Through these stages, you have acquired skills and built capacity to function and respond efficiently to the demands of everyday life. However, some individuals are not capable of this due to some gaps in infancy and childhood.

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Child development is the pattern of change that occurs between birth and the end of adolescence. It is a multidimensional concept that encompasses physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional aspects. Children develop through different stages in a relatively predictable time and pattern known as developmental milestones. Developmental processes in childhood are very critical and have a huge impact on a child’s capability later in life.  When children experience a significant lag in attaining age expected developmental milestones, it is called a developmental delay. Simply put, developmental delays occur when a child does not reach specific developmental milestones for his or her age. For example, if the normal age range for a child to begin walking is between 9-18 months and a 24 month old child is not able to walk, it can be considered as a motor developmental delay.

Two factors play major roles in child development. These are:

  • Heredity: A child can be born with a chromosomal abnormality if such is present in the genes of either or both parents. These abnormalities cause developmental delays.
  • Environment: Environmental influence occurs in cases of exposure to harmful agents during pregnancy and/or after birth thus causing delays in the child’s development.

InteractionBelow are some warning signs of a developmental delay at different stages of childhood.

INFANCY (0-12 months) : Most children start to speak their first words by 18 months of age and by age 3, most of them can make short sentences. However, if a child is unable to speak words or make short sentences by age 3, this is considered as a language developmental delay.

TODDLERHOOD (1-3 years): Children at 12 – 30 months are usually adventurous and playful as a result of their increased energy and curiosity but when children at this age exhibit the opposite, it may indicate a developmental lag.

PRESCHOOL (3-5 years): Preschoolers are usually calmer and less dependent than toddlers. They are learning to become more independent, imaginative and creative. However, if the opposite is displayed by a child within this age range, it may be a sign of developmental delay.

SCHOOL AGE (6-12 years): At this stage, a child is expected to be able to solve basic problems, distinguish between right and wrong thereby making somewhat independent decisions. However, a child that does not exhibit this competence might be experiencing a developmental delay.

It is expedient that parents monitor their child’s development and seek help when they notice some of these signs so as to enable the child undergo a thorough professional evaluation in order to ascertain the presence of a developmental delay and proffer necessary interventions.

Don’t delay when a developmental delay is noticed in your child or any child you know. Early interventions go a long way in alleviating the effects of developmental delays.

Kindly visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org for more information.

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more informative updates on child development.

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You can also download our e-books on Child development by clicking HERE

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School Readiness: Getting Started

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At what age do you think your child should really start schooling?  Less than 2 years, 3-4 years or perhaps 5 years?

Well, some parents in our busy world today take their children as young as three months or even less to some form of schools especially crèches, while others may decide to wait until about age 2/3 years before enrolling their little ones in school.

To decide on what is best for a child at a certain age, it is advisable to understand the child’s developmental needs and see if the choice will help the child or do otherwise.

Sadly, many parents who enroll their children into schools at an early age will have limited opportunity to bond with their children. The parent to child bonding is a necessary aspect of a child’s emotional development. They are also not able to monitor the child’s progress as he/she attains age expected developmental milestones. Such children may eventually learn to sit, crawl, walk and talk in school in the absence of the parent. These schools usually have other children to be attended to as well. Therefore your child may not get adequate attention and care.

Parents are the ones that can truly give proper care and attention to their children especially at such a tender age.

You need to closely study and monitor your child;

  • Discover what he/she enjoys eating or drinking
  • Study his/her toileting pattern
  • Be familiar with his/her sleep-wake pattern
  • Monitor his/her language and motor development

If parents are fully involved in their child’s overall development, then such a child is being prepared for school.

Here are some important skills preschoolers can learn from home:

  • Basic Social Skills: build up your child’s social skills by modelling and practicing with him/her how to relate well with other kids. Watch how your child relates with his/her peers. Encourage good behaviours with praises and other forms of motivation and discourage bad behaviours as well.

 

  • Virtues: Home is the first place a child learns virtues. After all, “Charity begins at home”, Preschoolers can learn to be polite, to share and to forgive, by watching their parents. When parents instill virtues in their child, it would be easier for such a child to relate with other children when they start schooling.

 

  • Independence: A child should have some level of independence before starting school, the child should be able to engage in certain activities with little or no assistance such as eating, drinking and choose what toys to play with without depending on the parents.

 

  • Communication: Your child should be able to indicate through signs and short sentences what he wants, or at least one word. It makes it easier for such a child to cope in a school where there are other children to attend to.

 

  • Potty-training: It is advisable that a child should be potty trained before starting school. That way, the child will go through the potty training stage with the help of loving parents rather than impatient nannies.

 

It is important that your child is ready before starting school so as to avoid social and emotional difficulties while in school. With the above tips in place, you can be sure that they are ready to make friends and learn academic subjects with little or no difficulty.

Stay updated with tips on child development @DrMorayoJimoh.

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Also Download our NEWLY PUBLISHED CHILD DEVELOPMENT E-BOOKS BY CLICKING HERE


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When Does Life Begin?

crying babyThe anticipated joy of a couple becomes complete at the sound of the cry of their new born after about 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labor. The birth cry has been known to signify life and is looked out for by the medical professionals at the point of delivery. However, it should interest you that life does not begin at birth but at the moment the man’s sperm fuses with the woman’s ovum (This is called fertilization in biological terms or conception). A child’s life begins at this time. According to a renowned developmental psychologist, Professor Agiobu-Kemmer, the womb is the primary environment where an unborn child develops. It cannot be seen with unaided eyes but advancement in technology has made it possible to know what happens in there.

What evidence exists regarding life at conception? What makes one know that a child starts developing from the womb? Why must environmental factors both in the womb and outside be considered for optimal development?

sucking babyThe developing “child” or “fetus” in the womb hears, feels, sees, and moves even before birth. At approximately two weeks after conception, a lot of development occurs in the womb of a mother. At this stage, nutrition and environmental factors as well as genetics play a role. The body organs and parts begin to develop and take shape. At 12 weeks (3months), the fetus can smile, frown, suck and swallow. This same period coincides with when the fetus can urinate, move arms, legs, fingers and toes. Sucking the thumb usually is not learnt after birth, rather at about 20 weeks after conception, fetuses have been reported to have begun this behavior. At 25 weeks, they begin to hear and at 32 weeks they begin to respond to sounds particularly their mothers’ voices. A very recent study by Lahav (2015), an assistant professor of pediatrics, indicated that neural connection grew at sound centers of the brain of premature babies in incubators who heard recordings of their mother’s voice rather than the regular noise of intensive care units. This research shows how important it is for a mother to speak to her child while in the womb.  Another recent story was published in the news by Mail Online; A newborn baby who refused to be pacified kept on crying until he heard his father’s voice and was held by him. This provides evidence that bonding begins in the womb and both parents play a role.

It is really amazing the delicacy of the life that exist in the womb. How all the organs develop is still a continuous source of inquiry for scientists and researchers. Nutrition, emotional attachment, genetics and the  physical environment during pregnancy play a role in determining a child’s life outside the womb.  Thus, it is important to note that all these factors determine a child’s physical, intellectual and socio-emotional development

“Everything a mother does and is, is shared with her unborn child”.

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Every child deserves the best and remember that what a mother does or does not do during pregnancy will affect the child’s development in later years.

For more interesting updates on #child development, kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh.


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Presence or Presents? You decide!

 Tayo, an only child baby-sitted by Granny, wakes up to prepare for school, only to find mum and dad have left for work as usual.  Granny explains: Mum has to be at the Bank and Dad has to be at the construction site. He tries to stay awake to catch a glimpse of his parents before dozing off at night, but his eyes are too full of sleep. Looking forward to every weekend, he hopes Dad can take him to the cinema, only to find out from Mum that Dad had to travel on an official trip again. Mum is usually busy attending social functions at weekends, never having time for him. To make up for this, his mum and dad buy him the latest toys and gadgets to make him happy.

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“Your children need your presence more than your presents”
– Jesse Jackson

One love language children understand is Quality time. Oh yes, they love the gifts and may go the extra mile to earn one every now and then but most importantly, children desire and need the love and presence of their parents. They want their parents to help them out and supervise their homework. They want to chat about what happened in school with their mum. They want Dad to take them out to the park. They want so much more than the gifts. I can hear someone think “They always want, can they ever stop wanting?” The truth is parenting is the greatest investment. You can invest in stocks, real estate, land etc, but investing in your children yields the greatest returns in life.

It is becoming more difficult to juggle work and family but quite possible when priorities are set. Sadly, many parents have “lost” their children in a bid to earn more and stay competitive. Children who are not under adult supervision and lack parent figures often associate with the wrong people and make misguided decisions.

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Here are 10 tips on spending quality time and enhancing your relationship with your kids

  • Make yourself emotionally accessible and available for your child.
  • Supervise their homework as often as possible.
  • Set aside a time each week for a special outing with your kids.
  • Help them with their school projects.
  • Saturday mornings are excellent times to play games or engage in sports/exercise with your family.
  • Regularly attend Parents- Teacher’s Association (PTA) meetings.
  • Visit your child’s school during open or visiting days.
  • Ensure you have regular contact with your child’s class teacher.
  • Discuss with your child about his/her interests and aspirations.
  • Endeavor to check through your child’s note book to monitor his/her academic progress.
  • As often as you can, teach your children moral lessons as you have learned yourself while growing up.

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege,

 than the raising of the next generation
– C. Everett Koop

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today!

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In your hands lie the power to shape the outcome of your child. Choose to be a “presence-parent rather than a “presents-parent”.  Give your attention and time to your children and you will reap the rewards soon enough!

Join the conversation and get interesting tips on parenting by following @DrMorayoJimoh #parenting. You will be glad you did. Share this with someone.


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7 ways to make her feel special…

Mother’s day is here again and we would like to give you tips on making your mum special not just TODAY but EVERYDAY.

Enjoy!

Mothers day

A Mother’s Love
There are times when only a Mother’s love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a Mother’s love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we’ve dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a Mother’s faith
Can help us on life’s way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a Mother’s heart and a Mother’s faith
And a Mother’s steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.
Author Unknown

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Happy Mother’s day!

From Mobile Health Consult!


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They Are Watching You!

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“Every word, facial expression, gesture or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.”- Virginia Satir

Children are good observers and imitators. They tend to copy and replicate the words and actions of people around them especially their parents and caregivers.

What they say and do is usually what they’ve heard and seen!

As time goes on, children begin to form belief systems based on the actions and words they have been exposed to. Therefore, it is imperative for parents and caregivers to watch what they portray either directly or indirectly to their children.

 Directly: In terms of the parents’ actions and reactions to their children.

What you say and do to them matters a lot.

Indirectly: Refers to the parents’ actions and reactions to others in the presence of the children. This connotes how you talk and act towards others in the presence of your children.

Children have the capacity to emulate behaviours/attitudes

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Try to avoid the following:

Insulting and Cursing: Try as much as possible not to hurl insults or curses on your child if he/she misbehaves. Also don’t insult or curse others in the presence of your child. Love with your words instead!

Yelling: Some parents think that yelling is a way of stamping their authority over their children. This should not be. Try to correct them in a more constructive manner when they exhibit unacceptable behaviours.

Lying: Never lie to your children. Always be honest with them and let them know that honesty is the best policy. The truth should be told all the time.

Comparing: One of the worst things parents can do to their children is comparing them to others. Every child needs to feel unique and accepted at home. Stop comparing your child to others as it destroys the child’s self-esteem.

Rather than display the above, reinforce positive behaviours with praises, rewards and encouragements while constructively dealing with negative behaviours.

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Communicate love to your children because what you give to them is what they’ll become and in turn give to others. Always remember that regardless of what you tell them, they are watching you!

Give your children a chance to believe in themselves.

Watch out for our free e-books on child development coming out soon!

Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #Parenting.


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What’s Your Style?

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children,

but we can at least prepare our children for the future”. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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If you are you a parent or plan to become one someday, you will definitely want the best for your child. The question is, how much are you willing to invest in order to see your child become the “best”? – Take a moment to think deeply about this.

A lot of people believe that their parents were strict with them while growing up and vowed to treat their own children better but may be shocked to realize that they may do same or worse in raising their own children. Some others, on the other hand, are thankful to their parents for the parenting style that was adopted in raising them.

Parenting is a huge responsibility which should also be seen as an adventure.

Here are 4 different parenting styles: The first three was classified by Diana Baumrind (1967) while the fourth style was by Maccoby and Martin (1983).

Authoritarian Parenting Style:

Authoritarian_parenting2Refers to an extremely harsh or strict method of parenting where the children don’t have a say in the home and cannot express themselves but are rather expected to follow the stated rules and regulations. A loving parent-child relationship is non-existent here. This style of parenting will in turn produce children with: low self-esteem, anger problems, anxiety, depression, they may tend to be socially withdrawn, they may conform easily and be fearful.

 Authoritative Parenting Style: 

authoritativeThis is a more balanced method of parenting with proper parent-child relationship. The parents are firm with the children in a loving and understanding manner as they seek to build a sense of responsibility and independence in their children. Children from such parents will become independent individuals, disciplined, social, they will tend to have good interpersonal relationship skills and are usually emotionally stable.

 

Permissive Parenting Style: 

permissiveHere, anything goes as the parents “allow” any behaviour the children may exhibit as long as the children are happy because they genuinely care about the children but are somewhat excessively non-restrictive or relaxed about controlling the behaviour of the children. In this method, parents may have to bribe or give special treats to their children before they can get them to do what is expected of them. Children with such upbringing will eventually become demanding, spoilt, aggressive, always wanting to get their way and lack self-discipline/ self-control.

 Uninvolved Parenting Style:

univolvedIn this style, the parent neglects the child and is often detached from the child emotionally and in some cases otherwise. Love and affection is not being expressed to the child by the parent as it ought to be. The parent sees his/her sole responsibility as providing only basic needs such as food and shelter for the child and expects the child to take care him/herself afterwards. This style of parenting will produce children that will tend to feel lonely, have low self-esteem/self worth, may become drug/alcohol addicts and antisocial.

 

Which of these styles do you think best describes your parents’ method of raising you?

Could it be the authoritarian, authoritative, permissive or the uninvolved parenting style?

What influence do you think their style of parenting has had or is having on you as an adult?

 

 

Comment below on your experience. Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more mind blowing updates on parenting and child development throughout the month of March.

 

“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world”.

– Dorothy Law Neite