Dr. Cowan | Development is not a race - what milestone driven development misses

Key Thought

Every child is different and develops in their own time.


One of the things I don't like about the linear developmental model that I was trained in as a child developmental specialist - you have gross motor development and fine motor development and speech development and adaptive development, and they never talk to each other! They're like these different trains on different tracks. That's insane.

One of the things that I'm really trying to move forward to get out of the linear model of child development is this idea of how different developmental skills are related to each other and empower each other and trigger each other, and that's a much more holistic nested view of empowering development.

And what's more at each developmental stage you have to relearn because it's like you have a new kid. Just when you think you've got it down, you have to relearn a new way because they've built themselves into another layer of their being and now they're exploring a new way of being in the world. And so it's deeply humbling, but we don't want to crush your spirit, right? So it's humbling to say, okay, now what are we working on now? What is is going on now? What's this baby, this child experiencing? Reboot, new kid, new stage.

Understanding that some of these exercises, some of these little games and little activities gives you can do almost gives you an opportunity to go from one bridge to the next, not as milestones, it's not a race, but more as opening up new areas of development, opening up new horizons.

So at healthynest, what we've developed - are every step along this beautiful journey things you can do to enrich the environment of your child, to encourage development not in the right direction, but in your child's direction so that they are feeling empowered.

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