Parents understanding of learning and developmental needs of children is limited. They use wrong parameters like ability to recite or follow instructions. There is an immense need to replace the wrong parameters that parents are currently using with the “right” parameters.

Vikalp’s parent engagement program tries to address these issues and make parents aware about the learning and developmental needs of children. This is not done by educating parents on theories of early childhood development. Basically, all these theories are simplified into right and wrong markers and what a parent should avoid and look for in their children.

Few popular ones are enumerated below: –

Wrong markers

Right markers

Children can recite numbers up to 20 Whether children can pick out 12 sticks from a stack of 20
School fill class time with activities such as repeating what teacher is saying or copying down numbers from the blackboard Activities that would support the actual learning of concepts or broader early development, such as activity-based approaches
Strict disciplinarian approach that interrupts natural paths of learning Activity-based approaches that sup- port the actual learning of concepts through activities and experimentation
Pin drop silence where each child is reading or memorising contentChildren knows the definitions Children are discussing and learning from each other in groups Children understands and knows how to apply the concept in real life.

Learning Development of your child

Early childhood development consists of three distinct but interrelated domains physical, socio-emotional, and mental. Understanding how parents think about their child’s early development in each of these domains is useful.

In general, parents are most aware of what it means for their child to be developing physically and were least aware of socio-emotional development, but important gaps in parents’ under- standing existed across all three domains

Developmental Stage 3


Despite physical development of child being so obvious: there are significant gaps in parent’s understanding of signs for early childhood development. One of the most popular one is enumerated below:

Physical Development

Parent look for

What parent miss

Parents looked for obvious signs of physical growth, such as increases in height and weight, and cited signs such as whether the child was regularly outgrowing his or her clothes. Parents believed that ensuring physical development was primarily their responsibility as it was linked closely to nutrition, which parents saw as something they provide. Parents’ conception of early physical development did not include a number of critical aspects. For example, parents did not look for physical development of fine motor skills—movements using small muscles such as holding a pencil or picking up small objects or number cubes or fixing discs of disc board. Fine motor skills are essential building blocks for basic academic skills such as handwriting. Playing sports helps gross and fine motor development.

Mental Development

Unlike physical development, parents saw mental development primarily as the responsibility of the school. While parents believed they could support the process by ensuring the child attended school and completed her homework, they considered mental development as something that happened in school and was driven by teachers.

Mental Development

What parent look for …

What parent miss

Parents also look for some basic and easily noticeable signs of mental development, such as the child reading and writing, counting, asking more questions, expanding vocabulary, and increasing his or her ability to understand instructions. Parents’ conception of mental development did not include crucial pre-math and pre-literacy skills that form the bedrock of successful performance in grade school. For example, parents did not mention the child’s ability to match or group similar objects together—a skill necessary for basic arithmetic operations and geometry.
Parents do look for the child’s ability to understand instructions Parents normally ignore equally important aspects such as the child’s attention span when listening or ability to focus on a particular task.

Socio-emotional development

Parents did not view socio-emotional development as something that required active support by either parents or educators. Rather, they saw it as occurring naturally as the child grew older and interacted with more people, in sharp contrast to their beliefs around mental and physical development, which had to be actively supported. Nonetheless, if prompted parents do speak about certain socio-emotional development they look for in their children.

Sicio Emotional Development

What parent look for

What parent miss

Good manners, the ability to make friends, and the ability to express preferences as signs that ah child was developing emotionally and socially. They did not actively look for key aspects such as whether the child is able to identify and express emotions, empathize, and resolve conflicts.
Play is important in terms of helping children refresh and concentrate better on their academics. Interacting with other children while play develops critical socio-emotional skills.
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