Recently we received a checklist from the health visitors for Piccalilli’s 2 year check. I personally do not feel that it is necessary to start assessing children so young, but I do understand the reasons for trying to identify issues early.
For us, with Piccalilli being our third child, we feel quite confident that she is developing well and have no worries, but it was interesting to read the skills that children of her age are expected to have and more interesting to see the things that don’t make the list… it also made me think about the level of concern these sorts of lists might evoke in some parents.
For example, it is apparently important to be able to stack seven blocks on top of each other and to be able to tidy up after yourself 🙂 (a very important skill!) Whereas brushing your teeth or using the toilet don’t make the list…
Of course, I am fully aware of the necessity to gain a full range of skills in the overall development of a child (I studied child development and Psychology) and I was most interested in the Communication and Language section. We have felt for some time that Piccalilli’s language is well-developed (which is probably due to having two chatterboxes for older sisters!)
Piccalilli was able to exceed all of the activities in this section, e.g. follow simple instructions, point to seven (what is it about seven?!) body parts and make simple sentences – these are meant to be 3 or 4 words long but Piccalilli’s are longer as she has followed in her big sisters’ footsteps and doesn’t often stop talking!
But I found it interesting that the type of language used was not mentioned. I know this comes from the influences you have around you but I find it fascinating to hear the words and sentences that Piccalilli is choosing to use already. Her sentences can seem very mature at times – “When it is dark we go to Mummy and Daddys’ window to watch fireworks” – and she is already beginning to find toilet humour hilarious, just like Pickle! It amazes me the things she picks up (mainly from Pickle): Poopy pants, big bum, stinky pops! It also interested me that humour was not mentioned once in the Social/Emotional behaviours on the checklist.
Positive and negative language also strikes me as an important development. Again learnt from her big sisters, Piccalilli often tells us she loves us or hates us, depending on the situation, therefore seeming to understand her use of these words. She also likes to call her sisters ‘stupid idiots’ (which I guess they are for teaching her the words!) but it upsets me hugely – although I have to avoid showing her my upset as it just prompts her to do it more! I am aware that she is just trying out words that she has heard, but I know that neither of her big sisters were using this type of language, in context, at her age… but I guess that neither of them had a much bigger sister around to learn from and copy!
It will be interesting to see how much she shows her true ability/self when we meet with the health visitor – will she clam up or will she call her ‘poopy pants’?! Wish me luck 😉