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Did someone say "average"? There's nothing "average" about your child, who continues to amaze you on a daily basis. However, even not-so-average infants and children achieve similar milestones in the areas of social, physical and cognitive development. It's OK if your child does not reach the milestones at the same time or in the same order as other children her age. Let the information serve as a road map for your child's individual developmental journey.
Gross Motor Skills
The mantra of the average 14-month-old goes something like this: Places to go and people to see! New gross motor skills prompt little ones to stay in motion. Your child may retrieve an object on the floor from a standing position and navigate stairs with your help. Most children can walk independently now, and this physical accomplishment transforms their world as a magic paintbrush colors a canvas. Walking expands upon the exciting role your child began when she learned to crawl: She is an active participant in her environment rather than a passive observer.
Within the realm of fine motor physical skills, the average 14-month-old child has discovered novel uses for her fingers and hands: opening doors, cabinets and drawers. Although she cannot open a secured window, fine motor skills certainly open a new window to your child's world. New moms learn how quickly their little ones can "redecorate" their entire home in minutes, and experienced moms redefine the term "out-of-reach" several times.
Cognitive development permits the average 14-month-old child to copy her mom's language and behavior. For a mom, it's a little like walking a fashion runway, because all eyes (and ears) are on you. Children explore new settings without a goal or plan of action, sending moms scurrying to find where little feet have trekked. You may not have to rely exclusively on your psychic abilities to know what your little one wants, because most children in this age group are communicating with several clear and more not-so-clear words and phrases.
The average 14-month-old child appears excited in the presence of other children her age. If your child seems almost magnetically drawn to other kids, she is exhibiting typical growth in social development. Don't expect your 14-month-old to engage in interactive play with a peer -- this will occur a bit later -- but your little one may demonstrate an insatiable curiosity about a new potential friend. An understanding of how choices influence consequences sets the stage for learning how to self-monitor behavior. Your child may show changes in emotional development by demonstrating more emotional diversity and depth.
Becky Swain's first publication appeared in the "Journal of Personality Assessment" in 1984. Her articles have also appeared on various websites. She is an adjunct college instructor, licensed school psychologist and educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science in clinical psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational psychology, both from Mississippi State University.