When Should I Start Worrying?

A few questions were recently asked, “When should I worry about my toddler being color-blind?” and “When should my child choose which hand she’s going to use- her left or right?”  As parents, we all worry about so many things with our children, especially their development.  So, the question “When should I start worrying about..?” is a hard one to answer. In short, young children develop at their own pace.  We can do so many things to support them in their development;  but in the end, they do what they want when they are ready.  In the same family, the first daughter was potty-trained within a weekend’s time and the second daughter took almost a year.  Now, with that said, there are some things that should be happening within a flexible time frame such as walking around the time of her 1st birthday and talking sometime around the age of 15 months .  But, for the everyday skills, such as choosing a hand preference or knowing their ABC’s, 123’s, names of colors, etc.- those things will come when the child is interested enough to learn them.  For those of you wondering, on average, those things usually happen around 3-4 years old, although certainly younger for some children and older for others.

So, in a nutshell, while all parents worry, it might come as some relief that we don’t need to worry as much as we do.  All things come with time.  If you do have concerns about your child’s development, you can always speak with your child's teacher, the staff at Family Star or your family pediatrician.  All of these groups of people are experts on your child and want to support you in parenting to the best of your ability.

Now, go play with your child and try not to worry about when he will start ________.


Rebecca Wilson, MS, is mother to Emogene (IC7) and is an enthusiast for all things related to young children.  She earned her Bachelors Degree in Child Development and her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  She has worked with children of all ages from birth through 3rd grade in different positions from teaching to administration to consulting.  Currently, she is a grant manager for the early childhood council in Adams County.