Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Milestones that matter



Getting some perspective on developmental milestones

Getting some perspective on developmental milestones


As a new dad, I was unprepared for a lot. Like ‘comparing babies,” where you meet other parents with babies of approximately the same age as yours, and you compare and contrast. When this transpired in our family, my wife and I watched our infant, then his peers, then him, then others. We tried not to make comparisons and failed. We could’ve used writer Patrick A. Coleman’s “The Two-Year Milestones that Matter” on Fatherly.com.

Of course, you want to remain vigilant for anything really dire, but Coleman asserts, and twenty years on, I concur, that far and away most babies are okay, or better than okay. Many books and websites will play on parents’ natural fears just for clicks and dollars. It need not be this way.

Coleman does confirm that the two-year milestones feel particularly important because this is generally the last time your child will be assessed – by you and/or a pediatrician – before they head off to preschool. But as he says, regardless of received wisdom (of which there is a dizzying amount, a lot of it contradictory), “every child will acquire abilities at their own rate and in their own order.”

He puts a fine point on it when he writes: “Instead of worrying if your two-year-old can first walk confidently, run, speak simple sentences, or fill and empty a bucket, parents should look at their kid holistically. To that end, there are two big qualities that parents should look for in the two-year-old: lots of movement and lots of independence.”

READ MORE: Missed Milestones

I was a stay-at-home dad for my son’s first four years, and I recall a mom at a local playground wishing her toddler was cautious like mine. My son was much less inclined to go down the slide backwards, or to try to run up it, because he was careful by nature. This trend would continue throughout his childhood, finally lessening somewhat (to my chagrin) when he became a teenager.

Regarding independence, Coleman has a lot of interesting things to say about the word “no,” and how it’s actually good to hear it, if annoying.

He writes: “An independent child will start developing their own opinions. So, you should be expecting to hear the word ‘no’.”

Why might this be a good thing?

“There are a ton of cognitive abilities being displayed in the word “no”. When your kid says no, it means that they have heard and understood your request. They have the cognitive capability to weigh your request against their own desires and are able to communicate their intent.”

Balancing gratitude with exasperation is no small feat, but you can do it.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Calling all birdwatchers

    Check out Birdability which promotes birding for everyone

    Through education, outreach and advocacy, Birdability works to ensure the birding community and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, safe and accessible for everybody. We focus on people with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, chronic illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, and those who are neurodivergent, deaf or hard of hearing or who have other health concerns. In addition to current birders, we strive to introduce birding to people with disabilities and other health concerns who are not yet birders so they too can experience the joys of birding. read more »
  • 9/11 Remembrance Ceremonies

    Come and remember the people who were lost, first responders & survivors

    Events to honor the victims, first responders, and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. read more »
  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • 5 of the best movies your teen can watch at home

    Entertain your kids with these flicks from Netfilx

    Writing for Popsugar, Sabienna Bowman shares her top movie picks for teens read more »
  • Master P On Rap Feuds, Conscious Parenting, Black Superheroes

    Allison Kugel interviews this rap icon

    Interview with rap icon Master P by Allison Kugel. Here he talks about family and more. read more »
  • Cool new food savers from Lasting Freshness

    Vacuum seal your food to keep it fresh longer

    Using this patented handheld Vacuum System your food is preserved up to 5 times longer than food stored using conventional grocery storage methods. read more »
  • The Mama Bear Effect Launches New Resource to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

    Parents of young children and those with special education needs now have a free tool to educate children about their bodies and boundaries

    Parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists now have a new tool to educate the most vulnerable population of children, those who need specialized assistance with learning and communication. read more »
  • Dirty, sweaty laundry making your house stinky?

    Here is a great solution from STNKY

    STNKY Bags are the best way to sort, store, carry, wash and dry everything from sweaty gym clothes, laundry when you travel, scrubs, and just about anything else that gets dirty or sweaty. read more »
  • Get Green this September

    Be a Friend of the Environment

    NYS Department of Environmental Conservation offers tips on cleaning out your closet and recycling your discarded clothing. read more »