What is child development?
Child development is the sequence of language, thoughts, emotions, and physical changes that occur when a child is born to its adulthood. During the growth process, the dependence of the child to the parents/guardians significantly reduces as he/she gains independence. Child development is influenced by genetic factors and eventually, the issues that affect their prenatal life. The child’s learning capacity and environmental factors can also affect his development.
Child development can be improved through targeted therapeutic intervention and home-based programs recommended by speech therapists and Occupational Therapists.
What are the Stages of Child Development?
A child goes through distinct stages as they grow from infants to adults. During every step, there is brain development taking place.
Age and stages are terms used to describe the important periods of human development. Here is a brief explanation to help you as a parent understand the process of your kid’s transformation from a baby to a teenager;
Baby (Birth – 2 Years Old) – Infant Development & Parenting Tips
Raising a baby, especially if it is for the first time can be very exciting and very frustrating at the same time. This is the right time to create a strong bond with your child, as it will last a lifetime. Provide your kids with resources to build their self-esteem and the ability to cope with other individuals and kids. The first stage is also a good time to discover the personality of the kid and the uniqueness of his/her personality. It is paramount that every parent understands that every kid is different in their own way and strive to respect the little person they are.
Toddler Development & Parenting Tips (18 Months – 3 Years)
This stage is marked by exciting developments such as speech development accompanied by the ability to walk. The kids will, therefore, explore their surroundings as they learn the names of the things that interest them.
During this stage, toddlers can have multiple “meltdowns.” Fortunately, the parents can help them calm down thanks to the bond created during the first stage. This is because at this stage they are comfortable with saying “No”. They have a challenge accepting the “No’ from other people.
This is also a time for rapid intellectual and physical development. It is also the time that the kids are prepared to join school and compete favorably with their peers, both intellectually and physically. As a parent, you are fit to be your toddler’s coach;so offer them support, guidance, and encouragement. Additionally, be the primary teacher of your kid by encouraging mastery of new concepts and skills through discussion and experimentation.
Preschooler Development & Parenting Tips (3 – 6 Years Old)
Your toddler is now graduating from being a toddler in the real world through exploration and formal reading. At this age, many have joined preschool.
Preschools are open to learning simple numbers, maths, and learning numbers. This is also a crucial time for learning music. The kid at this stage is also developing their motor skills, which gets them interested in ride-on toys, arts, and crafts. They are also partially developing sports skills, which help them engage in organized sports at the end of the period. Choosing a pre-school that encourages child development and learning programs is ,therefore, vital at this stage.
Playing is the most important mode of learning for toddlers in this stage. Making them believe all the games are fun develop creativity, socialization, and language skills. Curiosity and interest in exploring their environment promote their interest in science. They will also love building items around the house, such as Kinex, Legos, blocks, and others.
School-Age Children Development & Parenting Tips (6 – 12 Years Old)
Raising school kids is mostly an exciting period as you get to cheer them during sports activities and to celebrate their victories. This is, however, a time that you have to accept the strengths and weaknesses of your baby. A well-equipped parent can comfortably lead the child through this process to help them learn mechanisms of accepting the challenges and face them with courage.
Unlike pre-school kids who need close supervision, school-age kids are inclined towards independence. The art of wise decision making and self-discipline takes longer for some compared to others. As a parent, you have to come up with a moral code that your child eventually internalizes. As children struggle with this their emotions and failures at this stage, parents should be present to offer praise and encouragement. However, under some circumstances, parents should let children face the consequences of their actions to grow and learn from their mistakes.
Parenting Teenagers – Adolescent Development & Parenting Tips (13 – 18 Years Old)
Middle school is remembered by pain and grief by most families and kids who attended the school. It is marked by body changes and peer bullying. This leads to aggressive behavior, self-consciousness, overly independence, moodiness, and self-doubt.
High school is always a good time to redefine an individual’s personality, contemplating the future, and rebuilding one’s self esteem. Skill development is perfected in preparation of college or job training programs; it is also a great time to perfect talents. Social skills are honed, and the relationships are taken more seriously.
During the adolescence phase, teenagers need the help of their parents more than ever. By encouraging open communication, fun-family activities, and other positive practical activities; the child may easily navigate the stage.
8 Factors that affect child development
Nature and nurture have an impact on the development of a toddler. Although nature does play a part; nurture has a big impact on all stages of a child. Here are a few factors that affect the growth of your child;
1.Hereditary. This is physical traits such as height, eye color, hair texture that are passed from parents to the child. Some diseases are also hereditary, such as; obesity, diabetic, heart disease, which can adversely affect the growth of a child. However, nurturing and environmental factors can bring the best out of the already existing qualities.
2.Environment. The environment includes the geographical surroundings, physical surroundings, relationships, and social relationships. A kid raised in a healthy family turns out different from the one that was raised in a broken home. A good school and a loving family develop a child’s interpersonal skills, which gives them success in extracurricular activities and academics. Great pre-school programmes are ,therefore, crucial to child development.
3.Sex. The sex of a child is another factor in the growth & development of a child. Physically boys grow faster while girls develop quickly during adolescence. The physical structures are also different, which makes them good for physical rigors. Despite being the same age, it is possible for them to have different interests.
4.Exercise and Health. Exercise. By exercise, we do not mean the deliberate act of a child exercising to keep fit; we mean the normal child play. The sports activities are a good way of increasing bone mass and muscular strength of the child’s body. This helps a child grow well and reach his milestones faster. Exercises make them stronger and keep them away from illnesses; outdoor playing activities expose them from microbes, which help them build resistance and, therefore, prevent allergies.
5.Hormones. Hormones are part of the endocrine system and influence the various functions of our bodies. The timely growth of the child’s hormones is vital to their growth and development. They are as crucial as gonads, which allows the growth of sex hormones during puberty.
6.Nutrition.The food you prepare for your baby is very crucial to the well-being of the baby. Poor diets could lead to deficiency diseases. On the other hand, overeating can lead to health problems later on, such as diabetes and obesity. Ensure your baby’s diet is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals.
7.Family Influence. Families have an impact on how the child ends up to be, to ensure your child grows as an intelligent and bright kid, sacrifice and have meaningful conversations, read to them, play with them just to mention a few. Children from abusive and neglected families end up with poor social skills, similarly to those brought up through helicopter parenting. Strive to create a balance by choosing a wise parenting style.
8.Socio-Economic Status. As much as this may seem absurd; children brought up in wealthy families are a bit privileged as they can afford kindergarten enrollment in great schools . They also have access to learning aids in case they have special needs. Children from low-income families may not have the same opportunities; their parents might even be too busy chasing money to sustain their needs to be there for them.
Child development is important, and every parent should aim at ensuring their child has a smooth transition in every stage of their life.
While some factors may seem out of control like the social-economic factors, there are many other things that you can do as a parent to bring up a healthy child. Ensuring you have time to bond with your child, and holding meaningful conversation could be a good start. As much as possible ensure that you look into all the factors affecting your child’ s growth and try to work them out in favor of your child.
Feel free to contact us on our preschool enrollment opportunity for an amazing schooling experience for your child.