From birth through adulthood, a person’s growth is a continuous process. Various stages in one’s life are attributed to various types of developments—physical, behavioral and intellectual. Childhood, however, is the most important stage when a strong foundation for these three developmental areas can be put simultaneously and in a balanced way.
If you want your children to excel in all walks of life, it is important to understand how they develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually. All these developmental milestones correlate with each other as well.
Physical development is the process in which your child’s body grows and acquires movement, which includes gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Gross motor skills refer to controlling large parts of the body such as arms and legs. Fine motor skills refer to coordinating small body parts, hands and fingers.
This area of development provides children with the ability they need to explore and interact with the world around them. Thus, you need to reinforce your kids’ development and foster further progress wherever necessary, for example, providing new opportunities to practice new skills.
Here’s how to promote physical development in your kids:
A healthy and nutritious diet is one of the most important factors for ensuring that your kids reach optimal development. In general, a child needs adequate dietary intake to have enough nutrients and energy to grow. A healthy diet rich in calcium, protein and other essential vitamins and minerals, enables optimal skeletal and physical growth.
Encouraging your kids to take up sports offers many opportunities for improving coordination, strengthening muscles, body speed and agility. Along with boosting health and fitness, sports will encourage your kids to utilize all their senses, locomotor system and brain capacities. By choosing sports in their lives, your children can not only become physically stronger but mentally tough as well.
If your child isn’t the sports type, regular exercise has long-term health benefits for your kids, including from a stronger immune system that increases their body’s ability to fight diseases to a reduction in type 2 diabetes. Exercise also helps build a strong cardiovascular system and optimum blood pressure level, stronger bone and muscle structure. Kids are less likely to become obese as exercise enhances the body’s metabolism.
Parents are the ones who mostly inspire their kids for taking up exercises and physical activities, or any other good habits for that matter. So you also have to keep yourself fit and healthy in order to work with your kids.
Social & Emotional Development
Under social-emotional development children acquire skills that allow them to interact with other people, and to express and control their emotions. It includes forming relationships, learning social skills, caring for others, sharing of toys, self reliance and making decisions.
Here’s how to promote social-emotional development in your kids:
Create a loving environment
A loving environment is an essential factor for the emotional development of your children. A comfortable and supportive atmosphere helps boost their self-confidence. They learn how to express affection and successfully use body language as a means of communication.
To promote self-awareness in your children, start responding positively to their queries. Children need attention, patience and a lot of face-to-face interaction. Encourage them to try new things, and help them do what they are capable of.
Social awareness is very important for behavioral development of your kids. Let them be with the company of other kids to play and interact. Tell them to show empathy and understanding towards others. Knowing how to positively engage with others and understanding their feelings will have lifelong benefits.
Intellectual development in children is usually characterized by how various mental processes—attention span, understanding information, reasoning, learning, remembering, problem solving and thinking—develop from birth until adulthood. Understanding this area of development gives you the insight about your kids’ ability of logical reasoning at different age levels.
Here’s how promote intellectual development in your kids:
Develop problem-solving skills
Building problem solving skills during the formative years of your kids can be extremely helpful for their lifetime. You can encourage them to play board games, brain games and puzzles. Encourage them to come up with original ideas, while waiting and listening to them patiently.
Improve attention spans
Increasing attention span can play a vital role in the cognitive development in your kids. How much attention your children pay on a task depends on whether they are enjoying it or not. Since kids entering school have to perform more structured, repetitive, and academic tasks such as writing and reading, you need to make their tasks interesting for them.
Improve memory skills
Since memory is a complex process, you can employ a range of strategies to help your kids recall information. You can teach them how to remember the sequence of letters of different words, names of animals using their unique attributes, and names of places with specific landmarks.
As a loving and caring parent, you need to incorporate best practices to nurture and pamper your kids. It is important that from the early stage of their life, you must focus on their physical, emotional and intellectual development.