When a child laughs the whole world also laughs. Child of today is the future of tomorrow for the country. The development of the country depends on the development of child. Hence, child development is a crucial part of development of country. To develop a country or nation there should be major steps to be taken by the country which can not be ignored or underestimated.
According to Cambridge dictionary the term development means “The process in which someone or something grows or changes and becomes more advanced.” So, child development signifies the meaning that a process by which a child grows in different aspects such as mental, physical, biological, social, emotional, educational etc.
Development of child in different aspects make child more advanced. Child development covers the full scope of skills that a child masters over their lifespan including development in cognition, social interaction and emotional regulation, speech and language, physical skills, sensory awareness.
‘Child development‘ deals with the fundamentals of development of the children. It involves the physical, psychological and emotional development of the children. Moreover it is the study of the patterns of growth, change and stability that occurs from conception through adolescence period of a child.
Every child has its own specialty and uniqueness according to its own way. Even though, if a twin have same physical appearance but they are different in terms of development, personality, behaviour, character, mental ability, IQ etc.
In a human’s life, Childhood is a vital stage where the child builds up his foundation for his life later on. At the same time, his cognitive development also takes place where his memory, understanding, experience and knowledge gets accumulated.
Principles of Child Development :
There are 12 principles that characterizes the pattern and process of growth and development. These principles describe typical development as a predictable and orderly process.
(1)Development is followed by a sequence :
Each child has a different rate of developmental process. But the development of all human beings follows a similar pattern, similar sequence or direction. There are 2 stages of sequential pattern.
At the 1st stage, the child gains control over the head, then the arms and then the legs. Within the first two months after the birth, the child gains control over head and face movements.
In the 2nd stage, after few months of birth the child able to lift themselves up by using their arms. And by 6 to 12 months of age, the child gain leg control and may be able to crawl, stand or walk a few.
(2)Development is a Continuous Process :
Development doesn’t occur in fountain, it continues from the moment of conception until the individual reaches maturity. It takes place at a slow regular pace rather than by leaps and bounds. Although, development is a continuous process yet the tempo of growth is not even, during infancy and early years growth moves swiftly and later it slackens.
(3)Development Involves Change :
Human being is never static. From the moment of conception to the time of death, a person undergoes changes. In the major changes, it includes ,change in size and proportions, acquisition of new mental, motor and behavioral skills.
(4)Development is Correlated and Integrated :
All type of development such as physical, mental, social and emotional is related to one another. Child who is physically healthy is likely to have superior sociability and emotional ability. The child develops as a unified whole. Each area of development is dependent on the other that is why influence one another.
(5)Development Proceeds Stage by Stage :
The development takes place in different stages and each stage has its own unique characteristics which are as follows ;
There are individual differences in the rate of growth and development. So the age limit for different stages should be regarded as just approximately. All children pass through these stages of development at the age level suggested for them. Speech gradually develops from, babbling, monosyllabic sounds to complete sentence formation.
(6)Development Proceed from General to Specific :
In every stages just from prenatal development to postnatal life, the child’s response are from general to specific. General activity proceed to specific activity means the infant is able to grasp an object with the whole hand just after the birth before using only the thumb and forefinger. The infant’s motor movements are very generalised, undirected and reflexive, waving arms or kicking before being able to reach or creep towards an object.
(7)Development of Individuality :
Interaction between heredity and environment influences lead to individual differences in the social and mental development of a child. These differences are caused by the genes one inherits and the environmental conditions like food, medical facilities, psychological conditions and learning opportunities.
(8)Early Development is more Important than the Later Development :
Early development includes nutritional, emotional, social and cultural experiences within it. So, it have more impact on the child developmental process.
(9)Development Occurs at Different Rates for Different Parts of the Body :
The development of different physical and mental traits is continuous but all parts of the body don’t grow at the same time rate. In some parts of the body, growth may be rapid while in others, growth will be slow.
For example, brain attends its full maturity at the age of 6 to 8 years but feet, hands and nose reach their maximum size in early adolescence, whereas some internal parts like heart, liver and digestive system grows during adolescence also.
(10)Development is Predictable :
It is possible for us to predict at an early age the range within which the mature development of the child is likely to fall. However, the mental development can not be predicted with the same degree of accuracy.
(11)Fractional Reinforcement Theory :
This theory formulated by NE Miller and J Dollard is given in 1941.According to this theory, people learn by watching what others do. By initiating the observed actions. The individual learns the action. Positive reinforcement is provided to children so that they repeat the expected behavior. Reinforcement and punishment have effects on both behavior and learning.
(12)Development do not Proceeds at the Same Pace for all(Theory of Maturation) :
This theory was formed by Gesell and according to this theory, children go through similar stages of growth, although each child may move through these stages at their own rate. For example, all children learn to walk around the same age but some may learn faster and some take more time than the others.
FACTORS INFLUENCING CHILD DEVELOPMENT :
Child development is an ongoing process from birth to reaching adulthood and typically follow a pattern and a sequence which means that each step takes place at a certain age and in most of the similar cases. There are two huge factors that influences the development of children. They are discussed as below :-
I.EXTERNAL FACTORS :-
The External factors that influence Child development include family, physical environment and socio- economic conditions.
Family is important to every child to become a good person internally. It place a major role to shape of a child. An unconditional bond between the parent and child improves proper development to a child. A bigger family tents to give moral values and education as well as support to a child.
Meanwhile a small family makes the child to be independent through himself or herself. Children learn disabilities while going through a awful environment, broken families or stressful families. Their social and emotional, social development is affected much negatively through going these hateful conditions.
2.PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT –
The mental, emotional and physical development of a child are also affected by the environment in which the child grows up. The physical environment is controls with one factors included POLLUTION, over crowding, the quality of housing and neighborhood, noise level.
These factors play a significant role in children development. These qualities affects the mental and physical condition of a child. Pollution level affects the health of a children through externally.
The crowded place make the parents lass responsible and less productive to the needs of the children. Housing quality and the neighborhood in which the child grows up shapes the behaviour of a child.
3.SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS –
This is the external factor which include the social and economic condition through which a child is growing up. A well do family does a lot to the child to gather new and good experiences. So these families send their children to private schools, inculcate hobbies and to go to vacations. These things further increases the cognitive social, physical skills of a child.
The children who come from less fortunate background are dragged to face many problems including ill health, depression, stress or lack of motivation needing to improper physical cognitive and social development.
(II)INTERNAL FACTORS :-
Internal factors are depended upon the psychological and physical strength of parents. Internal factors influence the child development including heredity, physical, intelligence and emotion.
1.HEREDITY FACTOR –
The internal factor of children is basically dependent upon the genetic factors or heredity factor of parents. The height, weight or body building of a child is mainly depends upon heredity factor. It refers that the genetic materials have to operate throughout entire period of growth.
The rate of growth of early maturity or late maturity is influenced by heredity. The genetic factors mainly plays a leading part in the differences between male and female pattern of growth.
2.PHYSICAL FACTORS –
Physical factors operates or influences different aspect of child development in different ways. Sometimes the physical factor influences the development of child are easy to control. Good nutrition helps the child to develop in more adequate manner because it influences the bones, internal organs and muscles. Consistent physical activities are able to do more to minimize the risk for obesity and enhances muscle growth.
It has been observed that the intelligence can affect the physical development. It has been seen that the children who are intelligent grow fast physically and the children who have low intelligence succeed their development task at a slow speed.
Intelligence minimize or maximize the thought process, thinking of more creative and a retention of information thereby affecting the academic achievement of a child.
4.EMOTIONAL FACTORS –
The social, mental, physical and moral levels of a child is affected by emotional factors. The emotional factors also affect the language development. Balanced emotional development of a child helps to reciprocate feelings that are appropriate for one’s age. Children having more easy growing nature tend to have an easier time learning to regulate their emotions as well as respond to other people’s emotions more positively.