Development is what happens to every individual at every stage of his or her lives. Developing something means to learn different skills, physical aspects and involves gaining control of the body. For example, a baby will develop physically because it is still going to grow, which means the body will still be changing. Another example is if an older person is learning a new skill, like how to use a computer. That person’s computer skills are developing as he/she is learning a new skill and is gaining control over it physically and mentally. When you are developing, you are learning and growing into a better person than what you are now. You begin to understand more than what you already know. This means your body is changing and has to retain a lot more information every time you develop.
Therefore, a developmental milestone is what the average child does at each stage of their development. It is a basic functional skill or age specific task that most children develop at a certain age range. When the baby is new born, for the first few years of the baby’s life, he or she visits a paediatrician for regular check-ups. The paediatrician checks how the baby is developing using milestones. Although there is a specific age for when the child is expected to meet each milestone, this is not always the case. Every child is unique and therefore each child develops and reaches its milestones at different ages. The level of age that a child should reach each milestone is just an average estimate. There could be a number of different reasons as to why a child is not reaching the milestones are the expected ages, some of these reasons could include:
* Genetic factors – a child inheriting the parents genes, * Parent involvement – the amount of time the parents have for their children, to encourage their children’s development, * Health implications,
* Environmental factors – the quality of the child’s home and area.
Growth is different to development. Growth is being able to grow into a bigger person. The growth process not only involves a child’s height and weight, it also involves the growth of their teeth, when a child gains teeth, they then fall out and gain new teeth. For a teenager it involves starting puberty and for any person it involves the growth of hair and nails. All these different growth processes occur as the body matures. Although growth and development have different meanings, they are closely linked. They usually follow the same pattern, although sometimes this is not the case. For example, if there is something wrong with the child or they have a disability, this could be because they are still growing but not developing.
There are different factors that could influence a child’s growth and some of these include:
* Genetic factors – inheriting the parents genes
* Environmental factors – e.g. living in cramped spaces could lead to poor growth. * Financial factors – e.g. the child’s parents may not be able to afford new shoes for their child, therefore if the child continues to wear the same small shoes, their feet will not grow properly. * Emotional factors – e.g. if the child is emotionally stressed and upset, they may not eat very well or lack sleep, preventing them to grow. * Intellectual factors – e.g. the child not having the knowledge to know what is a healthy diet. Therefore, if the child eats a lot of junk food instead of fresh foods it could prevent a healthy growth. * Physical factors – e.g. having a problem or condition, which affects a child’s growth.
Growth and development is very important, especially throughout a child’s childhood. This is because at these early stages of their lives, they develop and learn the most. It is important for a child to have the right foundation of growth and development...