Understanding child development helps fathers, mothers and caregivers to better accompany their children, in addition to knowing the right stimuli for each need of childhood.
Child development can seem like a great mystery or misty field to many fathers, mothers and caregivers. The reason is that children often develop differently and do different things to each other. Comparisons, doubts, and even a little guilt begin to emerge.
But take it easy: having children is an eternal learning experience and is not the same for everyone. The idea of this post is, precisely, to help you to better understand the phases that your child will develop during early childhood. In addition, we will show you tips of stimulation that can be practiced at home.
Are you curious and want to learn more about your child’s development? Then, let’s go to the post!
The development in childhood and its stages
Children’s development has been studied for many years by different doctors, scientists and researchers. The main discovery is that early childhood, a stage that comprises the first 5 years of age, is very important and determining for the rest of life.
This means that actions at this time have lasting effects and interfere in the behavior and learning of the child.
Another interesting point discovered is that child development is not linear. This means that there is a pattern perceived among children, but that it does not always happen in the same way. So there is no rule.
Between us, that’s a relief, isn’t it? Knowing that your child can have freedom to develop without being compared with other children!
But don’t feel bad if you hear comparisons or even make some. This process is natural for us. It is even one of the ways children themselves have to learn, and it stays with us until the end. Instead of misunderstandings and guilt, exchange information with the pediatrician and other fathers, mothers and caregivers.
Say what you already know – which you don’t have to compare, because each child develops in a way – and comfort your child by supporting him or her to continue growing healthy. In addition, each area of child development has its own timeline and is influenced by several factors, such as experience, stimulation and maturation of your child.
Physical development is an area that encompasses both the growth of the child’s body and the way it moves and performs actions such as kicking. This is a gradual process, which involves the nervous system and muscles. Therefore, both sectors are gradually developed from the uterus.
Some of the characteristics of physical development, separated by ages, are:
- Newborns: strengthening of muscles and nervous system with sudden, disorderly and random movements, such as involuntary kicks and agitated movements with the arms;
- between 6 and 12 months: the baby can already sit without support and tries to stand up without help, testing its own balance. At around 8 months, he can already start crawling, and at 9 months, he can walk holding the furniture;
- between 1 and 2 years: probably already walking, but his total control over walking, running and jumping will only be from 16 months onwards;
- between 2 and 3 years: he has a better coordinated balance, already jumping and jumping with more safety. Also, he has better motor coordination, holding better objects like a crayon or cutlery;
- between 3 and 4 years old: has greater hygienic independence, controlling his physiological needs, manages to have some independence with food and clothes, trying to dress himself;
- between 4 and 5 years old: fast muscle development and great motor activity. The child has a lot of energy and likes activities that stimulate him/her physically. In addition, he has more control over his movements and can brush his teeth, shower and dress with less help.
The cognition is the ability to receive information and “sting” it into even smaller ones so that the child can perceive, understand, respond and integrate with the environment and its stimuli. For example, when the baby is in the room playing on the floor and with the TV on, as soon as he hears his mother’s voice, he turns to her.
In addition to having some motor skills, the child needs cognition to distinguish hearing from different sounds (TV and mother’s voice) and to understand which direction to turn his attention to, by not looking at toys and paying attention to his mother.
In turn, this same ability will help your child to understand the school subject, obey the school rules and live with little ones. Thus, we can say that cognition is a group of mental processes that encompasses:
- abstract thinking;
- problem solving;
Have you noticed how your child needs all this to experience the world and understand it? No wonder that cognitive development is so important!
Even before pronouncing the first word, your child’s linguistic development was already receiving stimuli. From the belly, the child can already hear sounds, conversations from the mother and from those who approach the belly. At birth, this learning and stimulus continues with the conversations she hears.
Your child, right in the first weeks, will already learn what one shouted word and another whispered word means. You will notice that there are different reactions to different sounds, words and ways of speaking. Even so, you will notice that he will also try to communicate like this, with screams, cries and, after a while, babbling.
The evolution of speech, for those who observe the child growing up, is something incredible indeed. In a matter of months, the cries will be replaced by small words, then by terms and phrases. After other months, already around 3 years, vivid conversations can be developed with him. But the stimuli should not stop, because the language is diverse:
Your child can still:
- learn different languages;
- learn to write and read the language he already speaks;
- learn the grammar of the language you speak;
- learn sign language;
- create their own stories by writing them.
The socio-affective development is the area that involves the way your child socializes, besides the way you deal with your own emotions. You can notice that, at the beginning of life, basically, emotions are expressed by crying, even when of happiness, when seeing mommy or daddy back from work.
It’s a mixture of emotions that involve “woe to you” with “how great you’ve arrived”. The way to express these feelings ends up coming through a cry, but they can also come with the agitation of the little legs and arms. There are still those who react to emotional changes with fevers.
The development of safe attachment, self-awareness, independence, empathy and self-regulation (the management of one’s own emotions) is also part of the socio-affective child development.
Over the years, you will even notice that language will come into action, as well as cognition. Your child will express in words what you feel and will also understand the emotions of those around you. This is one of the reasons why the first experiences are so important.