When raising children, there are many factors that will affect their growth and development. It is important to understand these factors to help your child achieve a healthy growth and development. Being a teacher, it is a common question that parent will ask. I have done some extensive research and categorized the smaller aspects under three major factors to bear in mind.
Factors affecting growth and development of a child:
- Environmental factors
- Biological factors
- Interpersonal relationships
Below, I will talk in detail on the three major factors affecting growth and development of a child. Being aware of these factors and their smaller aspects can guide you to better nurture your child’s growth and development.
1) Environmental Factors
Environmental factors refer to the external conditions that affects your child’s growth and development. As a parent, there has never been a better time to identify and provide the ideal external conditions for your child.
Housing can significantly determine your child’s ability to achieve healthy growth and development. When it comes to housing, it’s advisable to analyze the following factors and tweak them to provide optimal results on your child’s behalf.
Is there enough space to play and explore?
Achieving healthy growth and development goes way beyond studying various subjects in schools. It demands providing ample opportunities for your child to play and interact with their friends. Play is not only fun but crucial in achieving healthy growth and development.
According to seasoned scientists, play improves memory, learning and intelligence which makes it much easier to recall studied concepts either at home or school. Also, play stimulates creative thinking and promotes balanced acquisition of visual spatial skills and communication. So, the next time you find your child playing with their friends, avoid scolding or grounding them as a form of punishment.
Importantly, it’s in your best interest to ensure that your housing premises are safe from hazardous contaminants, such as lead. Such hazards are not only fatal but also contribute to loss of appetite, weight loss, constipation and nausea.
The benefits of having a stable stream of income for raising a child cannot be stressed enough. It’s abundantly clear that children have varied needs that ought to be met to ensure that they achieve healthy growth and development. Having adequate income to meet basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing are important.
Does your child receive enough nutrition?
Providing your child with enough nutritional requirements brings you much closer to attaining healthy growth and development. That means providing them with a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. However, you might want to ascertain whether your child is allergic to certain foods to ensure their safety.
Good nutrition offers a multitude of benefits such as improved brain development through vitamins A, B and C. Providing good nutrition also stimulates optimal growth through calcium absorption proven to aid in optimal skeletal and muscle growth. In short, good nutrition offers unlimited benefits for your child’s growth and development and shouldn’t be substituted for anything else.
Is your family financially stable or experiencing a high debt load?
Financial stability doesn’t just influence your personal emotional stability and productivity, but your child’s as well. Based on proven findings, children from financially stable families are more likely to attain healthy growth and development, as compared to children from less privileged families. This sharp contrast also sheds valuable insight on their subsequent performance in school.
Children from financially stable families are in a unique position to achieve healthy growth compared to their needy counterparts. Such children have vast resources at their disposal and lack any stress that might affect their development. On the other hand, children from less privileged families must put up with the occasional financial challenges meaning that certain needs might not be met. For example, meals might be skipped regularly. This situation causes the child to miss the much-needed nutrients for cognitive and physical growth.
To ensure that your child doesn’t fall victim to malnutrition and stunted growth, you might want to prioritize financial stability. It’s essential to consider your family financially situation to safeguard your child’s development.
Education standards play a vital role in influencing your child’s growth and development. From an early age, it’s advisable to cultivate a reading habit in your child to psychologically prepare them for the life that awaits them. By implementing such a guideline, your child’s memory retention and understanding will be much advanced compared to their peers in school.
Families that encourage literacy development from an early age are more likely to have smarter children when compared to families that don’t practice this rule. By exposing your child to a reading habit from a young age, they will be in a unique position to grasp concepts taught in school and exhibit exceptional critical thinking skills.
2) Biological Factors
As the name suggests, biological factors refer to hormone levels, brain chemistry and genetic influences that determine your child’s growth and development. As a parent, it’s your vested duty to understand how each biological factor is crucial in your child’s growth.
The general healthcare offered pre and post conception will dictate your child’s development into adulthood.
Was your child born prematurely or with a healthy birth weight?
Your child’s weight post birth is a serious matter that deserves your attention. Being born large or relatively small is linked to contraction of chronic diseases and obesity. That means your child could be exposed to adverse health consequences that can derail any meaningful growth and development. For instance, obesity is attributed to the contraction of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. To aggravate the situation, your child is also exposed to decreased brain development that hinders effective understanding and memory retention.
Mental health is a crucial pointer that’s often overlooked when evaluating a child’s proper growth and development. Over-emphasizing on physical aspects of growth won’t yield excellent results when mental health remains an overlooked consideration. Here’s how you should navigate mental health with proficiency.
Does your child have a nurturing environment?
Providing your child with a nurturing environment is a prerequisite to ensuring optimal growth and development. It is essential to create an ideal living environment characterized by love and support in the pursuit of your child’s personal interests and skills. When your child exhibits interest in a hobby, don’t hesitate to support them. Your support is vital in nurturing an affectionate bond that can propel your child to healthy growth.
How was the mother’s prenatal and post-natal mental health?
Evaluating your child’s maternal mental health offers a unique insight into your child’s capacity to achieve healthy growth and development. Based on proven research, mothers afforded with high-quality mental healthcare prenatal and post-natal are more likely to raise healthy children. This is attributed to the constant provision of balanced nutrition and counselling by seasoned therapists. On the other hand, nutrition and counselling deprived mothers stand a unique position to contract depression and anxiety. Such conditions can be genetically transferred to the child in the absence of prompt medical assistance.
The health practices adopted by your family spell a distinct role in shaping your child’s growth and development. These health practices often revolve around daily habits both at home and school.
Does your child have a regular sleeping, eating and playing habit?
Introducing your child to a specified playing, eating and sleeping habit is crucial in ensuring optimal growth. These habits must be introduced at an early age to ensure consistent growth and development. Eight hours of sleep daily and a four-meal plan should be enough to help your child realize optimal growth.
Are there parenting classes that provide information on sleeping activity and nutrition?
The availability of parenting classes is an added benefit to you especially when you’re navigating the challenges of raising a child. When you consult parenting experts, you will be in a unique position to understand the do’s and don’ts of developing an ideal nutrition guide.
3) Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal relationships primarily delve on shedding insight into your child’s relationship with their peers and adults. As a responsible parent, it’s in your best interest to ensure that your child develops excellent relationships with their peers and other adults.
Does your family have extended social networks that they belong to?
The presence of social networks in your family can yield more benefits than you can imagine. Apart from eliciting mentally stimulating discussions, your family’s social networks can boost your child’s eloquence and confidence when addressing crowds. This makes it much easier to comprehend learned concepts in school and offer ideal responses to various questions raised.
Is your child responsive to a specific parenting style?
Every child is unique in their own way and as a parent; it’s in your best interest to understand your child’s preferred parenting style. Often, children thrive when raised in an authoritative parenting style. When you adopt this style of parenting, your child is more inclined to comply with strict discipline and obtain the anticipated rewards.
The factors affecting your child’s growth and development can be broken down into many smaller aspects to take note. Each factor must be understood and taken into consideration. Together, your awareness and actions to provide the most ideal factors for your child, will determine their eventual growth and development.
Are there additional factors affecting growth and development? There are other factors specific to your current living environments that can affect growth and development.
Can the factors be improved to encourage growth? The factors discussed are flexible enough to be improved from an under-performing setting to a thriving one. For instance, a malnourished child can be provided with balanced nutrition to improve their growth and development.
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