Important Factors That Influence Child Development

Parents raise their children the way they see fit. Devoted parents know the factors of their development and provide necessary interventions.  As a devoted parent, I  can conclude that there is more to it than parental instinct. By knowing the factors, I can take charge of my child’s development.

Important factors that influence child development:

  • Children’s health and nutrition affects every developmental milestone.  
  • Family and community can help develop their cognitive, emotional and social skills. 
  • Financial situation is also a great influence as it directly affects the other factors.

The development of every child must be everyone’s priority. Every experience during this period  counts. This article can help you understand the factors of child development. Understanding this will allow parents to provide appropriate interventions to avoid life-damaging experiences.

Child Development In Detail 

Child development includes developmental milestones which tells what a child can do at a certain age. It occurs from birth to eighteen years old. Experts prescribed developmental milestones to serve as a checklist for parents. It helps them know if there is something to worry about.

Significant developmental milestones during infancy are making eye contact, rolling over, and sitting. In their toddler years they must be able to hold pencil, read the alphabet,and express themselves. Achievement of more milestones happens while a child is growing up.  It is important to smoothly accomplish them. 

Experts also categorize child development into four categories:

  • Physical development – Refers to body movement and growth. 
  • Intellectual development – Improving concentration, memory, and language. 
  • Emotional development – The ability to identify emotions and empathize.
  • Social development – The capability to make friends.

Accomplishing these developmental milestones at a specific age ensures that a child is on-track. They are also advancing in all the categories of development. This means that the factors that affect a child’s development have a positive impact.  

Health and Nutrition Should Be A Priority 

Nutrition plays an essential role in the development of children.  A healthy diet can enhance physical and mental abilities. Less nutrition can affect a child’s energy and interest to learn. It can also detriment their physical growth, and be underweight, short or malnourished.

Child development starts at the mother’s womb. Poor mother’s nutrition can cause intrauterine growth restriction. It is a condition where the baby is not growing at a normal rate inside the womb. It risks the baby’s health problems and late brain development.

Breastfeeding is a lifesaver for babies. They build the immune system and prevent obesity. It also provides a unique nutrient of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Breastfeeding is the best food for babies in their first six months.

Although breastfeeding is great, it cannot sustain the baby alone. Parents need to have adequate complementary feeding on their sixth month. Complementary feeding is the transition of feeding from exclusive breastfeed to family food. According to WHO, it needs to be timely, adequate, safe and the babies properly fed.

While the children are growing, the need for nourishment increases. It is sometimes a challenge to make them eat healthy, sometimes to even eat. Parents need to be creative to bring these healthy foods not only to the table but also in the children’s body.

Proper Sleep is also very important for a developing child. An adequate amount of sleep can improve mental and physical health. Infants need 12-16 hours of sleep while toddlers need 11-13 hours. As their activity and age increases, they get a lesser amount of required sleep. But, 8 hours of sleep is healthy for everyone. 

Family Is Important For Emotional Development

The first relationship a child has is with its parents. The care and affection they get will be their basis on how they will interact with other people. Parents need to be careful of their actions while their children are growing up.

A good parental relationship has an enormous effect on child development. Being a good parent can be easy if one genuinely cares about their child. The care and affection comes out naturally. Parents always find themselves giving everything they have for their children.

It starts at the time a baby is born. Breastfeeding is painful yet mothers are willing to go through the pain. A small sacrifice gives a lifetime positive impact on the child. Every research proves that it can help children’s cognitive and emotional development.

The children’s needs increase while they are growing up. Parents must attend to their needs. It can increase their sense of security. This is vital in developing their trust to their immediate family and other people. Ability to trust will make a child secure and handle stress better.

Family is the primary social group of a child during its early years. They learn their first words from them. They can walk for the first time because of their support and encouragement. Most importantly, they learn proper values through observing their immediate family.

Formation of values start with family. They learn that every action has consequences. They can also absorb their family’s responses if something goes awry. It is imperative that the immediate family should be good role models.

Family composed of two or more people had greater influence in the child’s development. They teach them how to socialize and prepare them for a bigger environment.

Community Involvement Is Important

Home environments will not be enough for a child as they grow up.They will attend school and explore beyond their homes. Their time outside is another opportunity for them to learn. 

Schools serve as the second home for children. Schools must be a nurturing environment rather than an intimidating one. Children need to be comfortable to take on different learning opportunities and socialize.

The purpose of school is not only to implant knowledge and facts in the child’s brain. School also affects children’s attitude to learning, self-esteem and task orientation. It is where they learn how to collaborate, to think critically and to manage their emotions. Knowledge and skills work together for the children’s development.

Neighborhood plays a big part in child development. It can influence parenting styles, which can affect children. Most parents will not allow their children to play outside if they feel their community is not safe. Being held inside the house can make their social skills suffer.

Additionally, the people children encounter on the daily basis can alter their behavior. They can adopt the habits they always see. Surrounding them with positive influence is very important at this stage.

Having a peaceful and safe neighborhood is a responsibility of every parent. It can only be possible if everyone makes an effort. It will benefit not only their children but their neighborhood as well. 

Financial Situation Is Equally Important

Provision of basic needs is a right of every child.  Unfortunately, it is not possible for everyone.  Many parents struggle to make ends meet. It puts a toll on the development of their children.

Most of the time, parents who have financial struggles have to work harder. This means spending more time working, which sacrifices quality time with their children. Beside sacrificing quality time, these parents are more tired and emotional. Children, as an observer, usually can adapt negative emotional behavior, so one needs to be mindful.

Lack of time is not a reason to let their children always tend to themselves. It might teach them independence, but they might lack positive emotional development. As a child, they need someone who they can confide their troubles and share successes to. Spending an hour with them could make a difference.

The lack of time does not only happen with financially struggling parents. It also happens to parents with high income. The difference is they can buy something or hire someone to substitute for them. Another is their lack of time is more of a choice for them. Some do so to have more time for family at their own pace.

Parent’s responsibilities not only lie to the provision of their children’s basic needs.  It doesn’t end in bringing food to the table.  It is harder for financially struggling parents, but it will be worth every effort.


Child development is not a one-man job. All the factors affecting child development require everybody’s effort and cooperation. However, if there is one policy everybody can do together, it is to be a good role model for every child.

Related Questions 

How important is the government in child development? Government makes and enforces laws to protect the rights of every child. They need to take care of them if their parents are incompetent to raise them. They can also help the economic status of every family and make school be conducive for every child. Most importantly, they can help the community safe and peaceful to live in for the children.

How do digital gadgets affect child development? Many studies prove gadgets can negatively impact child development. One of the most important studies is its effect on brain development. The stage where a child’s brain is still developing. Digital products shown in gadgets are very fast. It does not allow time for the young children to process the information, and focus. It also leaves little to the imagination.

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This article is part of the Child Development series. Check out the guide to become a skillful parent.


child care, Child development, Parenting


Casual writer on engaging education topics.

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