Childrens Development-Why It Should Be Seen A Holistic Process
Childrens development can be seen as a holistic process. It should not be boxed off into separate areas such as nutrition, health, emotions, schooling, religious beliefs and so on. Children are like sponges ready to absorb information, behaviour patterns and need stimuli to encourage their best development from the earliest moment possible.
Like a grown up each child has their own character, preferred ways of learning, favourite colours, people and so on. A child’s development can be designed around the individual child’s needs. It is a wonderful thing if adults who spend time with children can release themselves from their grown up personality and try to enjoy moments with their child from a child’s fun and innocent perspective. This way a child can learn to develop in a healthy way and be less restricted by grown up conditioning and thought processes.
When a child is conceived development starts which affects their body, brain and overall chemistry of the child. When born the first 8 years of a child’s life lays the foundations.
It has been demonstrated by developmental psychologists that it is at this stage that a child develops all of their basic brain and physiological structures. All of their later learning and growth are dependent on these.
Nurturing holistically across all levels and being pro-active and having fun in your own child’s development can make a big difference to your child.
The stages of child development can be broken up as follows:
Pre natal and birth – this is the time where the attention is focused on the mother through maternal and child health care.
Infancy to 18 months – during this time much attention needs to be put on the nutrition and health, to include breast feeding where possible. The infant should be attached to the primary caregiver, ideally the mother, as much as possible. Sensory learning is also a focus and the infant should be learning visual and auditory skills as well as some control of physical actions.
18 months to 36 months (toddler to post toddler) - now nutrition is of critical importance. The child will be learning social skills quickly, co-ordination, the ability to think and language skills.
3 to 5 (maybe 6 yrs) (pre-school)- socialisation is now especially important and the child is preparing for school. From 4 yrs onwards the child is more than likely in pre-schools and younger children could be in creches. Nutrition continues also to be central.
5/6 to 8 yrs ( early primary school) – the child is now going through a transition period to the bigger world and school. Depending on the child this can be a difficult period or quite easy. In both there is the need for ongoing holistic attention.