Child Development and Care
A normal child grows rapidly in size, height and weight. If the child is making progress in what he does with his mind and body, he is said to be developing. Development is therefore an increase in skill and complexity of function.
Examples of development are trying to hold a toy, holding the head up, gaining understanding, being able to use the eyes. Growth and development are related and inseparable. For instance the muscles of the legs have to grow and develop for a child to walk.
The child is helpless. He depends on others (especially the mother) to meet his needs. The care he receives influences his development. He needs love, warmth, good food, clothing, comfort, etc. it is therefore important that you understand how to care for a child.
Some important facts to remember about child development which are also the principles of child development include:
1. Children differ from each other.
2. Children develop at different rates. Some may be fast and others slow.
3. Normal growth follows a define pattern. It is therefore predictable. It should be steady.
4. Development starts from the head and spreads to the other parts of the body. Therefore, a child first gains control of the head before the legs.
5. Development is influenced by heredity and environment. Heredity is the tendency for a parent to transfer his or her characteristics to his or her child for example colour of skin, eyes, etc.
Environment include everything that is outside the child for example the love and care he is receiving, his family, his feeding, toys, home surroundings, etc.
6. Each child requires proper environment for normal development. This includes love, food shelter, etc.