While the sequence of development of the child is determined, the rate or speed of development varies. There are several child development factors that influence a child’s development and parents should be able to understand this. Here are factors that can affect the speed of child development:
First, the Personal factors. This is predetermined by the biological composition of you and your wife’s genes. This influences the development and the workings of the brain. In turn, it influences the child’s personality. It will also have an impact on the health and the potential health risks that your child will possibly have. Though this is biological it will further be influenced by environmental and social factors.
The Genes is what the kids get from their mom and dad (and from the clan) physical attributes. This includes genetic problems such as illnesses like congenital heart or Down’s syndrome. When the child has this, it will hamper his/her ability to memorize, perceive things, learn speech and comprehension. It will also affect the child’s physical growth. If your child has been afflicted with these disabilities, then extra support will be needed. But be careful for overbearing presence as you would also need to develop a sense of independence for them. Parents of children with a disability need extra patience and will have to take on a strong voice as bullying still continues especially in schools where ‘uniformity’ and conformity is the norm. Children tend to bully those who are different and that is why schools and carers should be able to determine if a child is being bullied.
Health problems are also personal factors that influences cognitive skills and ability to grow laterally. Take for example, asthma. When a child has asthma then it would affect and hampers physical activities. The child with asthma will have difficulty in taking part some very active and strenuous physical activities such as running. But there are also cases of children who were able to overcome asthma by taking active sports.
Health problems of the child, aside from genetic factor is the state of health of the mother while pregnant. It might cause premature birth and weight that is below the average or normal. In some cases this may also lead to slower rate of development. Sight and hearing of the child can also be affected. Parents have to adjust in the physical activities and the communication with children with such a disability. But do not make them feel so different nor make them feel you pity them. Do not play favorites and still challenge your child to act normal by letting them socialize.
Learning difficulties also influences child’s growth and development. Children diagnosed having problems with cognition and physical skills will be needing social support in several areas of development. Children who are still forming their concept of Self and self-esteem might become insecure due to their inability to do some simple numeracy or reading exercise. So it is best that the parent and carer will be very attentive and patient with the child.
The child who has language or communication difficulties will have difficulty in socializing for fear of being seen as “different” or worse, be bullied. Encourage them to talk even it sounds unintelligible at first. Let them express themselves. Also for schools, carers and teachers are now encouraged to teach other children to be more accepting of other kids considered as different from the normal. Mainstreaming children with disability in a normal school environment is also considered helpful for their socialization. If language is quite difficult, as a parent you can also try performance arts or other artistic as a medium for them to express their selves.
As parents, you have to realize that socialization is crucial for self- confidence and self-worth of the child. It is through this that your child will be able to develop communication, negotiation and other life skills.