What Is Childhood Development?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2018
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Childhood development refers to the various changes that occur in human beings from birth until they reach maturity. Observations in this analysis track the various aspects of development including the physical growth that occurs in the body, the mental growth as the child starts to develop and exercise cognitive skills, and the emotional development of the child, which is tied to the child’s social skills and ability to interact effectively with other members of the society. The period of childhood development is a crucial one, because it is a period when the child attains the physical, social and mental foundation for the adult that he or she will become. Such a period consequently calls for careful nurturing of the child in both physical and mental capacities since deficiencies or damages that occur at this stage can have an effect that follows the child into adulthood, as in the case of abuse and nutritional deficiencies.


One of the factors of childhood development is the physical development, which is measured by the increase in the size of the child's body and the development of the various organs in keeping with normal biological milestones. The exact rate of this growth is subject to several factors that include the availability or lack of good nutrition as well as genetics. These factors help determine the exact rate at which the child will develop, meaning that even though there are guiding milestones that can be used to measure the rate of development, such milestones are mostly general and vary from one individual to the next. Children who come from families with certain physical characteristics will develop at a rate that is consistent with the genetic traits inherent in that lineage. Some children are also generally slower in reaching their childhood development milestones than others basically as a consequence of their own unique biological and mental makeup.

The development of the motor skills, mental facilities and social skills are also gradual processes that occur during childhood development. Children learn how to interact with other people at this stage. They mainly learn from observing other people, in addition to any targeted social skills that are taught to them. At this stage, a child also tempers the ability to socialize with others with inherent characteristics, such as whether the child is an introvert or has a more outgoing personality.



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