The relationship that you have with your child throughout the early stages of development is crucial. All areas of development are linked and just as significant so it’s important that they are all nurtured effectively in a challenging environment so that your child grows and develops to the best of their ability. We should encourage children to learn, focus and increase their self-esteem and confidence. Ultimately, a child’s experience throughout this period of growth and how parents respond to this will shape how they perceive the world. We have devised a blog on how to you can prepare your child for their future adventures based around ‘The Big 6’ in other words: physical, mental, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual development.
This can be done through fine motor skills by encouraging the development of hand-eye coordination. You can give this a creative aspect through fun activities like crafts, building blocks, sand and water or even do some cooking and let your child decorate the cakes. You can help a child to develop independently by asking them ‘How can we play with this?’ to encourage further development. Gross motor skills are also needed for children to engage in other creative activities such as dance and sports and even going to the toilet independently; as this involves large body movements like crawling, walking, pushing etc.
Mental development is a very important aspect of your child’s growth, beginning from birth but everchanging. Mental development will include making observations which can be done through observing anothers behaviour. Using their imagination can be done through the opportunity of creative play. This also develops through problem solving. So, how does mental development actually link to physical development? If your child is given a puzzle, this will not only help their fine motor skills to develop but also enable them to develop mentally.
Children often develop emotionally through exposure to various different feelings, language and coping mechanisms which is often experienced through parental reactions. Children soon develop through this exposure and become much more self-aware.
Children develop socially through their interactions with those around them which also helps their communication and language skills to develop. This helps them in many ways like resolving conflicts, interpersonal skills, establishing a positive attitude and self-esteem. As a parent, you should enable your child to explore independently but also be responsive to your child’s needs by playing with them through a ‘peer’ approach so that this encourages active and cooperative play.
Culture is something that massively influences how we parent our children (whether we realise it or not) making culture a huge factor of child development. This will shape their experiences in the future. You should ensure that your child is open to different cultures and experiences, encourage them to talk about their way of life or traditions with friends so that they develop with confidence knowing that people have cultural differences but are confident with informing those around them.
To help your child to develop spiritually, you should introduce this early on by clarifying your own beliefs and having open discussions with your child about the world around them and different beliefs. As they develop, they will start to ask questions, it’s important to have the conversation but don’t pretend to have all of the answers. Tell them stories and build on family tradition to help them build their own sense of identity independently.