As a child grows from a precocious pre-schooler to a mature adolescent, every aspect of his life goes through significant changes. The development each child goes through between ages 6 to 12 is crucial in shaping him into the young adult he will eventually become.
Each area of development plays a crucial role, whether it’s physical or mental growth, or how your child communicates with the world, or enhances his creativity. And while genetics plays an undeniable role in shaping a child’s development, other factors such as his environment and the nurture that surrounds him also contributes to his overall progress.
The Seven Zones
Keeping track of your children’s overall development is easy when you consider these seven major areas.
- Legs – Their constant and consistent movement represents the rapid physical growth a child undergoes.
- Stomach – Proper nutrition can help boost development.
- Heart – Emotional health means that a child’s needs go beyond just the physical.
- Hands – Development also refers to how a child’s creativity is cultivated.
- Head – As a child goes through pre-school, kindergarten, grade school and so forth, intelligence becomes a good indicator of positive development.
- Mouth – Communication skills signal a child’s aptitude in connecting with others.
- Forehead – This significant time in a child’s life also helps him form ideas and philosophies that become the foundation of his spirituality.
As children grow older, it is essential to note the pace by which they develop and the kinds of activities they partake in. By doing so, parents can have a better understanding on how to enable them to develop their own distinctive qualities and physical abilities.
As kids master their motor skills and develop physically, they begin to harness their own strengths and rally through their weaknesses. It is always important for parents to remember that each child is a unique individual–children develop differently from one another.
Comparing one child’s development to another’s may be a source of insecurity for any child and parents should always take care to support their children as they slowly grow into their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, endurance, balance, and physical tolerance. Making children feel special and loved involves seeing him as a distinct individual with his own unique set of capabilities.
Nature vs. Nurture
As kids continue to progress through their development, it becomes important to encourage the right kind of physical activity. Enhance their abilities by instilling in them the value of movement. Games that involve jumping, throwing and walking help with gross motor skills; while activities such as drawing, writing, zipping and buttoning, or cutting paper can help fine tune their fine motor skills.
To help your child reach his full potential, introducing proper nutrition is also key. Foods that supply energy as well as vitamins and minerals can help keep kids on the go. Exposing them to a variety of healthy foods such as whole grain cereal, at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, a good mix of proteins and adequate water will build the foundation of a well-balanced diet–something they can take with them as they move into adulthood.