Learning the Four Key Elements of Child Development

Many parents focus on the physical and cognitive aspects of their child’s development. Unfortunately, parents juggling hundreds of responsibilities often overlook emotional and social development. These are vitally important to a child’s growth.

“To ensure well-rounded growth, parents should encourage all four facets of development. This will enable them to create play opportunities and environments where their children can thrive,” said Leslie Minkus, president of KidsDadsMoms.com.

Cognitive Development

Traditionally, this area is one of the two primary focuses of childhood development. This is not hard to understand, as the benefits of healthy cognitive development reach into so many aspects of adult life. This area of development includes creativity, discovery, symbolic thought, problem-solving skills, and reasoning. Cognitive development also involves the ability to focus and control behavior. Language skills fall into this category as well.

Cognitive development can manifest in several ways:

Emotional Development

While emotional development can be difficult to measure, it provides the foundation for mental health and well-being. This includes feelings of happiness, feelings of power over the environment, emotional awareness, emotional strength and stability. Emotional development also includes spontaneity, humor, feeling about self and sensitivity to others.

Emotional development can be observed in several areas:

Social Development

As children learn to play in larger and larger groups, they begin to learn about appropriate behaviors within certain contexts. Learning to interact with peers and authority figures is critical to successful development as well as enabling children to function well in society.

Social development leads to growth in different areas, both in and out of the home:

Physical Development

Physical development is by far the easiest area of development to measure and track. It includes many aspects of health and well-being. Hand-eye coordination, sensory development, control of physical actions, motor skills, dietary habits, and hygiene all figure into healthy physical development.

You will notice physical development by various behaviors:

Cognitive, emotional, physical, social form the crucial aspects of children’s development. Armed with this knowledge, parents can focus their efforts on balanced growth for their child. Since all four facets of development are heavily influenced by a child’s play experiences, structuring playtime for learning plays a vital role in successful development.

Parents, grandparents, teachers and friends interested in mapping a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills can begin their Skills Profile at http://www.KidsDadsMoms.com by clicking “Start Now” and become a member.

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