Intellectual development is a vital component, most strongly reflected in analytical skills and cognitive abilities. During childhood, memory and thinking are developing rapidly, gradually dealing with more complex mental tasks. Investing in memory and logic during the early years will improve literacy, academic performance and analytical skills. Early science education and rigorous math and grammar studies can play a vital role in intellectual growth.
Physical development is perhaps the most noticeable facet of growing up, but there is much that is easy to miss. Much of the physical changes that occur during development are preceded by invisible internal changes. Adapting to being taller, heavier, older stresses the body physically and the hormonal changes that come with growth cycles can be mentally taxing. Ensuring a healthy amount of sleep and proper nutrition can alleviate many of the needs of a growing body and help your child stay active and focused.
As children grow up, they live with the constant struggle of being treated as more and more adult. No easy feat for a toddler – babies hardly have to share, and that was only last year – and now you’ve got to play nice with other kids? Balancing personal needs – and wants – against the realities of nature and society isn’t always easy for adults, and it’s quite a challenge for a child. Nevertheless, we must prepare for harsh realities of loss, and failure, and disappointment. Help your child through difficult moments – talk to them and encourage them to think through these experiences. Inevitably, life will have some bad surprises, but we can learn to be more persistent or more positive just the same as we can learn to swim or ride a bike.
Beginning with the family, children grow constantly more aware of the individuals that surround them – society. Parents, siblings, teachers and peers present an ever-growing community to the young mind. As children try to fit all these individuals into an organised and accurate representation of our complex society, there will be challenges as unique as the individuals we are. While role-play and social games are an easy start, part of social development is understanding that society is something we are always part of and that it has its own rules, which are for everyone.