That is one question many parents should ask themselves all the time. Parents have the most influence on their child’s development, but sometimes they don’t know what to do. In order to know how you can help your child, first you need to know what areas are involved in their development. Let’s review 4 major areas.
Motor Development – A motor skill is a learned sequence of movements that combined, produce a smooth, efficient action in order to master a particular task. Motor skills can be divided in two areas: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills include the use of large muscles such as arms and legs. Gross motor skills make you move in different positions such as lifting the head, rolling over, sitting up, balancing, crawling, walking and jumping. It usually develops from top to bottom. Fine motor skills include the use of smaller muscles to manipulate small objects, transfer objects from hand to hand, and other various hand-eye coordination tasks. Fine motor skills may involve the use of very precise motor movement in order to achieve an especially delicate task to do something. Some examples of fine motor skills are using the pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger), picking up small objects, cutting, coloring, writing, or threading beads.
Cognitive Development – This is the are that develops the ability to learn new knowledge and to process, understand, and apply this knowledge to different ends. Developing this area helps a child improve his/her capacity for mental activities such as reasoning, interpreting, comparing and contrasting, evaluating, judging, inferring, predicting, sequencing, and visualizing. It also helps children master specific content knowledge relating to vocabulary, mathematics, and science.
Social-Emotional Development – This is the development of skills relating to how one interacts with other people and how one behaves oneself. The capacity for empathy, the understanding of social rules, and friendships are some of the skills a child will learn to master as they grow.
Communication Development – This is a process starting early in human life, when a person begins to acquire language by learning it as it is spoken or signed. Children’s language development moves from simple to complex. Infants start communicating by crying but as the child gets older, new meanings and new associations are created and vocabulary increases as more words are learned.
Next time I’ll share specific ideas that parents can do to help their children in each one of these areas!
Did you learn something new today? Let us know!