5 Things to Remember About Your Child's Development

Children seem to grow up faster than we can blink. They look like they’re rushing through life, constantly
developing and getting better, and while it’s a joy to see them learning so quickly, it can also be a little
overwhelming. For first-time parents, there’s a lot to think about and you’re not always sure what to
expect. Luckily, years of research and experience have piled up, and now you’ve got science to back you
up. We know what to anticipate and what things we can do to help our kids along, and we’re here to
share. If you’re interested in what you can do to make sure your child grows up healthy, here are five
tips to help you out.

Learn to deal with stress for their sake

Studies show that children respond to stress even in infancy, and prolonged exposure to tense,
overwhelming situations can impact their development. They don’t need to be the target of that stress
either—simply the fact that it’s happening in their family (and particularly if it’s happening to the
mother) can lead to slower growth and physical and mental impairments in the future. However, it’s not
merely the presence of tension that you need to worry about. After all, life is taxing and there’s no way
to avoid the fact that bad things will sometimes happen, but the way we deal with them is what makes
all the difference. Putting your child first is a very natural response, but if you end up damaging your
own mental health or neglecting things around you in the process, you’re not really doing them any
favours. Create a safe, loving environment by taking care of your own needs and learning a few stress-
management techniques.

Encourage learning through play

Allowing play time is not just about entertainment. There’s an interesting Chinese study about the value
of pre-academic activities and play time in kids 2-4 years of age. It basically shows that children of
mothers who put value in both things and allow them in equal measure end up with better cognitive
and socio-emotional development than children who were only encouraged to focus on traditional
learning methods. Finding a good playgroup in Hong Kong is not just the matter of fun for these
mothers—it’s all about providing kids with a safe environment in which they can develop their skills
through games, adventures, and exploration. A lot of us can actually learn from this example because
playing is absolutely crucial. Allowing them to go outside and indulge in play activities will help them
develop their motor and logic skills, and encouraging them to find friends and share their toys will teach
them how to socialize from an early age.

Let them learn things on their own

There’s a lot more going on with your child’s brain in their infancy than you might think, so it’s not a
great idea to “save learning for later on.” This is when a large portion of their ability to see, hear, and
feel things develops, and providing them with chances to crawl around the house and explore things in a
safe way is a much better way for them to learn and grow than being constantly overprotective. When
your child grows up a little, it’s equally important to allow them a certain measure of
independence—helicopter parenting is very harmful in the long run, so allow your offspring a chance to
learn and develop at a steady pace.

It takes a village to raise a child

Other family members, teachers, and even doctors are an important aspect of our kids’ lives, and you
shouldn’t be the only figure they can rely on. While parents are the most important, influential people
for them, close relationships with other responsible caregivers can promote emotional development and
give your child a better environment in which to thrive. Encourage them to nurture their bonds with
grandparents and cousins, and don’t be jealous of their time and affection. Being exposed to influences
from their peers isn’t a bad thing at all.

Healthy habits are learned early on

The most interesting thing about our children is that they learn a lot more from the things we do, rather
than the things we say. Most parents do make an attempt to teach them some good habits from early
on, but unless they engage in those same habits themselves, it’s likely that the kid will rebel. You can’t
expect them to eat their broccoli and rice while you yourself are wolfing down a whole pizza and living
on a diet of coffee and takeout every day. The same thing goes when it comes to physical activity—if
you want them to be into sports and avoid childhood obesity and diabetes, then make sure to become
an active person yourself.

Patience, nurture, and a safe environment in which they can thrive are the essentials of healthy growth
and development. Provide your children with love, lead by example, and make sure the whole family is
given all they need, including yourself.

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