Family and raising children

10 important factors that affect the growth and development of a child

10 important factors that affect the growth and development of a child

In this article

  • How is growth and development defined?
  • 10 factors that affect a child’s growth and development

How children grow and develop depends on both internal and external environmental factors, some of which we have no control over and most of which we have. A good understanding of what children need at each stage of their growth and development helps us raise them better.

How is growth and development defined?

Although growth and development are used synonymously, they have different biological meanings. Evolution refers to the physical characteristics such as height, weight, size, etc., while evolution refers to the qualitative changes of development in a series of orderly and purposeful changes that lead to maturation. Growth and development contribute to each other and are inseparable and occur together. For example, most babies can sit still by the time they are 8 months old, and this is a milestone they reach as part of their development.

10 factors that affect a child’s growth and development

Nature and nurture contribute to the growth and development of children. Although nature is constantly gifted, upbringing makes a huge difference and here are the factors that influence a child’s growth and development.

1. Heredity

Heredity is the transmission of physical characters from parents to offspring through their genes. It affects all aspects of physical appearance such as height, weight, body composition, eye color, hair texture, and even intelligence and aptitude. Diseases are also transmitted through genes such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc. and these genetic factors can negatively affect the development of the child. However, environmental factors and nutrition can bring out the best traits that are already in the genes.

2. Environment

The environment plays an important role in children’s development and represents the sum total of physical and psychological stimuli that a child receives. Some of the environmental factors that influence childhood development include the physical environment, geographic conditions, social environment, and relationships with family and peers. It is seen that a well-fed child does better than a deprived child and contributes to the environment in which he is constantly immersed. A good school and a loving family build strong social and personal skills in them while they excel in other areas such as academics and extracurricular activities. It is different for children born into stressful environments such as poverty and broken families.

3. Gender

Another major determinant of factors affecting a child’s physical growth and development is the child’s gender. Boys and girls grow differently, especially as they approach puberty. Boys are taller and stronger physically than girls, however, girls develop faster during adolescence and outgrow boys for longer periods of maturity. There are also differences in the anatomical structure of their bodies that make boys more athletic and lead to physical stiffness. Their temperament also shows an interest in different things.


4. Exercise and fitness

The word exercise here does not mean physical exercise as discipline or that the child intentionally participates in physical activities knowing that it will help him grow. Exercise here refers to regular playtime and sports activities that help the body build muscle strength and increase bone mass. Good exercise helps children grow well and reach milestones on time or too soon. Exercise also keeps them healthy and fights diseases by strengthening the immune system. Playing outdoors exposes them to microbes that help them build resistance and prevent allergies.

5. Hormones

Hormones belong to the endocrine system and affect various functions of the body. They are produced by various glands located in certain parts of the body that secrete hormones that control the functions of the body. Timely action is important for the normal physical growth and development of children. An imbalance in the glands that secrete hormones can lead to developmental defects, obesity, behavioral problems, and other diseases. It is equally important during puberty when the gonads produce sex hormones that control the growth of the sexual organs and the emergence of secondary sexual characteristics in boys and girls.

6. Nutrition

Nutrition is an important factor in growth as the body needs to repair and repair the food it produces. Malnutrition can lead to developmental diseases in children which negatively affect the growth and development of children. On the other hand, overeating can lead to obesity and health problems, such as long-term diabetes and heart disease. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats is essential for brain and body development.

7. Family Effect

Families have the greatest influence in raising a child and determining the ways in which they develop psychologically and socially. Whether they were raised by their parents, grandparents, or foster carers, they need basic love, care, and courtesy to grow into healthy, functional individuals. The most positive growth is seen when families invest time, energy and love in a child’s development such as reading to them, playing with them and having deep, meaningful conversations. Families that abuse or neglect children prevent them from achieving positive development. These children may end up as individuals who have difficulty with social skills and bonding as adults. Helicopter parenting also has negative effects as it makes children dependent on parents as young adults and unable to deal with difficulties in life on their own.

8. Geographical influence

Where you live also has a huge impact on how your children look. The schools they attend, the neighborhood, the opportunities provided by the community and the peer circle are some of the social factors that influence a child’s development. Living in an affluent community with parks, libraries, and community centers for group activities and games plays a role in integrating the child into that community. Smooth societies may push some children not to go out much but instead play video games at home. In what part of the world you live in are the cultural factors that shape a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and behavior. Even the weather of a place affects children in the form of bodily rhythms, allergies, and other health conditions.

9. Socio-economic status

The social and economic status of the family determines what kind of opportunity the child gets. Studying in better schools is definitely more expensive and has long-term benefits. Affordable families can also provide rich educational resources for their children and special support when needed. Children from poor families may not be able to access educational resources and quality nutrition to reach their full potential. They may also have working parents who cannot invest enough quality time in their development.


10. Learning and Reinforcement

Learning involves much more than education, it is the construction of the child mentally, intellectually, emotionally and socially, so that they function as healthy functional individuals in society. This is where the mind develops and the child can mature. Reinforcement is a component of learning where an activity or exercise is repeated and refined to consolidate lessons learned. An example is playing a musical instrument. They are getting better at playing it as they practice playing the instrument. Therefore, whatever lesson is taught, it must be repeated until the correct result is obtained.

Although nature contributes a lot to the growth and development of children, nurture contributes a lot.

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