Global development

Global development
Babies learn fast. In no time they can smile and roll over, walk and talk, draw, and even make friends. As they grow, they pick up all sorts of abilities in different areas.

Babies learn fast. In no time they can smile and roll over, walk and talk, draw, and even make friends. As they grow, they pick up all sorts of abilities in different areas.

Their motor, cognitive, social, and emotional skills begin to develop as soon as they’re born. Like pieces of a puzzle, these four major areas come together to form a whole known as “global development.”

For healthy development, a child’s physical needs (e.g., food, sleep, safety) and emotional needs must be met. “Children need to feel loved and cherished by their parents. When they’re upset, they need to be comforted. These emotional building blocks allow them to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, which helps them learn,” says Caroline Roussel, a psychoeducator for the early stimulation programs at the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

A stimulating environment is also key. “For their brains to activate, children need to explore their surroundings, interact with other kids, go outside, play, and try new things,” says Miriam Beauchamp, director of the ABCs Developmental Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Montreal and a researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center.

Each at their own pace

No two kids are alike. One might start walking at 10 months, and another at 15 months. Some might say their first words before taking their first steps, while others do the opposite. A good rule of thumb is to not compare your child to others.

All children develop at their own pace, depending on their genetic makeup, personality, and preferences,” says Beauchamp. “Their level of stimulation is also an important influence. A child who receives a lot of language stimulation, for example, might start speaking earlier.”

It’s important to consider your child’s abilities when setting the bar. “When children feels pressured or unable to meet expectations, they can develop anxiety and believe that they’re not worthy of being loved,” explains Roussel. “They can withdraw or even regress.”


Learn about all the major stages of child development (in French only):

 

Photos: GettyImages/Fatcamera and AleksandarGeorgiev

 

Naitre et grandir.com

Source: Naître et grandir magazine, July–August 2019
Research and copywriting: Nathalie Vallerand
Scientific review: Solène Bourque, psychoeducator