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Physical Factors That Influence Child Development

A mom’s focus upon her child’s growth and development inspires a plethora of questions. And who can blame you, when changes exist in your little one today that you are certain didn't exist yesterday when you put her to bed. Children do not travel a uniform path of development, as individual differences are the norm rather than an exception to the rule. However, physical factors influence the development of all kids.

Your Touch

You’ve always known that you and your baby are a perfect pair. But do you know how well-suited for each other you really are? It works like this: You cuddle, touch, soothe and croon to your infant because she's just so, well, adorable. You are doing what you want to do most. Your loving care promotes brain development during a time of rapid growth when early, loving encounters with you are crucial. Mom really does know best.

RELATED: Emotional Development in the First Year

Nutrition

Moms understand the connection between good nutrition and their child’s development like no one else on the planet, because they made efforts to provide optimal nutrition before their little one’s birth. A one-size-fits-all nutritional guide doesn’t apply for children’s rapidly evolving dietary needs. Even though eating a variety of healthy foods is important for every child’s development, a child’s height, amount of activity and how her body utilizes calories will individualize her nutritional needs. Ask your child’s pediatrician for guidance if you have questions about the types of foods and how much food your child requires.

Trauma

Whether a child suffers a single or multiple traumatic experiences, a negative impact on brain development may result from the trauma. Childhood trauma such as abuse or neglect multiplies the probability of developmental delay for the victim. Children with developmental delays struggle to achieve milestones in one or more areas of childhood development.

RELATED: What Games Stimulate Social Development?

Physical Activity

Consistent physical activity can do more for your child than minimize her risk for obesity. And certainly, although this benefit alone is significant, there are benefits of exercise specific to child development. Regular physical activity increases the likelihood that your child's bone growth will be strong and concentrated. A child who is permitted to become a “couch potato” may have diminished bone growth. Physical activity enhances muscle growth and prepares the body for a lifetime of user satisfaction.

Becky Swain's first publication appeared in the "Journal of Personality Assessment" in 1984. Her articles have also appeared on various websites. She is an adjunct college instructor, licensed school psychologist and educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science in clinical psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational psychology, both from Mississippi State University.

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