Describe Children’s Overall Development Needs
Child development from the formative years plays a crucial role in attaining healthy development. Development in all children describes the changes attributed to gaining of physical, social and emotional, intellectual and communication skills. All these areas correlate with each other to ensure the child’s development is successful. To achieve these developments, they have to meet various developmental needs that include the needs for physical activity, strong attachment with positive adults, competence and achievement, self-identity, creative expression and the need for social interaction.
First, is the need for physical activity. Children need to maintain active lifestyles in order to promote their growth and development. Establishing a healthy exercising pattern for children from the time they are young is prudent as it helps to develop their bodies by strengthening their muscles, bones, and joints, acquiring good posture, developing balance and coordination, strengthening their hearts, attaining the optimal healthy weight, and developing focus and self-esteem. For them to acquire all these benefits, children engage in exercise activities such as swimming, skipping, running and playing ball games such as tennis, football, dodgeball and hockey among others.
Secondly is the need for strong attachment with a positive adult. Making strong attachment with an adult is a biological drive children seek, often from a mother or father according to John Bowlby. Children seek attachment for survival, to feel safe and protected. Once the vital connection is achieved, it determines a child’s behavior by enabling them to learn how to manage their emotions and identity, develop their personal identity, acquire communication skills, how to deal with, converse and treat others. Secure attachments result in confident, security, positive temperaments and stress-free children. Otherwise, if they fail to develop a long lasting relationship they develop stress, insecure, emotional, defensive and temperamental.
Thirdly, is the need for competence and achievement. In order to meet intellectual development, children, according to Erick Erickson, who are in the competence vs the inferiority stage learn to read and write, develop mastering skills and accomplish and develop high standards in whatever they do especially throughout their lives where changes keep on coming. Moreover, they require developing confidence in themselves and subjective experience in the tasks they undertake.
Fourthly, is the need for constructive social interaction. The family unit provides the primary social interaction for a child. Nevertheless, their development necessitates for interaction with other children. The interaction amongst themselves occurs through playing where they learn how to interact with others and learn proper behavior such as sharing and playing together. Also, this need facilitates learning how to communicate; develop their intellectual abilities and motor skills. Moreover, relationships with friends for children are a source of comfort, backing, security and friendship while exploring different changes in their lives.
Fifthly, is the need for self-definition or identity. Developing of personal identity among children mostly develops when they are teenagers. The concept is crucial to children because others cannot contribute to it other than themselves. Here, children ask themselves questions such as who am I, why do I exist and what sets me apart and they take many opportunities to explore this by examining their beliefs, values, passions and strong points. All these questions set the pace for their future. In fulfilling this need, many aspects such as the media and different cultures also seek to influence them negatively.
In conclusion, the healthy development of children is crucial in ensuring they achieve physical, social, communication and intellectual development. For this to be possible, they must meet the various needs for physical activity, strong attachment with a positive adult, competence and achievement, self-definition and social interaction.