What Factors Are Affecting our Childhood And Contributing to our Adulthood?
Childhood plays a crucial role in our life because proper child development is vital for the overall development of a child and this is something that will have a vast effect on our entire lives. Inappropriate concerns and attitudes learned in early life is likely to impact our later life. Early stage of life extremely influences our adulthood, improper attitude or behavior learned in early childhood persists with us. Example if the child learns to violently react to most of the situations then the same behavior is likely to persist in adult life too and will negatively impact his relationships with friends and family. Child development is basically defined as the emotional, psychological and biological changes that occur in human beings between the time period of birth and the end of adolescence and then through adulthood. These changes help the individual to progress from dependency to increasing autonomy. The child's development (biological and psychological development) are mainly influenced in the first five years of his or her life and greatly influenced by the child's environment and interactions. The first 5 years of early life are also known as "foundation years of a child". Children in order to reach their full cognitive and social potential, need to be brought up in the best possible environment where he or she can develop fully.
Each child is unique because each child grows in his own unique way and these individual differences are caused by a wide range of differences in hereditary patterns and environmental factors. Environment and heredity both play an equal role in child development. Growth and development of a child is the result of the product of interaction between heredity and environmental factors. Some of the important factors which plays an important role in child development and have an immense contribution to its adulthood are mentioned below:-
- Hereditary endowment:
Heredity plays a major role in our development. Heredity is defined as the transmission of genes from parents to children which influences their physical appearance, hormones and body development. Sometimes, a child can inherit abnormal genes which will adversely affect a child's growth and development. Genes also helps to maintain proper hormonal balance in the body but abnormal genes could cause imbalance which can have severe effects on the functioning of a body.
Environment or surroundings in which a child grows is as important as genes. However, favourable environmental factors and proper nurturing can bring the best out of the already present qualities within the child's genes. Favourable environment and good genes can facilitate the proper growth of a child and help him achieve success. A well-nurtured child performs better than a deprived one. A healthy and positive environment is concerned for the overall development of a child i.e. building the child up socially, mentally, intellectually and emotionally, so that they can operate as healthy functional individuals in the society.
Heredity and environment are not opposed to each other; rather they are complementary like seed and soil. Quality of seed and Nourishing soil can bring the best growth in a child as both of them work for the same purpose i.e. proper child development.
- Exercise And Nutrition:
Exercise here refers to the normal play time of a child as sport activities help the body to gain strength, strengthen the immune system and also feature bone mass. Nutrition is a critical growth factor in child development and is essential for development of the brain and body. A healthy and nutritional diet is a must for a child for proper growth. Good balanced diet and daily exercise helps the children to grow well and become a confident healthy person and reach milestones on time or sooner. The malnutrition or over-eating both can adversely affect child development and may slow down its growth. Therefore, proper child nutrition and levels of activity are important to steer a healthy and happier life.
- Gender And Culture:
The sex of a child is also a major factor affecting the physical growth and development of a child. Boys and girls tend to grow in different ways, especially during puberty. There are a wide range of gender differences. There is a difference in the physical structure of both genders and their temperament also varies, which makes them show different interests in different things. Cultural norms and limitations also play a role in child development and influence its growth. Gender stereotypes like girls are weak, they should not study rather they should concentrate on household work, boys should not cry, they should not express their feelings and emotions, and boys are tough. Such stereotypes may negatively affect a child and incorporate negative thoughts in its mind, which however demotivate the child to even try and express. Family customs and social practices also influence how a child grows as they observe and learn from their family members and surroundings and react in the same way.
- Family Background And Parenting Style:
Family has the foremost profound impact on child growth and development. A good family background and socio-economic status can help the child to pursue education from a prestigious educational institution and grab abundant opportunities but if a child is capable, hardworking and determined then he or she can definitely achieve their dreams no matter what their family background is or to which class they belong. Good Parenting style is really important. Parents should set down rules and standards for their child to follow. So, good values and habits may persist with them lifelong. Parents should maintain a healthy relationship with their child and help them to explore and learn. Being a good role model and investing time on a child is really necessary because parents are the greatest inspiration for the child. Good and hard working parents always inspire their children to become a good person in life while if parents are involved in bad and unhealthy habits then there are good chances that their child will also follow their footsteps.
How does Love, care and affection play a role in early stages of our life?
In early stages of a life, a child is dependent upon the caregiver and seeks for love and affection. Whether a child is raised by parents or grandparents or guardian, they need basic love, care and support in order to develop as a healthy functional individual. A positive peer relationship is often necessary as good peers help and support each other and also share good values while toxic peers may indulge us in unhealthy habits which later led to developmental problems and trust issues in adult life. The most ideal and positive growth is seen in the individuals in which families invest time, love and energy in their young ones and help them to develop positive habits to become a good person like reading newspapers daily, meditating and praying every day and helping people. Children are more influenced by the quality of time their parents spend with them, not the quantity. Caregivers should incorporate good moral values by having deep meaningful conversations with the children to share life experiences with them and teach them the fundamentals of living a peaceful and healthy life. Families that neglect their children and abuse them have an improper growth and development. Children going to boarding school in the early stage of life lose attachment with friends and family and in the absence of love, care and support in the early stages of life, children could develop behavioral problems in adulthood or later stages of life. Anger or Trust issues are common problems seen in such individuals that adversely affect their life and relationships. These individuals also end up having poor social skills and find difficulty in bonding with people and some may also indulge in violent and unhealthy activities.
Children are the greatest treasure; they must be loved, cared and protected.