The bodies of children change in their measurable characteristics during the period of infancy, early childhood, and adolescence significantly. Moreover, children can develop their abilities and skills and achieve different results while growing. Thus, it is necessary to concentrate on different concepts of growth and development in order to examine all the possible changes associated with the children’s progress in body size or in gaining more skills.
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The children’s growth is discussed when the changes in body size, proportions, height, and weight are obvious. These changes can be measured and compared with the definite set standards. The concept of development is used to evaluate the changes in children’s acquiring new skills, performing new actions, and forming new social interactions. Thus, a child develops when he or she improves definite skills and abilities and gains some new knowledge.
The concept of the children’s growth is based on physical changes. It is important to pay attention to the fact that the characteristics of the children’s growth are measurable, and it is possible to refer to the certain rate in growth in order to compare the measures with the age standards. The body of a child changes significantly during the first years.
Thus, the most rapid growth can be observed during the periods of infancy and early childhood when the proportions of the children’s bodies change according to their sizes. Furthermore, the rate of the children’s growth is not significant during the school age, but it can become extremely rapid during the period of adolescence when the growth is associated with the hormone changes (Hendry, Farley, & McLafferty, 2012).
Children grow differently because of their individual physical characteristics, but the general measures should be related to the set standards. The role of the individual characteristics is more obvious in relation to the children’s development.
The concept of development is used to explain the changes in children’s abilities to speak, behave, interact, and learn. The development is observed when a child learns some skills, and then the child can use these skills effectively. Thus, the development depends on the children’s individual differences and abilities to learn the new skills and use the new information or knowledge.
Nevertheless, the main characteristic feature of development is sequence. From this point, the order of children’s acquiring different skills is the same, but the individuality of children is observed with references to the rate. The development is the complex concept which includes the child’s physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development.
Moreover, the influence of a family is important to stimulate the child’s further development and positive tendencies in acquiring different skills (Proos, 2009). It is rather difficult to measure the features of the children’s development that is why researchers and parents are inclined to orient to the milestones of development to control the process.
Thus, there is the obvious difference between the concepts of growth and development. Those physical changes which refer to changes in size and proportions are correlated with the children’s growth, and those physical, emotional, social, and intellectual alternations which refer to acquiring the new skill and changes in quality of the definite knowledge are associated with the processes of development.
Children can have similar measurable characteristics, but their development can be rather different. Furthermore, the progress in growth cannot guarantee the progress in the children’s emotional or intellectual development.
Hendry, C., Farley, A., & McLafferty, E. (2012). Development, growth and repair from conception to old age. Nursing Standard, 26(50), 44-49.
Proos, L. A. (2009). Growth and development of Indian children adopted in Sweden. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 130(5), 646-650.