Factors which Influence Children's Development

What are the factors which influence children’s development?

Children’s development is influenced by cultural, social and economic environment in which the individual child grows, and this can affect their whole life. As the first three years provide the crucial foundation during which the child’s future is laid down, it is worth investing in this time to give the best possible outcome for that child. Unfortunately not all children are born into ideal circumstances and there are many factors affecting this outcome.

Biological or genetic make-up plays a part in how a child reacts to their environment but it also influenced by how that child is parented - nature verses nurture. The early relationships a newborn baby experiences is extremely important, they need a reliable person(s) who they can depend on and trust – a secure attachment figure. A baby experiencing positive responses repeatedly is internally building positive blocks from which to grow, learn and become independent, responsible and socially acceptable adult. Vulnerable children, who have been let down, experienced lack of stability and consistency or are fearful of those who should have protected them, may not have developed the trust needed, and these go on to form insecure attachments. This may have an impact on their social and emotional development and grow to become vulnerable children who find it hard to trust others and form lasting friendships.

The way a parent, parents and their culture play's an important part in influencing a child’s outcome. Providing a safe and secure environment to explore, being attentive, providing stimulation, laying down consistent boundaries, listening, and being a good role model. Children not experiencing this are likely to be affected developmentally and potentially continue this negative cycle to a future generation.

Unless a baby is born with an illness or suffered from an accident effecting development, nutrition plays a major role in providing the essential nutrients for a healthy start to life. Poorer families often live in areas which may be deprived. Their diets can be nutritionally limited making them more susceptible to ill health and this can affect the future health and growth of a child.

Education provided outside the home can either hinder development or be beneficial. A secure setting offering opportunities to play and be mentally stimulated whilst respecting and supporting a child during learning, can give that child the confidence boost they may need.