Child development is a continuous process from birth until reaching adulthood, naturally this follows a pattern and a sequence which means that each step takes, place at a certain age and in a usual order that is similar in most cases. However, we must take into consideration the fact that each child has a unique personality and their social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language development is formed by external and external factors.These guiding factors can be considered in different ways. We can regard positive, or protective factors, that enable the child to have a normal or even faster than normal development without any serious limitations; and negative or risk factors that increase the possibility of developmental delays. All children must encounter obstacles, but it depends on the balance of protective and risk factors if these problems sooner or later affect their development or not. External FactorsThe external factors influencing a child’s development include their immediate environment, example: their family and their circumstances at home, their socioeconomic background and the education they receive from institutions or their family.Family environmentPupil’s will come from a variety of different family environments, cultures and circumstances. Many families will go through substantial changes in the time the child is at school and as a member of staff working in a school, staff should remember that the school may not be aware of the changes. These may include a family break-up or the introduction of a new partner, or new sibling from a different mother or father, bereavement, illness, moving to a new house or moving to a different country. Any one of these may affect children’s emotional and/or intellectual development, with this you may notice a change in the pupil’s behaviour and ability to learn as a result.Socioeconomic backgroundSocioeconomic (relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors)The wealth or poverty of a family is an important factor in a child’s development, since it defines the education, they have access to. A more well financial stable family can afford their children to go to private schools or take private lessons in subjects they are interested in or where they need extra help. In their free time they can have the opportunity to pick up more expensive hobbies, like horse riding, do as many activities they can and the family might take vacations in exotic places, where the children can have new experiences, further developing their cognitive, physical and social skills. Children coming from less fortunate backgrounds, however, are exposed to several risks in their development. A family might live in poverty for different reasons, for example, a one-parent family where there is only one adult to support the children, the parents may be unemployed or suffering from a long term illness that makes them unable to have a job and are forced to take benefits. Families living in poverty and deprivation are likely to have a considerable effect on a pupil’s development. Statistics show that children who come from deprived backgrounds are less likely to thrive and achieve well in schools, as parents find it difficult to meet their needs, which will in turn impact on all areas of their development. This will all affect the way in which pupils are able to react in different situations. All these factors can easily lead to depression, stress and a lack of motivation in the child whose physical, cognitive and social development will all be disadvantaged.EducationThe education a child receives is determined by other factors other than money, however, it is still a crucial factor determining development. A child’s education starts with birth well before the traditional level. A rich and colourful environment that keeps a baby busy is the foundation of their physical, cognitive and social development. The way children are treated in the nursery can be a huge impact on their later attitude to school, teachers and learning. If parents choose home schooling for a child, advantages and disadvantages must be taken into reflection. The home-schooled pupil might receive more attention from their educators but a lack of peer interaction and the common experience of going to school together can result in a disadvantage of social development. The birthday of a child determines the year they start formal education: children who were born just before the end of August will be the oldest ones in the class and their maturity may mean advantage in physical and cognitive skills as compared to their youngest peers whose birthday is almost a year later. Although every child is treated equally in the education system, another essential factor within education is national origin. Children whose first language is not English, may have a hard time in the beginning to understand lessons and even to communicate with their peers. It can cause a delay in their cognitive and social development therefore teaching staff has to pay attention and support them with pictures in the classroom, or by encouraging their peers to be more patient with those children, for example, if they do not understand the rules of the playground games.
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