Human development is a personal matter; where each child grows on his own personal manner. Each child should be permitted to grow at his/her own rate. We see the same thing all throughout nature. Flowers don’t all bloom at the same time and fruits in a bunch don’t ripen altogether either. Hence, why insist our children to all grow the same way?
In as much as development is a systematic and orderly change where our children experience a gain or loss in abilities as they live; there is no way that all development is the same.
Of course, there have always been principles by which we have observed development to move along. We can observe that development follows a sense of continuity. It does not end until we have laid our last breath. It is sequential, following a pattern of movement, phases and stages. We first learn to stand before we walk. Children doodles dashes and lines before they scribble a circular shape then they progress to drawing angled shapes like squares. Patterns of development appear common on each stage or phase. It also moves from generality to specificity. Babies inside the womb manage to move their body, usually randomly and instinctively before they are able to move their arms and move their fingers. Children will be able to raise their arms before they can hold a pencil correctly. Furthermore, development proceeds from the head downward which goes to explain why babies have bigger heads; then, eventually moving into a more symmetrical body. It also proceeds from the centre of the body moving to our extremities.
But, development happens at different rates for every individual. Generally, boys and girls have different development rates. Our body parts have its’ own particular rate of growth too. Our children’s development is dependent on maturation and learning. By maturation, we mean the biological process of growth. Learning; coincides with maturation through the changes in the brain and nervous system. These neurological changes help children to improve in thinking and motor skills.
Naturally, it proceeds from the simple to more complex. We all learn the easier tasks first before proceeding to the difficult ones. It also comes from within the child. It is highly intrinsically motivated. Although, the child’s environment can encourage or can hinder the motivation and interest of a child, the bigger force that pushes a child to grow is carried inside him, by a sense of interest and readiness. Our children ripen from within. It is not a one-shot deal. It is gradual and orderly. But it is also uneven. It does not actually occur at an even pace. There are moments of great intensity and equilibrium and there are periods of imbalance. Development also has a plateau and this may occur at any stage or between stages.
We as parents and teachers do not hold the job of judging the development of the child. We simply clear the path and guide the child with loving acceptance. We should at the most relax and enjoy their ripening.