Developmental Characteristics at Different stages of Growth


Getting the right childcare can make all the difference in managing your work-life balance. This basic article may not only be beneficial for the parents but also for our young generation kids and teens.

First of all, it is really very essential for all of us to know; what are the meanings of growth and development? Generally, growth and development are used synonymously. If we try to understand the word meaning of growth and development, we come to know that there is hardly any specific difference. But the reality is that there is a clear cut difference between the two words. As a matter of fact, growth means the growth of physical organs whether it is in shape, size, height or weight, whereas development has a detailed meaning in itself. Infact, growth is a part of development. The development does not mean only growth but it is more than that. Infact, growth is related to the changes in size, weight and height of any individual, whereas development is related to the changes in all the aspects of an individual, such as physical development, mental development, social development, emotional development and motor development etc. Growth is limited up to a certain age. Generally , after maturity growth does not take place, whereas the process of development is a long process, which continues throughout life. It appears that the direction and pattern of growth and development of children approximately remain the same. But in reality the growth and development of every child takes place according to his own schedule. It means every child has his own pattern of growth and development. During the different stages of growth, various changes related to physical, mental, social, emotional and motor development take place. For the convenience point of view, the stages of growth can be classified into the following stages along with their characteristics:

1. INFANCY: The stage from birth to end of 5 years of age is called infancy. In this stage, the grasping power of infant’s brain becomes very fast. His power of memory also increases. He is able to remember the incidents of the past immediately. His thinking ability also increases. He understands the language clearly and speaks accordingly. His capability to know new words increases. He starts understanding the simple conversation of adults. In this stage, the curiosity drive of child also increases. They try to ask various questions and are easily satisfied by the answer of elder persons. What is happening around the children? - They have the curiosity to know this, but they do not reach in the depth. The infants are emotional in this stage but they do not have their control over emotions. They usually exhibit or display their emotions through through motor skill activities. In daily life, they forget their emotions such as sorrow and happiness, after some time. In this stage, the behavior of infants depends upon imaginations. In this stage, the infants learn the activities related to motor skill such as walking, running, jumping, catching, throwing etc. In this way they start using their physical organs, internal organs and sensory organs in a balanced way. Social sentiments and emotions related to self-love become strong in them. They do whatever they like and leave what they don’t like.

2. CHILDHOOD: The childhood stage begins from the 6th year and ends by the end of the 12th year. In this stage, the children are able to have enough control on their muscles. Their development becomes very fast approximately during the first three years and later on, i.e. , till 12th year their development becomes strong and vigorous. Play is life for them in this stage. Their neuro-muscular coordination becomes enough efficient. In this stage, the concentration power of the children increases, but they cannot concentrate for a long time. Their thinking ability increases at a fast rate. Their power of memory, logic, thinking and decision making increases remarkably. Till the end of this stage, they learn to control over their emotions. During this stage , the social qualities develop in them very quickly. They like to play with girls and boys of equal age. They become able to adjust their behavior in a society, owing to their appropriate development of social qualities. In this stage, children are more courageous, imaginative and adventurous. They usually follow the persons whom they admire blindly. In this stage they have the best motor learning ability. 

3. ADOLESCENCE: This is a stage of complex changes, which begins after childhood and ends before adulthood. Generally, it is supposed that the adolescent stage begins from 13 years and remains till 19 years, therefore it is also called ‘’TEENAGE’’. During this stage, the growth of adolescents becomes spontaneous. The following characteristics of this stage are depicted below:

a) Physical Characteristics. In this stage, the growth becomes very fast. In adolescent period, many physical changes take place spontaneously. The development of internal and external sexual organs begins in the adolescents rapidly. During the period of 12 to 14 years various changes can be seen specially in girls. In this stage, menstrual cycle begins in girls and nightfall in boys. Hair starts appearing in the axilla and pubic region. The enlargement of breasts begins in girls. There are changes in voice also.Boys have broad chest, broad shoulders and normal buttock, whereas, girls have less broad shoulders and chest. The hips of girls become very broad and legs become round. Owing to such changes they become restless, impatient, worried and upset naturally, because they do not have complete knowledge about such changes. Due to this reason their activities are not balanced.

b) Mental Characteristics: Physical growth and mental growth go simultaneously, but it is not applicable for all the adolescents. It has been seen in case of some adolescents that they lag behind in mental growth in the previous stages, though they achieve physical maturity much earlier. In fact they achieve mental growth later on, when they are able to go into the depth of a thing. They demand self-respect, dignity and self independence. They remain in stress and become worried easily. They also indulge in day dreaming.

c) Emotional Characteristics: The life of an adolescent is full of emotions. They are sometimes happy and at the same time sad and depressed. Usually, they are emotionally disgusted and disturbed.

d) Social Characteristics: Usually, the adolescents adopt the way, which is selected by them but the society creates various obstacles in their way. In such condition, the adolescents revolt against the traditions and customs of the society. During this stage friends are very important to them.



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