What Are The Differences Between Growth And Development In Kids?

What Are The Differences Between Growth And Development In Kids?

Growth mainly focuses on quantitative improvement while development is associated with both qualitative and quantitative improvement.

Dear parent or aspiring parent, it’s in your best interest to know the difference between growth and development in children. Understanding the two terms will help you create relevant techniques to nurture your child's development. Often, we use the two terms interchangeably to mean the same thing. But in reality, they are quite different in more ways than you can imagine.

Difference Between Growth And Development In Children: Definitions

difference between growth and development

Growth in children: Growth is really just a simple look into how your child is growing physically: height, weight, body-wise. Look at it as the progressive increase in the size of your child or his body parts and organs. When a body or any of its parts is described as growing, it usually means that it has become larger and heavier. That's why we speak of the growth of arms, brain, muscles or the body in general.

Development in children: Development is merely how your child evolves mentally. Like most newborn babies learn to suck 60 minutes after birth. The average newborn should know this, if not there may be some developmental delay. Development is the progressive acquisition of various skills like head support, speaking, learning, expressing the feelings and relating with other people.

While growth is quantitative, development is both qualitative and quantitative. Development can involve ideas such as intelligent quotient (IQ), which can be quantified as a numerical value. But is nonetheless an arbitrary measurement of something qualitative - your child's cognitive ability.

Why Is It Important To Understand The Difference Between Growth And Development In Kids?

Custom-made parenting style. This knowledge will help you create ideal parenting styles for your kids. Remember, each child is unique based on their IQ and cognitive development. By understanding these differences, you can better tailor your parenting style to suit your child.

Disciplinary actions. Understanding the difference between growth and development is also important for identifying appropriate ways to discipline your child when he misbehaves. You can make a plan that matches your child's cognitive development.

How To Nurture And Improve Growth And Development In Your Child

What Are The Differences Between Growth And Development In Kids?

Nutrition and a balanced diet

The human growth hormone (HGH), secreted by the pituitary gland, controls the growth of a child. One must eat the food that triggers this gland to release HGH. Feed your child with a diet rich in calcium, vitamins, minerals and especially proteins. The top food products that stimulate growth hormones in a child’s body include grains (brown rice, wheat flour, whole grain pasta, multi-grain bread, etc. ), fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, oatmeal, soybeans, spinach, and fish products. Also, try to add food products rich in zinc to the diet. Pay special attention to his food until your child reaches the adolescent age.

A positive environment

A lot of changes take place in the body of a baby in the first few years. During this period, you must ensure that your surrounding environment is happy, full of stimulation, comfortable and positive. Interact a lot with your child. The more you interact, the better your child’s communication skills will be in the future. Continue this practice, because a positive and healthy environment is necessary for your child's development.


Proper sleeping hours and sleeping patterns also affect your child’s growth. Maximum growth hormone stimulation takes place when he sleeps. Not only this, but good sleep also calms the mind and enhances efficiency. The best sleeping hours are from 10 pm to 4 am. Make sure that your child sleeps early at night. According to a report published in 2015, children aged 3-5 years need 10-13 hours of sleep. School-age children between 6-13 years should sleep for around 9-11 hours a day. Teenagers should take proper sleep of 8-10 hours.

Physical activity

From the age of 2, you must start engaging your child in various physical activities. For the child in the age group of 2-5 years, dance classes and running are some of the best activities. During 6-12 years, biking, running, playing sports are necessary for his growth. These would help him/her to grow physically. Make sure that your child is engaged in some of the extra-curricular activities organized at his school.

Emotional support

The first 5 years of life are critical for the foundation of the skills which are developed in the following periods of the child’s life. A newborn starts with no knowledge and learns a great deal during his/her first year of life. It is very important to realize that your child is a growing and developing human being right from birth. He ought to be treated very carefully, with love and respect, so that he can develop normally. He needs full emotional support. There are eight basic needs for the healthy emotional development of a child.

These are:

  1. Love;
  2. Security;
  3. Acceptance as an individual;
  4. Self-Respect (Self-Esteem);
  5. Achievement;
  6. Recognition;
  7. Independence;
  8. Authority.


Also read: These Foods Will Help Your Baby Gain Weight

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