Do you see your child as ‘a whole’? The question might seem strange, but if you’re raising your child the old-school manner, you’re perhaps missing out on the ‘Big Picture’ – a masterpiece none other than your child.
It is only of late, that parents are recognizing the wondrous benefits of parenting methods that nurture the development of the ‘whole child’. That, in essence, is what the holistic development of children is all about.
Simply put, the holistic development of a person refers to their social, emotional, physical, mental and intellectual growth. When we talk about the holistic development of children, it implies focusing on all aspects of their growth, and not just their academic advancements.
What’s most important to note here is that the primary importance of the holistic development of a child lies in establishing the child’s overall sense of well-being.
The Importance of the Holistic Development of a Child
Let’s delve deeper into why the holistic development of a child is so important.
- The child is seen as a whole person. Since all areas are addressed, not merely the academic, children grow up to be happier and healthier versions of themselves.
- It builds the child’s confidence. Holistic Development happens in an environment where teachers understand that children learn at their own pace. An environment where students are not berated for not learning as quickly as their peers.
- It increases active participation. Holistic Development encourages children to make decisions for themselves, thereby empowering them to become competent members of society.
- They see the big picture. Children are encouraged to go beyond the small details and see the larger picture. For instance, when learning Math, they will be exposed to the real-life implications of counting.
- It increases their motivation. Since a Holistic Education entails fun things like engaging in experiments and exploring the outdoors, children are motivated to become the best versions of themselves.
The Five Key Aspects of Holistic Development
Looking to enhance toddler development in holistic fashion? Let’s first take a look at the five key aspects of holistic development!
#1. Physical Development. This one’s about developing and growing motor skills.
#2. Social Skills. This refers to how children interact with each other.
#3. Emotional Understanding. The ability to express emotions in a healthy manner.
#4. Intellectual Development. This is the broad gamut under which cognitive skills, creativity and other important skills lie.
#5. Spiritual Development. Last but not the least, this one’s about building sound morals and values and having a general sense of empathy for the world around them.
How to Support the Holistic Development of Your Child
A holistic approach to education is nothing short of striking a balance between the home, the environment and the developing child. Here’s a look at how you can best support the holistic development of your child.
- Free Play
There’s a good reason this one makes it to the top of the list. Make sure you give your child plenty of freedom to explore and play. This is how they will learn about the world around them in a manner they will never be able to, in the classroom. The importance of the holistic development of a child through play can never be undermined.
- Motor Skills Development
Take the initiative where it comes to helping them develop their fine motor skills. Encourage them to undertake small actions like holding a crayon, experimenting with playdough or simply digging in the sand.
- Go Outside
Ensure you go outside with them every day. Besides immersing themselves in nature, which is in itself beneficial, it will go a long way in honing their motor and coordination skills. Once again, a wonderful way to boost the holistic development of a child through play.
- Interacting with People
Connect your children to as many other children and adults as you possibly can, to help polish their social skills and instill in them a sense of confidence.
- Encourage their dreams
No matter how trivial their dreams might sound to you, they mean the world to your children. Encouraging them will give them the strength to follow their own paths when the time comes.
- Read to them
The more you read to your kids, the more you contribute to their cognitive development and enrich their vocabulary.
- Teach them to care for themselves
There will come a day when children will have to fend for themselves. Make sure you gently nudge them towards taking care of themselves in the now, to help them prepare for their independent years.
- Family values
Right from the outset, ensure you teach your children lessons in morals and values. Remember that you’re their role model, and they will only seek to emulate your actions. So, be kind to others if you want to raise your children to become kind human beings.
Some Great Activities for Holistic Toddler Development
Looking for some really fun activities to bolster the holistic development of your children? Here’s some we give a big thumbs up to!
Go for a family picnic
Bonding with the family provides for some great socio-emotional development, and harbouring a sense of respect for the environment by ‘not littering’.
Who says yoga is only for adults? A truly great way to help children develop their gross motor skills, and have fun with poses like ‘downward dog’!
When you get your child to sing straight from their hearts, it helps them get creative and express themselves freely. What’s more, it works wonders for their sense of self-esteem.
Music and Mirroring
This is a technique where children follow a sequence of sounds to express an area of their lives. Great where it comes to improving communication skills.
At EuroKids we deem ourselves responsible for ensuring the holistic development of children. We understand that the physical, social, emotional, spiritual and personal wellbeing of children are very much interconnected, and emphasise the importance of play and other activities to ensure your child is treated very much as ‘a whole’.