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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Angelica L Dumapit on April 25, 2022

Child Development Tips For Happy, Healthy Children

Taking a holistic approach to child development is a great way to gently and safely support your child's growing mind and body. Learn tips from our experts here.

Child development min scaled

Taking a holistic approach to child development is becoming more popular. Many parents and pediatricians rely on natural remedies for their children because they are gentle, safe, and effective for growing minds and bodies.

This guide provides tips for a holistic approach to child development, based on your child’s age. You’ll learn things like how to reduce a fever naturally as well as the best practices for supporting your child’s social and emotional learning.

Child Development Stages

The physical, emotional, and social blossoming of your child directly relates to their overall growth and transition into adulthood.

Stage one: The initial 12 months

During this stage of life, your child will usually grow their first tooth, and develop the ability to drink from a cup and roll over by themselves. In addition, they’ll learn how to sit and stand without support and walk while holding on to furniture or other objects. 

Separately, a child will pick up several languages and communication skills. These include babbling, smiling, and saying “mama” or “dada.” They’ll also gain an understanding of the word “NO” and stop doing an activity abruptly in response.

Stage two: Years one to three

During the toddler and preschool stages, your child will start to learn how to tackle new skills.

When your little infant grows into a toddler, they will advance from drinking water from a cup to feeding themselves with a spoon. Likewise, they will also learn how to run, pivot, and walk backward without support. Speech-wise, your child will pick up the use of more words, and be able to master saying names and imitate speech. 

A child will also establish EQ (emotional quotient) during this period. For instance, your child will learn how to share their toys with other children (without adult directions) and take turns using playground equipment.

Stage three: The preschool years

An introduction to preschool life between the ages of 3 and 6 years will help your child learn and play productively. Stark examples of these are being able to start reading, recognize written words, and draw shapes and stick figures. 

Your child will also be able to grasp the concepts of size, time, and balance. Balance will come in handy during play, especially if your child starts skipping or riding a bicycle. More importantly, they will also become independent and be able to do things with little to no help, such as hopping on one foot.

Holistic Child Development Tips

Staying physically safe and healthy is fundamental to achieving proper cognitive, social, and emotional milestones in child development. It’s worth noting that a human being’s general state of health correlates to their body constitution. 

Modern medicine believes that the body relies on congenital and hereditary factors, as well as a person’s lifestyle. Psycho-emotional health can also impact the forming of their constitution. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shares the same belief. According to Eu Yan Sang physician Luke Yau Wai, body constitution can be categorized as innate or acquired.

“Humans are born with an innate constitution. It’s the primitive substance that constitutes the embryo and is the essence of a living body. It’s also known as ‘the essence of reproduction’. As such, the Kidney can be perceived as the basis of an innate constitution. The acquired essence needed for the human body’s daily functions, meanwhile, is dependent on the transportation and transformation functions of the Spleen. Food is the primary source of nutrition after birth, as well as the primitive substance for the generation of qi and blood. Hence, the Spleen is the foundation of an acquired constitution,” explains physician Luke.

Eating a healthy diet

Balancing your intake of nutrition can keep your child healthy. Doing this can strengthen their immune system, lower their risk of non-communicable diseases –diabetes and cardiovascular diseases – and promote longevity. Therefore, it’s advisable for you to provide your child with equal food portions at fixed times daily, as it can boost their immunity. 

Comparatively, TCM believes that the spleen and stomach play integral roles in your child’s overall development. An improper diet – overeating, eating cold and raw foods, and consuming too many supplements – can disrupt the transportation and absorption of nutrients. This will inhibit a child’s body from growing normally.

Also, do take heed that toddlers are born with delicate internal organs and an inadequate flow of qi. Because of this, their bodies may be susceptible to the invasion of external cold pathogens. To combat both predicaments, physician Luke recommends that you switch up your child’s diet and refrain from feeding them pungent foods.

How to address a fever

A fever is not an illness. Rather, it’s a symptom of your body fighting against illness or infection. However, a fever can become uncomfortable for children as their temperature rises. This can lead to your child becoming fussier, less talkative, and losing their appetite. 

There are a few steps you can take to decrease your child’s body temperature. Firstly, provide them with medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen after consulting a clinical physician.

Secondly, give them a lukewarm bath and clothe them lightly. Thirdly, encourage them to drink plenty of fluids. Make sure to check with a physician first before giving children any kind of medications.

Alternatively, the use of TCM in treating a fever is based on syndrome differentiation. It may involve multiple treatments with diaphoretic, laxative, warming, or heat-clearing effects. If your child’s fever is accompanied by a cough or thick yellow phlegm, or if you do not wish to give your child over-the-counter medications, they benefit from taking an herbal formula with TCM ingredients.

Acupuncture

One way to provide fever relief for children is to stimulate different acupressure points on their bodies. Clear Tian He Shui (Heavenly River Water) in the middle of the inner forearm, forming a straight line from the wrist crease to the forearm crease.

Push Liu Fu (Six-Fu Organs), which is the straight line on the ulnar border of the anterior aspect of the forearm from the elbow joint to the base of the palm. Repeat this 100-500 times. You can also rub the inner Lao Gong (PC-8) acupoint and along the straight line from Da Zhui (DU-14, or Great Vertebra, GV) to Chang Qiang (DU-1) 100-300 times. 

Final Thoughts On Holistic Child Development

Hitting the different child development milestones will ease a person’s progression into adulthood. Use this guide to discover how you can help as parents. Seek consultation with a clinical physician, family pediatrician, or TCM practitioner if you wish to consider a combination of different steps to promote healthy growth.

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