What’s the Difference Between Growth and Development?

Ivy Prep Team on October 18, 2018

If you’re a parent or have studied anything about kids, you’ve probably heard the phrase “child growth and development” more times than you can count. You’ve learned about the elements that are all a part of child growth and development. You have heard about the physical, social, and emotional parts of this process. But, have you ever wondered what people really mean when they mention this phrase? Aren’t development and growth the same? Or, don’t they at least have similar meanings? The two terms are often found together. But, do they have separate definitions? Well, in a word, yes. Development and growth are two different things. But, it would help to do more than simply tell you that they’re different. We’ll discuss the difference between growth and development as it applies to children.

About Child Development and Growth

What’s the Difference Between Growth and Development?

When we talk about the growth and development of children, we’re talking about an entire process. And this process involves a lot of different things. As children grow and develop, you’ll see changes in various areas of their lives. From smiling to laughing, crawling to running, cooing to speaking. No doubt, you’ve seen children as they learned to walk. You’ve noticed as your child recognized the voice of his grandmother. And you’ve seen your little one smile when you made a funny sound. Your little baby girl has probably shown signs of growth and development as she’s learned to grasp objects within her reach. All of the things we’ve just mentioned are part of the developmental and growth process. As your little ones get older, they’ll continue to show signs of this process in their lives. But, what exactly is the difference between growth and development? Let’s find out!

You might think of growth as a physical thing. You may remember being a child and seeing a family member for the first time in years. Perhaps, the person looked at you and said, “My, how you’ve grown!” Or, perhaps someone told you that you were growing so quickly. In any case, the word “grow” is the key there. See, growing is a physical aspect of life; it refers to the size and structure of an individual. So, child growth is mainly focused on children’s bodies and how they change over time. You can actually think of growth as a type of development; it’s physical development. The term ‘development’, on the other hand, focuses on the broader scale of things. It’s focused on the overall changes in the body as well as the mind. As your child gets older, you look for your child to develop various abilities and functions.

The Difference Between Growth and Development

As we mentioned, one main difference between growth and development is that growth is more of a physical measurement. Development is something that can’t be measured in the same way. It’s basically another word for progress. And, since every child is different, they will progress and develop at different speeds and in different ways. Another difference between growth and development is time. Development is a lifelong process while growing eventually ends. At some point in your life, the growth spurts stop, yet, you continue to develop new skills. Finally, you might think about a plant. It can grow and grow until it becomes taller than you. But, you would also be looking for development, which would cause it to produce flowers or fruit. This would be the development of its functions and abilities!

At Ivy Prep Early Learning Academy, we understand that there’s a difference between growth and development when it comes to your children. So, we work to make sure they are able to advance in both areas. Our facilities are equipped with staff members who understand the needs of each child and learning programs which cater to those specific needs. So, if you’re looking for a place where your children can both develop and grow in a healthy and age-centered atmosphere, Ivy Prep is the place for your family! Contact us today!


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