The F-words for child development

The F-words for child development

20 January, 2021
Research in childhood disability has identified six F-words that should be the focus for development. These include Function, Family, Fitness, Fun, Friends, and Future.
These areas of development are a key focus for your child’s development. Each of the areas are equally important and it’s important to apply these concepts in a holistic way with children and their families.

The six F-words

 This is what a child does. A child’s occupation is to play, so a primary focus of function is children’s play.
 This includes the home environment of a child. Families come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter the structure, family is an important part of a child’s life.
 This includes how children stay physically active and can be in the form of exercise or recreational activities.
 Children need to be involved in activities that they find enjoyable and want to participate in.
 Friendships made with peers is an important part of social development.
 Children and their families have expectations and dreams for the future. This is an essential part of child development.

How the F-words were developed

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. This framework shows how health and functioning is influenced by factors such as function, activity, participation, environment, and personal factors. Each factor plays an important role in child development. The F-words build upon this ICF framework. Although the ICF was developed for children with disabilities, the F-words can be used with any child to help specify how each area is important to that child and their family.

Ideas for using the F-words in your child’s life



Keep safe, happy, and well,
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By Kristy Allison
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