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Child Development Essay

Child Development Essay

Example #1

Infants grow at a very rapid rate during the first one and a half years of life. Developing not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and socially as well, this development has been evident in providing a strong background for further development in life. Physical development refers to a baby’s increasing skill at utilizing various body parts.

During development, there are three basic developmental rules one states, that babies develop in the head region first, followed by the upper body, followed by the trunk portion, and lastly the legs and feet. For example, a baby can hold up their heads first before they can grab an object with their hand. The second rule refers to motor skills. Motor skills are the child’s ability to control movement.

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The two basic classifications in motor skills are large motor skills and fine motor skills. Large motor skills deal with all the large muscles, whereas fine motor skills deal with smaller muscles in the body. The 3rd developmental rule is Brain development. As the brain develops a child responds more and more to sight and sound, which prepares them for further development. At birth an infant’s vision is limited by the immaturity of the brain, beyond 7-12 inches an infant’s world is a total blur. Infant’s eyes unlike ours do not contain a fovea.

A fovea is the area of the retina in which the images are focused. Their eye movements are very slow and are jerky at times. They are able to see color but prefer the sharper contrast between black and white. Although babies can’t see small objects that are far away, infants can see large objects that are close up. An adult’s perfect vision is estimated to be 20/20 and an infant?s vision is estimated to be around 20/600? (psychology, pg 387).

By the end of the first year, a baby’s vision nearly matches that of a grown adult (psychology, pg 387). Newborns actively use their senses from the time that they are born. When they are little their attention span is very limited. In the first two months, they can only focus on an edge of an object, however by the end of the 2nd month they can scan a whole object.

This is important because it shows that a baby’s attention span is minimal and they are not able to focus on an object for a long period of time. At the time of birth, newborns can hear soft voices as well as loud voices and can also notice differences between different sounds that are made. Infants are not able to listen or hear selectively. When babies hear speech they tend to open their eyes wider and look for the speaker. Infants love the sounds of children since their voices are higher in pitch.

This is why they like to hear baby talk which is used by most adults all over the world. In the first 2 weeks after birth, infants have developed some reflexes. Babies begin to explore their grasping reflex where they can hold tightly to an object. Many of these behaviors evolved because they are important for a child’s survival, without these a child would not be able to physically develop. The absence of reflexes in a newborn are signals of possible problems in brain development.

Newborns are brought into this world having some sort of reflexes in order for them to adapt to their surroundings. One of the most basic reflexes is the rooting reflex. This reflex helps an infant turn its head to any object the stimulates a cheek, such as a baby bottle for feeding. A newborn also will have a very strong grasping reflex. If you place your finger in a baby’s finger, generally anywhere from one-week-old and on a baby will have a very strong grip.

Motor skills also allow a baby to sit, crawl, stand and walk. Some motor skills such as sitting up come a lot earlier than walking. Cognitive development relates to the reasoning and logic of an infant. Jean Piaget among all researchers dedicated his life to a search for the ideas behind cognitive development. He was the first person to chart the journey from the simple reflexes of the newborn to the complex adolescent? Piaget believed that all children’s thinking progresses through the same stages, in the same order without skipping, or building onto previous stages.

He also believed that the thinking of infants is different from the thinking of children and the thinking of children is different from that of an adolescent. To explain how infants move to higher standards of understanding and knowledge Piaget introduced four stages of cognitive development: sensorimotor (0-18 months), preoperational (2-7 years), concrete operational (7-11 years)), and formal operational (over 11 years) ( psychology, pg 390).

The first 18 months of development is sensorimotor. In this stage, infants develop schemas or basic units of knowledge. During this stage, infants can form schemas only of objects that are present. They cannot think about absent objects because they can’t act on them. Key to the sensorimotor intelligence is the emergence of what Piaget called the object concept or the concept of object permanence.

According to Piaget, a very young infant does not seem to recognize that objects have a permanent existence outside of his or her interaction with it. Early in infancy, from birth to around 4 months of age babies will naturally look at a toy, follow it with their eyes, and try to grasp it. As soon as the object is out of sight babies mentally think it no longer exists. They do not have the concept of knowing it’s there if it’s out of sight.

For example, if an Infant drops a toy they mentally think it’s no longer there because they have not yet acquired the knowledge to look beyond what they see. Infants will begin to develop object permanence at around 4 months. Also, at this part, they are beginning to learn that a disappearing object may still exist. Infants between 4- 8 months not only begin to turn their heads to follow a moving object but continue to look along its path after is have vanished, however, they will not search for it.

From about 8-12 months infants for the first time searches manually for an object that disappears out of their sight. When children reach this stage they can follow all the visible movements of an object. Social and emotional learning is an important concept for parents to be aware of. A nurturing environment can build pathways that encourage emotional stability, while repeated stress may create many problems in further development. Infants learn from the people around them the most.

Infants learn how to handle a situation through what other people are doing. During the first hour after birth, and emotional tie begins. From an early age, infants are receptive to the people around them. They prefer to look at children and more attractive faces. Infants also socially communicate through their feelings, not only by crying and screaming but more subtly. Turning away and sucking their thumbs can be an indication that they want to be left alone.

A baby that smiles and is looking around are generally showing signs that they want to interact with others. Not responding to an infant’s emotional sign can slow down their social development. It’s at this point that they also develop a sense of trust. This strong sense of trust is the foundation for a lifetime. Without this, a baby may have problems communicating with others later on in their development. Often at 5 through 7 months infants also develop a fear or shyness of strangers.

This is completely natural and often is a result of the development of object permanence. Infants at this age will sometimes cling to their parents and not want to be touched by people who they see as being unfamiliar. From 0-4 months babies show the majority of their emotions through crying. They have many cries in which they show different emotions.

Over time parents can tell the difference between them and know what they want through each cry. From 4-8 months infants begin to express a wider range of emotions. Pleasure, happiness, fear, and frustration are shown through gurgles, cools, and wails. They also show movements such as kicking, arm-waving, rocking, and smiling. From 8-18 months it’s at this time they develop a sense of self.

They begin to recognize their image in a mirror and start to become more and more independent. Babies at this stage have a wide range of emotional states. One minute they could be happy and playing and the next minute they could be kicking and screaming. Moral development begins early in an infant’s life. An infant enters this world as an immoral being. Moral development depends on the type of training and attention an infant gets through its parents.

If they are disciplined early enough in age, they will grow up knowing things that are right and wrong. If a parent ignores a child and lets them think that the bad things are ok to do then they grow up having no morals taught through their parents. Children most likely will first learn to respond to words such as no and hot.

Building onto Piaget’s work, Lawrence Kohlberg believes that there are 3 stages of moral development. These are pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional. According to Kohlberg, moral development begins with conventional thinking in which children obey in order to avoid punishment. What determines a child’s position in these stages is not whether they choose whether what they have done is right or wrong, but by what reasoning he or she uses to make the choice.

Kohlberg believes that all children go through all 3 stages. Speech development beings within the first week after birth. Your child’s first form of communication is crying. Crying is a baby’s way of usually saying that they are hungry, tired, or need to be changed. By 3 months of age, babies begin all the gurgles and woo. Although these may mean nothing to us, however, this is their way of communication and their development of vowel sounds.

By the age of 5 to 6 months, most babies will begin to babble and may even slip out the words ma or da. Even though the babies may say these words they are unable to attach them to a certain individual. 10-15 months toddlers can understand a few more words. Proper names and object words are the most easily understood. The first words that are understood most easily are those that they are usually in contact with on a regular basis, these words include mama, dada, cookie, doggy, and car.

At this stage in communication babies also learn inflection, which is raising your voice when asking a question. For example, saying Up-py when they want to be carried. At 18-24 months their vocabulary has immensely increased and toddlers are most likely to repeat any word they hear. Their vocabulary may include as many as 200 words or more. From this stage on they begin to put words together and can eventually speak a sentence.

There are many factors that also contribute to the development of a child. Many things that can slow down the development, are low birth weight, prematurity, and drug use. Birth weight is an important factor associated with an infant’s overall development and health.

Children who were born under 5 pounds are more likely to have serious medical problems and also have developmental delays. In conclusion, a baby’s development is very important for a strong, healthy life. Without the care and responsibility needed for a child to develop this can affect them for life.


Example #2

Babies grow and develop at a very rapid rate during the first year of life. They grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. In this paper, I will discuss the physical growth and development patterns of an infant all the way through adulthood. Development is the baby’s increased skill in using various body parts. When dealing with the development of a child there are three basic development rules.

First development rule: This rule says that babies develop in the head region first, then the trunk, and lastly in the legs and feet. For example, a baby can hold up their head before they can grasp an object with their hand. Also, they can feed themselves before they can walk. Second development rule: The second development rule explains that children develop from the midline, or center of the body, outward toward the fingers and toes.

Third development rule: Finally, this rule reveals that, as the brain develops, a child responds to more and more sights and sounds in their environment. Furthermore, they learn to respond to much finer details. A general rule is that a baby increases in height by 50% and triples its birth weight in the first year. Clearly, this is a very rapid growth rate; however, the rate of growth slows down after infancy. At three months, a baby is alert and responding to the world.

When put on their tummy, they can hold their chest and head up for ten seconds. They try to swipe at toys hung over the crib. They turn their heads toward an interesting sound or listen to voices. Babies love to stare at people’s faces. They coo and gurgle. At six months a baby is developing control over its body. They can sit with support and may sit alone for short periods of time.

They can rollover. They will hold out their arms to be lifted up or reach and grab an object. They can hold their own bottles and toys. They laugh out loud, babbles, “calls” for help, and screams when annoyed. At nine months babies are exploring their environment. They can sit unassisted, crawl, pull to a stand, and sidestep along with the furniture. They can use their fingers to point, poke, and grasp small objects.

They feed themselves finger foods. Babies know their names and respond to simple commands. She babbles a pattern as if she were speaking a foreign language. At twelve months a baby is striving for independence. They stand and may walk by themselves. They climb up and downstairs and out of the crib or playpen. They prefer using one hand over the other and can drop and throw toys. They fear strange people and places. They remember events, expresses affection, show emotion, uses trial and error to solve a problem.

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Babies that aren’t so healthy do not develop as fast or as much as normal babies. For example, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a problem that is increasing all across America. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the effect of pregnant women drinking alcohol. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the leading cause of retardation. It affects more than 8,000 babies in the U.S.A. every year. FAS is 100% preventable; however, because of their mother’s decision to drink alcohol during pregnancy, none of the thousands of affected babies had the chance to be born normal.

FAS birth effects include facial abnormalities, growth deficiency, or brain damage. FAS children need guidance because they are easily distracted and forgetful. FAS does not go away because brain damage and birth defects are permanent. Mental retardation’s permanent and irreversible, behavioral problems are permanent. All of these problems associated with FAS and drug abuse are permanent. Moving on past the infant stage and into the adolescence and puberty stages, this is where children start becoming young adults and many new developments begin to occur.

This is also a time when youth start wanting their independence and begin to challenge societal values in the form of rebellion, act, and dress radically and form groups. These actions against the structure of existing society promote the beginning of independence that reflects their own rules, structures, class, gender, and ethnic groups. So, the youth culture, in challenging society’s values, at the same time is reflecting them.

Expectations of the children change as they get older. They know what is expected of them and want to follow the rules; However, due to peer pressure and other issues, some children will often break the rules. Many teenagers come from broken homes and poor communities with little respect for authority. They rebel against what they feel is an unjust society and look for a culture or group that they can identify with. Often society stereotypes these groups as dangerous, deviant, and delinquent.

These groups, however, just show many of the valued structures of society, but in a more radical way. They have a standard code of dress, values, ethics, and rebel in order to force their ideas onto the public and to feel part of a recognizable group. Although they feel they are expressing individuality through these groups, they are actually fitting into different structures, values, and in fact, a totally different social group.

Over the centuries the importance of the extended family has decreased considerably. At one time the family included grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and it was more important than the society in which it lived. The children were protected and controlled from outer forces by this large family with strong religious, cultural, and family ties.

The longer the child is kept in a controlled state, the more of the general cultural attitude it will absorb, and the less of a disturbing element it will become. In recent years, families have become limited to parents and their children. They have more material goods but lose out socially and emotionally. From a young child, nursery schools or kindergarten have taken over previous parental obligations. The schools do exercises, feeds them, takes them out for walks, give them a nap, teach them to keep things tidy, read, write, sing, and dance, etc?

It also teaches them to be kind, considerate, and honest. While the parents work, the state educational system becomes a parent to children in kindergarten through high school. The close relationship between child and parent no longer exists, however, the state sees the family as responsible for the child’s welfare and expectable behaviors. The broken family is seen as a factor in juvenile delinquency. Another negative aspect of the decline in family life is the rising incidence of divorce.

These all leave the child confused, feeling alone, and angry at society. The child then looks for ways to express himself and usually finds it in a youth group with similar concerns. Youths coming from broken homes look for ways to show their discontent with authority. Another form of confusion for youth is the lack of discussion in the home about sex. Many parents and teachers feel that talking about sex or contraceptives would likely encourage early sexual relations.

Often this psychology backfires and many teenagers start having sex without their parent’s knowledge. Their inexperience often leads to pregnancies and abortions. This system leaves the young adult humiliated and angry at society. Self-esteem is important for a teenager, and many teenagers find themselves lacking in it. This can lead to cruelty and rejection from many of their peers. Self-esteem can often be rebuilt through contact with youth groups having similar interests as the teenager.

It is interesting that it seems most human beings not only need to be in a social group but one that accepts him or her as they want to be. This seems to show that self-esteem is a very important ingredient in adolescent life. Without it people rebel; with it, there is no need to rebel. When a teenager reaches puberty, many changes take place. In the early 20th century, G. Stanley Hall noted the American psychologist, first defined adolescence as a distanced stage in human development.

Puberty is defined as the age or period at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction, in other eras of history, a rite or celebration event was a part of the culture. This is true of tribal societies that exist today, but for most of us, puberty as a specific event is part of a much more complicated piece of our lives called adolescence. Puberty rites signal acknowledgment of a young woman or young man has reached the age of responsibility, virility, and community productivity, and these rites make an impression on the teenager or adolescent.

Puberty rites are an attempt to mold and educate teenagers and prepare them for their new role in life. Today, in our western culture part of the world, we have no clearly defined rites; however, our rites are randomly scattered throughout the mid-teen years. For teenagers, getting your driver’s license, entering college, turning legal age, traveling across America or to Europe are all social rites.

To further complicate matters, the period of adolescence has probably doubled in length since Mr. Hall first identified it, our children mature younger and younger and take longer and longer to prepare for fully engaged membership into adulthood.

Through all of the readings on child and adolescent development, it is clear that children from birth through teen years all develop according to many factors; society, peers, education, family life, finances, fetal development, predispositions, and basically anything or anyone that the child may come in contact with.


Example #3

Most caregivers try to be the perfect parent and aspire to raise the perfect, well-rounded child. Caregivers want a child to be healthy, caring, and responsible. Healthy child development plays a major role in how a child turns out. There are many aspects of a child s development. The different aspects include the primary caregiver, school, spiritual guidance, social environment, and the role of television, videos, and computers. All these things play an important part in a child s development.

The primary caregiver has many different roles in a child s life. They have different jobs to fulfill. Primary caregivers provide support and boundaries. They are able to communicate effectively with the child, and they are a positive role model in that child s life.

The primary caregiver needs to make a child feel as if they are supported in many different ways. A child should feel that they are encouraged in their school by the parent. Parental involvement in the school is a positive image for kids. If their caregivers care about what they are doing in school, then most likely so will the child.

The primary caregiver should give confidence in the activities that a child is involved in. Activities are important for children. It gives them something to do, and it keeps them active. It s better than letting them sit in front of the television all day. The primary caregiver should encourage this kind of activity. It promotes a healthier lifestyle for the child.

Communication between a child and the primary caregiver is extremely important. A child should feel like they can talk to their caregiver without being looked down upon. They should be able to seek advice and counsel from their primary caregiver. The communication between the primary caregiver and the child should be more positive than negative. If it is negative, the child may feel like he/she cannot talk to the primary caregiver any longer.

Helping children communicate and accept their feelings may lead to more positive behavior. If children feel that they can talk to adults about anything, they will be more likely to report incidents of racism, prejudice, and abuse. If children feel that they will disappoint or anger the primary caregiver by telling them something, they will be more inclined to keep it to themselves. Being able to communicate effectively is something children will use and benefit from throughout their lives.

There are many different approaches that a primary caregiver can take to communicate effectively with their child. The primary caregiver needs to open the doors to communication by talking respectfully to their child. A child may have a different way of looking at things than the primary caregiver. Work together to come to an agreement or solution. This will give the child a chance to be creative and helpful in the process. The child will also be more willing to cooperate with the primary caregiver in this way.

Active listening is an extremely important aspect of communication. This shows that a person not only heard but also understood what the child was talking about. Keep your thoughts and emotions out of the process and focus on the child. A primary caregiver must be willing to listen, help, accept a child s way of thinking and not be afraid of the intensity of it, trust that the child can handle his/her problems and feelings, and allow him/her to be responsible for them, and remain open to changing your mind.

Boundaries need to be set in a child s life. Children need rules, consequences to the rules, and consistency with the rules and follow through. This is the primary caregiver’s responsibility. Establishing family ground rules is an excellent way to set limits for a child. The rules should be clear, simple, and little in number. When creating rules, focus on positive messages that teach a child values.

For example, we keep a clean house by picking up our own things. Use the family rules to guide the child toward the goals the primary caregiver has for him/her, to make things work smoothly, to keep him/her safe, and to help everyone to respect each other’s needs. A child, who goes through life with no rules, will grow up to be an adult who doesn’t respect authority. They will not be able to function very well in the real world.

Children need an adult role model in their life. The primary caregiver is a major role model in a child s life. The caregiver needs to show positive behavior and responsibility. This will enable a child to grow up with the knowledge of how to act towards others in their life. The primary caregiver needs to remember that children imitate what they see.

Show the child what responsible adults look like by practicing responsibility. Providing the child with opportunities to practice responsibility is the job of the primary caregiver. It is also important for the primary caregiver to accept responsibility for their actions. When making a mistake admit it and tell the child how it could have been handled better. Help the child learn from their mistakes by providing a respectful and learning environment.

Remember that actions speak louder than words. Teach children with actions. A primary caregiver may be telling him/her to do one thing, but if they do another, then that s what he/she will pick up on. A child will learn best from experience, so look for ways in everyday life to show him/her what responsibility and caring look like.

The school is another important aspect of a child s healthy development. Children need a positive environment that builds self-esteem and encourages him/them to do well. They also need boundaries within the school. Clear rules need to be set for the school, and they need to be enforced consistently. If one teacher is telling the student one thing, and another teacher is telling him/her another, that is giving the child mixed messages and the child will not know what to do. They will quickly learn which teacher will let them get away with what.

Communication between the teacher and the primary caregiver is extremely important. Both caregivers and teachers must realize that each has different views about the child, but they need to work together in one common goal. That is, to make sure that the child is getting the proper education that he/she needs to be successful in life. The primary caregiver should avoid blaming the teacher for their child s unsuccessful progress in the classroom. This will teach the child to blame others and avoid taking responsibility for their problems.

The main lesson learned in school is how to get along in the world. The school needs to make a subject interesting so that it has meaning for the child, and the child will want to learn and remember the information for the rest of his/her life. They also need to understand each child in order to help each child to overcome weak points and develop into a well-rounded person.

Spirituality is an element of childhood that often gets overlooked. But this is valuable to a child s healthy development. Primary caregivers who encourage their children s spirituality to teach them how to get along with others and how to deal with feelings in an environment where the human spirit is connected and supported. This will teach kids they can grow up and take care of themselves and be responsible for the people they love.

Spirituality teaches us that what is important is on the inside. This is an excellent virtue to instill in a child. They need to know that what they feel on the inside is important and that it is okay to let those feelings out. A child needs to learn that keeping their feelings bottled up will eventually lead to self-destruction. Turning inward is a basic component of many religions. Meditation, prayer, and chanting all are tools to quiet the mind. Providing a quiet environment will encourage a child to have some quiet moments.

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A primary caregiver can weave opportunities to talk about deeper issues into everyday routines at home. One easy method is choosing books that deal with spiritual issues. Traditional folktales and fairytales often contain common teachings found in world religions. Books give parents the chance to talk about the power of unselfish love in ways a child can understand.

A child s social environment is important to healthy development. The social environment consists of playmates or friends, the neighborhood and community in which you live, and the after school or in-school sports and activities. All these things have an impact on the development of a healthy child.

A child s playmates or friends have a profound impact on a child. Peer pressure is a very crucial contributor for our children all the way through childhood. Peers influence values, interests, and the way a child dresses. The way that it affects your child is whether or not the influence is good or bad. Positive peer influences are from those friends who model responsible behavior.

If a child is hanging around these types of kids, then most likely he/she will be more responsible also. The type of influence also depends on the type of group that a child is around. A child is in many different groups including at school, on the playground, in the neighborhood, at church, etc. Each different group has different characteristics to it.

A child should feel safe within their neighborhood or community. They need to feel a sense that they are valued and appreciated in the community. A child can feel this by being given useful roles in the community. The neighborhood should contribute to a child s sense of security by monitoring the child s behavior when he/she is out in the neighborhood. The neighbors should be caring towards a child.

After school activities are important in a child s life. They give the child an opportunity to expand their horizons and try different things. It will give them a sense of belonging to a group. Activities will also keep them from getting into trouble. Sports instruction also gives them needed exercise. It also teaches them how to cooperate and work with others.

The role of television, videos, and computers are an important part of our culture and should be used wisely. Depending on how you are using these things determines how it affects your child. Children benefit more from person to person interaction than screen time. Too much screen time can take away from the time that children spend in play and other activities that help children develop language, social, thinking, and motor skills.

Violence on television is a major issue with children today. Do not assume that because a program, video, video game, or software product is labeled for children that it is not violent or scary. Saturday morning cartoons contain more acts of violence than primetime shows for adults. Heavy exposure to violence on television is harmful to children, can reinforce negative values, and poses several risks.

Children exposed to a lot of violence learn to be less sensitive to the pain of others or may become immune to the images of violence. They also slowly learn to accept violence as a way to solve problems, imitate violence, and become more fearful of the world.

Primary caregivers need to determine which programs, games, etc. are appropriate for their child. Wisely chosen, these things can provide learning experiences, fun, and a positive influence on children. Caregivers should limit the amount of time spent watching a television or computer screen. They should also monitor what their child is watching or playing. Evaluate video games before buying them, or trying out the game before letting a child play it is beneficial.

When the child is on the Internet make sure that they have guidelines that they need to follow. A child should not be using the Internet while the primary caregiver is away. For television viewing, there is the new v-chip that allows people to block programming from their TV sets. It can block all shows with a TV rating that is chosen from the TV rating system.

What a child learns during their childhood is reflected in their adulthood. The healthy development of a child depends on what they learn and their experiences. The primary caregiver, school, spiritual guidance, social environment, and the role of television, videos, and computers all contribute to a child s healthy development. This contribution can be bad or good. The healthy development of a child leads to a caring, healthy, and responsible individual.


Example #4

Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that Child development entails the biological, psychological, and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing independence. Human development is the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live.

Dr. Maria Montessori said Child development is the process through which human beings naturally grow and mature from infancy through adulthood. The different aspects of growth and development that are measured include physical growth, cognitive growth, and social growth. Bonding is the intense attachment that develops between parents and their babies.

Bonding gets parents up in the middle of the night to feed their hungry baby and makes them attentive to the baby’s wide range of cries. And parents’ responsiveness to an infant’s signals can affect the child’s social and cognitive development. But bonding is a process, not something that takes place within minutes and not something that has to be limited to happening within a certain time period after birth.

For many parents, bonding is a process of everyday caregiving. You may not even know it’s happening until you observe your baby’s first smile and suddenly realize that you’re filled with love and joy. Both physical and emotional factors influence the mother-child bonding process.


Example #5

According to John Santrock, “Development” can be defined as a pattern of change that begins at conception and continues throughout the human’s life, while the Oxford school dictionary defines “Physical” as having to do with the body rather than the mind. This article I examined written by Alex Brooks with further clarification from John Santrock, Brooks believes that a person’s view of physical development is more than just hitting the right percentiles on a height chart.

He believes that research conducted by the Australian Department of Health and Aging shows that all babies grow in the same order but at completely different rates where he then shows were one seven month child maybe be chatting madly while another may be playing.

Basically in fine movement, these researches are important because it visualizes to how a child uses these small muscles gradually improves to a point of handedness as Santrock says and this I also think doesn’t entirely base on muscles but it shows the level of development in the brain to carry out certain instructions that are given.

Alex then outlined another huge child’s physical development to be the ability of vision and hearing. This ability of vision as Alex showcase help these young individuals to see both near and far objects and I, therefore, believe that as their cognitive phases develop they can interpret them and the ability of hearing gives them the opportunity to interpret sound, this ability allows them to also produce sound “language” which is indeed another huge milestone for them based on an adaption of sounds from persons in the environment.

Finally, the last milestone that Alex’s research shows which is a contributive factor in a child’s physical development is their emotional and social behavior. In relation to these behaviors, he outlines that a child begins to learn and interact with others throughout the environment and additionally John Santrock says that parents should develop a model known as “reciprocal socialization”, in which the interaction of parents and child is very intense where parents socialize with child and child socialize with parents.


Example #6

The main stages of child and young person development From birth through to adulthood children continually grow, develop, and learn. A child’s development can be measured through social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and language developmental milestones.

All children and young people follow a similar pattern of development so the order in which each child advances from one milestone to the next will be roughly the same. However, each child will develop at a different rate and their development may not progress evenly across all areas.

Therefore teaching practices aimed at child development should seek to simultaneously address each one of the developmental areas. In general, child development progresses: From head to toe. Beginning at the top of the body and gradually moving downwards From inner to outer. Firstly gaining control of muscles close to the trunk/head and then moving outwards so the large muscles in the shoulders and upper arms/thighs are first and the extremities last From simple to complex.

Children progress from simple words to complex sentences From general to specific; emotional responses involve the whole body in young babies but may involve only the face in an older child Areas of development It is important to understand how children develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually to know that all areas of development are equally as important as each other and that all impact on one another.

Physical development includes movement skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and eye-hand coordination. Children’s physical development can be supported by Providing space and some equipment for the development of movement skills and gross motor skills and adequate supervision Providing material and equipment for the improvement of fine motor skills Providing cooking, sewing, woodwork, and other activities to enhance hand-eye coordination.

Social and emotional development includes forming relationships, learning social skills, caring for others, self-reliance, making decisions, developing self-confidence, and dealing with emotions. Children’s social development can be supported by:

  • Giving praise for achievement
  • Giving children guidance but respecting their choices
  • Giving them the chance to meet and spend time with other children and adults
  • Providing activities that involve sharing and taking turns
  • Giving support and encouragement and the right amount of supervision
  • Providing opportunities to share in decisions
  • Listening to children and taking them seriously
  • Providing opportunities where children take responsibility

Emotional development can be supported: By being warm and affectionate towards them Giving them the opportunity to express how they feel Making them feel secure and valued Giving children time and attention to adjust to new situations Intellectual development includes attention span, understanding information, reasoning, developing memory, logical thinking, and questioning.

As children mature changes in the ways they think about their world can have a profound effect on their ability to cope with the demands of school and daily life. Their ability to process greater amounts of complex information gives them the opportunity to learn new skills and gain new knowledge. Children’s intellectual development can be supported by Developing the memory by talking about what has happened in the past Talking about what the child sees, hears smells, touches, and tastes.

Looking at and touching animals and plants Playing games like “I spy” Looking at machinery and computers with the children Providing make-believe play by having dressed up clothes, a playhouse of pretend shop Providing creative art/craft activities Asking and answering questions and suggesting ideas Language development includes understanding and acquiring language, developing vocabulary and body language.

Language development can be supported by Asking open-ended questions Discussing books, pictures, objects, or sounds Asking children to recall something from the past Asking children to give information about themselves Milestones Milestones mark the achievement of certain mental and physical abilities such as walking or being able to form a sentence and signal the end of one developmental period and the beginning of another.

Researchers who have studied the accomplishment of many developmental tasks have determined the typical ages that are associated with each developmental milestone. However, they have also found that the time spans in which some milestones are achieved can vary, with some milestones being more variable than others. Following is a general guide to how children develop within the following age ranges: 0-3 years 3-7 years 7-12 years 12-19 years.


Example #7

Children’s development is a very complicated process. Trying to unite different ages in groups with the purpose to give some particular characteristics, scientists used the range of ages as children development may differ and some children at 4 years may possess skills and knowledge which others will acquire only at 6. There are particular norms that deviate in the issues of childhood development. Speaking, listening, and comprehension, reading, and writing are the main aspects according to which children’s development is accessed.

Early childhood (2-6) and middle childhood (6-10) are two age groups that stand close, however, children’s development at each of these stages is absolutely different. Giving the general characteristics of each of the stages mentioned above (early childhood and middle childhood) this paper aims to consider the differences in language development, reading, and writing. Comparative and contrast analysis is going to help in the future choice of reading and writing tasks for children of different age groups.

The early childhood stage (2-6 years) leads children through many physical, cognitive, and social changes. Children at this age form stable reasoning aspects that help them develop their cognitive and mental thinking processes. Children at this age develop intuitive reasoning, their reason and consequence connections become more logical.

At the middle childhood stage (6-10 years) children are able to complete more complicated thinking processes. The reasoning becomes more refined and detailed. Here is a detailed comparison and contrast analysis of the language skills, reading, and writing development of children at two different stages, early childhood, and middle childhood.

Therefore, it may be concluded that language skills, reading, and writing development differ greatly at various stages of childhood development. Depending on the age of children, various exercises and activities may be used for reading and writing development. Teachers are to understand that many children have varying levels of development.

Therefore, the tasks they should give to them should be created especially for them. However, teachers should also try to improve the skills of those who lagged behind in order to make sure that all children have managed to reach the average level of development in accordance with the age stage. Children with higher reading and writing abilities should be offered more complicated tasks as the additional ones after the common tasks are completed.


Example #8

The psychology of child development is of major importance to psychologists, and as a result, numerous theoretical concepts have been developed. One of the most important concepts concerned with child development is the psychosocial theory developed by a renowned German social psychologist, Erick Erickson. Erickson’s psychosocial theory is one of the most popular modern theories of human development.

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It highlights eight progressive stages through which an individual develops. Erickson proposes that an individual ought to successfully go through all the stages while mastering critical skills at each stage. While these skills enable one to acquire essential virtues, mastery of these virtues is inhibited by inherent challenges at each developmental stage.

As such, Erickson’s theory has become very popular due to the fact that not only does it highlight progressive stages through which personality develops but also highlights key challenges that inhibit such development.

Erickson’s theory goes further and proposes alternative counteractive measures through which individuals navigate crises inherent in each of the developmental stages. It is imperative to note that the dominant crisis within the entire theory seems to be trusted vs. mistrust, which forms the basis of discussion herein.

This paper aims at evaluating major issues pertinent to child development in one of the developmental phases from birth up to 12 years. During this period, an individual develops key skills that not only shape outcomes in later life but almost irreversibly shape one’s personality.

Of the eight stages identified by Erickson, four of them account for personality development for the first 12 years of existence, highlighting the significance of the psychology of child development. The eight stages are categorized as follows: Basic Trust vs. Mistrust (0 – 2 years), Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (2 – 4 years), Initiative vs. Guilt (4 – 5 years), and lastly Industry vs. Inferiority (5 – 12 years).

Each of these stages is crucial to the development of a healthy personality. Erickson has identified certain skills acquired at each. Since this paper aims at evaluating one of the critical stages from birth to 12 years, Erickson’s fourth stage, Industry vs. Inferiority, is the focus for this assignment. Major assumptions are tested against the life experiences of a 7-year-old boy, whose real identity cannot be revealed for security and confidentiality.

While Erickson provides eight stages of human development, half of them encompass human development during childhood.

Erickson’s first four stages are identified as Basic Trust vs. Mistrust (0 – 2 years), where a child develops a sense of hope and trusts; Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (2 – 4 years), where a child develops a sense of rebellion; Initiative vs. Guilt (4 – 5 years), where a child learns to set goals, and lastly Industry vs. Inferiority (5 – 12 years) where competency in basic skills is gained.

While there are traces of overlap in child development within these stages, it is imperative to note that each of them is distinct and significantly influences outcomes in later life (Erickson, 1950). In Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, it is stipulated that the ability to navigate all the eight stages seals the development of a healthy personality.

Additionally, Erickson’s eight stages “characterizes an individual advancement through the eight life stages as a function of negotiating either his or her biological and socio-cultural forces” (Crain, 2011 p. 34). Biological forces are characterized by normal biological changes while socio-cultural forces are indicative of the prevailing social setup.

John is seven-year-old boy, and the only child of his mother, a divorcee. John’s mother divorced his father when John was two years old. She remarried an abusive man prompting John’s custody to be given back to his biological father. Due to his step father’s abusiveness, contact between John and his mother has been severely curtailed.

This seems to have confused John, further severing the relationship between mother and son. From afar, john appears to be a normal boy, but upon interaction with him, a different picture of him emerges. John is rebellious, rude, finds problems paying attention, and portrays a lack of interest in life; this significantly affects John’s performance in class.

His anxiety level is also high and seems to dread meeting his mother. He also has a tendency to portray anger outbursts, most of which is directed towards his parents; he thinks that his parents are the cause of his misery since they do not love him as they ought to. Such a negative sense of self has negatively affected John’s interaction with others, especially his peers.

He is usually aloof and alone, and as such has no close friends. It is ironic, however, that John seems comfortable in the company of adult strangers; he is usually seen talking to strangers on his way to and from school. Nevertheless, John attempts to improve their relationship with his parents and peers; he is overly kind to his school mates and does anything to impress them.

He also gets presents for his mother and step-sister. All this nevertheless, appear to be efforts in futility. His attention span is also very low due to his tendencies to daydream. As a result of this, John has problems not only finishing his school work but also with household tasks.

He also finds it difficult to concentrate for long hours on any task assigned, be it school work or housework. As a result, John has discipline issues both at home and in school.

According to Pillay (2009), the age between 5 and 12 years marks a period in which a child essentially enters into life. Pillay’s (2009) assertions can be attributed to assertions made by Erickson (1950) that a child develops key competencies during this stage. As such whether a child “can make it in the world of people and things” becomes the key existential question for children aged between 5 and 12 years.

During this age, a child becomes extremely industrious due to increased awareness about the self. 5 to 12-year-olds focus on unique skills and abilities. Marotz (2003) further adds that 5 to 12-year-olds achieve significant milestones in cognitive development, the result of which is the enhanced understanding of key concepts such as time, space, and logic.

Other concepts crucial to child development and which are learned during this stage include the concept of cause and effect, morality, culture, and motivation. Additionally, acquisition of other complex skills such as competency in reading and writing as well as accuracy in telling time is the major preoccupation for 5 to 12-year-olds.

According to Chapman (2009), industriousness is precipitated by the confidence gained in the use of ‘method’. By the method, Chapman (2009) refers to purposeful and meaningful ways through which children at this age utilize their skills and abilities, to achieve certain goals.

Assertions made by Chapman (2009) with regard to attainment of goals concur with those made by Erickson (1950) to the extent that goal setting is a major developmental milestone for children aged between 5 and 12 years.

Shaffer (2008) adds that goal setting is associated with increased awareness of the concept of hard work, cause / effects relationship as well as the need to do things right. In addition to this, children at this stage are likely to portray rebelliousness. However, this should not be misconstrued as indiscipline and instead be treated as an expression of expressing independence.

Additionally, rebellion at this stage can be associated with low self esteem as well as lack of motivation. Erickson (1950) adds to this by stating that the school and the playing field are common environments through which major transactions are made for children aged 5 to 12 years.

This implies that, as Kail and Cavanaugh (2004) suggest, 5 to 12 year olds form the most significant relationships not only with parents and their siblings but also with class mates, teachers and neighborhood friends. Schoolwork, child play and competitive sports form the major activities for 5 to 12 year olds.

Erickson theory of psychosocial development is based on trust; trust is the main ingredient in which relationships are built on. Trust determines not only the nature but also the extent of human relationship as well as an individual’s interaction with the external environment. If trust is severed, human relationships as well as the relationship with the external environment are irreparably severed.

Erickson (1950) asserts that lack of trust during this stage can be disastrous in later life, and may create psychosocial problems such as homosexuality and neurosis. Additionally, Chapman (2009) states that lack of trust leads to feelings of failure, be it in the social setup or in school work, and is likely to develop into low self concept.

This leads to the development of inferiority complex. According to Rathus (2012) while inferiority complex is associated with racism and any other form of discrimination and biases, feelings of rejection are likely to aggravate the condition, leading to maladjustment.

As Pillay (2009) asserts, “a negative evaluation of self as inferior compared to others is extremely disruptive at this stage and since this stage is a rehearsal for being productive and being valued at work in later life”, the development of inferiority complex is almost irreversibly catastrophic.


Example #9 – interesting ideas

Without sleep a child will become unruly and unresponsive. They get grumpy, just like adults do when they are sleepy. Child tend to play hard and run around a lot- so they loose energy quickly. That and the fact that their stomachs are smaller so they have less calories in their diet (unless you decide to hop them up on sugar) A child will regularly get into his/her own sleep schedule.

It is nearly impossible to force one on a child. They will eventually fall asleep even if you try to keep them awake. The older they get the longer they will be able to stay awake, thus eliminating the mid day nap that most toddlers take.

I had to do this exact same assignment for my child development class! My teacher wanted us to explain the experience…what happened that was good/felt rewarding, and what happened that was bad/gave you stress.

She also wanted us to explain our viewpoint of taking care of children before and after the mechanical baby. You could also go into explaining what you did when things became stressful, depending on how long your essay needs to be. That is what my teacher asked me to write.

The first three years of life is the most concentrated period of speech and language development. In this stage, the child’s brain is developing and maturing at a quick pace. Language and speech tend to develop and improve when children are exposed to an environment full of sights and sounds of others engaging in speech and language.It doesn’t take infants long to begin to communicate with the world around them.

During the first few days of life, they learn that crying will bring them food, comfort and a feeling of safety. Newborns are also born recognizing the voice of their mother. It is a familiar sound from their recent time inside the womb. Newborns also begin to recognize other familiar sounds in their environment and learn not to be startled by common louder noises or more frequent sounds.

As they develop and grow, babies begin to separate the phonemes, or the sound units of speech. This builds the foundation of their language development. Research has shown that by the age of 6 months, most children can recognize the basic sounds of their natural language. Children need to be immersed in a language early on.

Babies begin by making cooing sounds. These are fairly soft, almost singing sounds. As infants reach 6 months of age, they are usually babbling or creating more repetitive syllables such as “ma, ma” or “da, da.” This babbling will then begin to sound like gibberish as the child tries to talk like the adults around him. As toddlers reach the end of their first year, a majority of them can say a few simple words.

They continue to learn and use more words as they see the response given by others around them. It is important to try to teach your child about the world around him by showing and talking about daily activities. By the time a child reaches 18 months of age, he can usually say eight to ten words. By age 2, most children are putting words together in basic sentences such as “more juice.

” At this age they also begin to engage in pretend play. At ages 3, 4, and 5, a child’s vocabulary continues to increase as he begins to understand the rules of language. Remember, all children develop differently, and your child may be saying more or less words at each stage. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.

Children seem born not just to speak, but also to interact socially. Even before they use words, they use cries and gestures to convey meaning; they often understand the meanings that others convey. The point of learning language and interacting socially, then, is not to master rules, but to make connections with other people and to make sense of experiences (Wells, 1986). In summary, language occurs through an interaction among genes (which hold innate tendencies to communicate and be sociable), environment, and the child’s own thinking abilities.

Understand that every child’s language or dialect is worthy of respect as a valid system for communication. It reflects the identities, values, and experiences of the child’s family and community.

Treat children as if they are conversationalists, even if they are not yet talking. Children learn very early about how conversations work (taking turns, looking attentively, using facial expressions, etc.) as long as they have experiences with conversing adults.

Encourage interaction among children. Peer learning is an important part of language development, especially in mixed-age groups. Activities involving a wide range of materials should promote talk. There should be a balance between individual activities and those that nurture collaboration and discussion, such as dramatic play, block-building, book-sharing, or carpentry.

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