Free «The Development of the Early Childhood» Essay Paper
The development of the early childhood consists of the growth or changes that occur during the life of a child from birth to adolescence. The process includes three sequences: the cognitive, physical, and emotional progression. These critical areas of the infant's growth involve evolving changes which follow a foreseeable pattern (Martorell, 2012). The physical development stage, in particular, consists of bodily transformations related to the changes in bone size, weight, and thickness. It also entails the enhancement of vision, fine motor, gross motor, hearing, and perceptual growth. At this stage, the child's shape, size organs, and senses undergo a transformation that enables to gain new capabilities.
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The cognitive development is the second stage that refers to the various improvements that enable the child to solve problems, develop a language, and advance their knowledge. Children can have cognitive enhancement if they interact with the surrounding and people through the senses of touch, smell, taste, and sight (Martorell, 2012). The emotional development stage is the third phase that consists of an ability to express oneself and articulate feelings about others as well as the objective reality. Emotional progress assists in the social development of children since they can express their opinions, trust, or fear while growing older.
Notably, an infant may face acute health issues if they do not receive adequate amount of nutrients that should facilitate normal growth of the organism. Thus, it is essential for children to have a balanced diet that will enable them to be healthy and fit. Infants under the age of six months should exclusively undergo the process of breastfeeding since the milk contains immunological and protective nutrients that reinforce the natural growth of the child (Martorell, 2012). Once the baby is aged more than six months, mothers should introduce healthy solids which are rich in zinc and iron. When the child approaches the age of three and above, it is advisable to consume foods that contain minerals, proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates. They will enable the child to grow both mentally and physically.
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Progressive milestones entail physical skills or behaviors observable in children as they develop and grow. Such actions include walking, crawling, talking, or even rolling over the floor. These noticeable changes are categorized into two major motor areas of development, namely gross motor and fine motor (Martorell, 2012). The former progression refers to the improvement of control and skills of the large muscles of arms, legs shoulder, and the back. These muscles are employed in sitting, walking, running, or jumping. On the other hand, fine motor development consists of the use of the smaller muscles of the hands and fingers that assist in cutting of materials, grasping of objects, or writing.
The dynamic system theory and maturational concept are theories that support motor development. The author of the maturational theory, Arnold Gesell, stated that motor progression had advanced from the global to two precise directions known as the cephalocaudal and proximodistal trends (Martorell, 2012). The cephalocaudal pattern consists of the motor control from the head to the legs, while the proximodistal trend involves motor control from the head to the arms and finally to the legs. The dynamic system theory presupposes that all new motor progressions are a result of the continued and active interaction of the environmental support and constraints, nervous system, the biomechanics, and capabilities of the body. Additionally, culture plays a significant role in the growth of the child’s motor abilities. Crawling and walking are the examples of developmental milestones that occur at different ages and tend to differ in communities as they apply a range of practices in child care. For instance, African women carry their babies on their backs; accordingly, this position assists in the growth of strong legs and core muscles. Hence, most African babies tend to walk at an earlier age. On the other hand, American and European women do not carry their children on the back often, and, thus, their babies begin to crawl and walk at a later age as compared to African toddlers.
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Childhood immunization is one of the most effective community health strategies aimed at preventing and controlling diseases. Some of the significant mortality risks that young infants are exposed to include hepatitis B and A, varicella, measles, and rabies (Martorell, 2012). Therefore, the vaccination process is essential since it assists in the reduction of childhood mortality and morbidity of communicable ailments. Additionally, the vaccines help the unvaccinated individuals to benefit from herd immunity which acts as a reduced risk of exposure to the disease, especially when a larger population has been vaccinated.
As children continue to grow, they experience some behavior and mental changes that allow a child to understand the framework of the world. Such changes include the development of several abilities, such as perception, thinking, and learning. The theoretical approach of Piaget theory about changes in cognition indicates that children are active seekers of information, and, thus, they materialize their understanding from their own experiences (Martorell, 2012). The findings relate to a sensorimotor stage, where an infant goes through a transition period of using their illustrations as compared to depending solely on their reflexes. The sensorimotor stage is divided into six substages, including tertiary circular, reflex movement, secondary circular responses, primary spherical reactions, and discovering new ways by intellectual combination and harmonization of secondary schemata. The substages assist the child in understanding an object's durability.
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Language advancement is the process makes infants capable of comprehending and communicating by means of language during their early childhood. Language advancement commences before birth. During the end of pregnancy, the fetus can hear speech and sounds coming from the mother's body. Between birth and three months of age, a baby tends to turn towards familiar sounds and can also recognize the voice of the mother (Martorell, 2012). Between three to six months, most children can cry differently out of hunger or pain, and they can also communicate through the use of gestures as they laugh, blow bubbles or sputter. Between six to 12 months, the child can babble or repeat sounds. At the age of twelve to eighteen months, the infant can point at objects and also pronounce words, though not precisely. At the age of eighteen to two years, the baby can already pronounce more than ten words and ask for food.
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A child experiences significant changes in the expression of temperament and emotions. A range of children's feelings tend to gradually expand when they encounter a new environment and, thus, tend to react to the unfamiliar surroundings. Once the child is stimulated, they respond by expressing themselves either negatively or positively. When the child adapts to the new environment, they tend to learn and control their emotions, thus regulating themselves (Martorell, 2012). As children grow, the things that provoked their emotional responses tend to change, thereby impacting their development in the future.
The child who experienced the world as hostile and unresponsive at the tender age feels insecure. They withdraw from the children because of expressing the aspects of insecurity about their peers. Moreover, they may act aggressively as a way of protecting themselves from future risks, such as bullying. Thomas and Chess are analysts who identified three styles of temperament, including easy, behaviorally inhibited, and difficult. Children with a natural temperament have as a rule a good concentration span, humor, and kindness. Children with anger problems are characterized as very active, resistant to change, and excessively sensitive. Finally, behaviorally reserved kids are less productive and tend to withdraw in new circumstances.
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Mary Ainsworth designed an assessment technique known as the Strange Situation Classification aimed at evaluating how attachment varies between mothers and children. She used a small room with a glass wall to observe the child's behavior (Martorell, 2012). The child was to be left with the mother inside the room for a limited period. A stranger would later join the infant and the mother. The latter would later leave the infant with the stranger. The mother would then return, and, hence, the stranger would leave. Afterwards, the mother could then leave the baby alone for some time, and then the stranger would return and take the baby. Eventually, the mother would come and pick the baby, and the stranger would leave.
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On the basis of the abovementioned experiment, Ainsworth formulated four styles of attachment, namely the secure style, insecure style, insecure ambivalent resistant style, and the disorganized style. The secure attachment is when the infant feels secure, thus developing affection (Martorell, 2012). The insecure attachment concerns children who are independent and, therefore, do not require any person to assist them when in need. The hesitant resistant style illustrates the manner in which the child exhibits dependent and clingy behavior, but they fail to develop any feelings of security from the attachment person.
Such an illustration demonstrates the essence of attachment which establishes a child-parent bond as well as provides a sense of confidence and security for the child, thus enhancing their growth. Despite knowing the importance of attachment in the child's growth, one should differentiate between stranger and separation anxiety (Martorell, 2012). Separation anxiety is an attachment behavior of infants that is seen when the child shows distress by crying if they are unhappy because the parent is leaving. On the other hand, stranger anxiety is a form of grief experienced by the infant who is exposed to strangers. As a result, the child tends to cry or hide.
The relationship between siblings, peers, and young infants is essential since it helps in early childhood development (Martorell, 2012). Young children are able to interact with one another, which makes them able to regulate their negative and positive emotions in an acceptable manner. The siblings assist their younger brothers and sisters in acquiring communicative skills since the children emulate the behavioral patterns of their older siblings.