All people begin their evolutionary Journey from the perennial stage as a blank canvas that is molded throughout their lifetime; over time many Influential factors within their world influence and shape the person who they are to become. There are some identified defining factors effecting child development that are presented, stemming from differences within today’s diverse world and can be sub divided into five main categories, being physical, social, emotional, sexual and cultural aspects.
All of these factors impact our lives and upon each other, thus in turn shaping how we develop wrought internationalist of experiences and the responses that are provoked. Most theorists of child development agree that there are stages to be observed when looking at the psychological and physical development of a child; these particular stages can be seen as universal across cultures and sexes.
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There are five sub categories when looking at a child’s development and although all of these are age guided, not all children reach the same area at the same time, neither do they systematically achieve each stage by a certain age, although they are achieved In order, they are there for guidance purposes only. The five Identified areas that a child develops are physical, intellectual, social, emotional and language The first stage which has been termed by cognitive psychologist Jean Pigged as the Seniority stage covers the age range from birth to 2 years of age.
This Is the age range when the most dramatic and primary changes happen, with the baby transitioning from being totally dependent upon a career for all sources of their welfare and development, to exercising a very limited way of communicating to others their wants as they develop into becoming a fairly able bodied toddler who can more often than to exercise their autonomy through vocal and physical displays of preference.
During the seniority stage a child learns about the world around them through the 5 senses, touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. It is through the use of these senses that the baby begins to interact with their environment, initially It is smell and sound which Is used to Identify their primary care giver normally this recognition Is in the form of bodily smells and voice.
Their sight is the next sense, developing from a black and white image with color slowly integrated, it is through this process here they begin to socially develop relationships by recognition of people within their environment, especially with a great response towards the human face , this Is then built upon by the fine tuning of voluntary and reciprocal expressions of both facial expressions and noises, that eventually turn smiles or cries into fully formed words, making social exchanges a two way social interaction where by autonomy is expressed.
Through the use of taste and touch babies assist their exploration of their environment through the use of their mouths and tongue, this Is soon over mom and exploration is then mostly practiced via the touch alone, so they grow the next area to develop is to define their fine motor skills, beginning with holding a finger of a care giver, to a rattle, to alma for grabbing distant objects, using the pincher grip when learning to self feed, to finally having the ability to grasp objects and use them with intentional purpose, like bang a drum or push a toy car along.
These fine motor skills are not Just confined to upper limb movement but also the ability to move trot being a baby that cannot support its own head to being able to sit up died/ unaided to crawling to walking to running to Jumping and even attempting to confront stairs. But social interactions within their environments are Just as important to a child’s development at this very early stage as they are even later on, due to them battling internal conflicts and their abilities to grasp concepts from the world around them, therefore positive reinforcement and interactions are necessary to encourage social development.
Overall by the end of the seniority stage children have developed from being totally dependent to being more environmentally and socially aware of their surroundings. The next developmental stage of a child can be classed as pre- school or as Erik Erickson termed it, the play age, with the age band of 3-5 years. Neurological connections continue to be produced at a high volume due to the need for the increase in cognitive abilities.
Through this stage children become more self aware of themselves along with that of others developing a sense of individuality within their environments and are able to control and express their emotions at a more direct level whilst also being able to express empathy towards others. Their physical capabilities are becoming finer need with the ability of being able to catch a ball, move to rhythm, and hold a pencil and balance. Intellectually they are becoming more inquisitive therefore are able enquire and to absorb information rapidly allowing them relay it at most times a comprehensible level.
Their play also begins to incorporate details of everyday life and aspects of role play begin to show. Level Weights deems this stage of proximal development important to not only the child but also the people/ peers within the child’s environment as they are there as guide to help steer and influence the child’s honking acting as a ‘scaffolding in development’ through encouragement of exploration. The next developmental milestone stage in child development that follows on from the ‘play age’ is the age range of 5-8 years.
During this stage of the child’s development their development becomes more sophisticated by putting into practice all they have learnt since birth by fine tuning their speech and every movement, along with their intellectual awareness being much greater with them becoming more inquisitive about the world, their environment, who they are as a person and here they fit into this world due to becoming more aware of differences in all aspects of their lives.
They are also at a stage where they begin to feel the need to ‘belong and fit in’ with a greater personal emphasis being placed upon relationships. They are also more aware of others feelings towards themselves, making this a very vulnerable stage with personal perceptions and peer group opinions being a very important factor in this stage of development proving complimentary of Level Hoosegows theory that this stage is reliant upon the ‘scaffolding of peer relationships’.