Infancy and Early Childhood Development Mindy Goltiao PSY 375 Dr. Matthew Warren August 27, 2018 Life Span Perspective of Human Development The first few years of a child are critical in molding the brain network because it is the age that they learn the most quickly. Creating a foundation of the brain’s ability to organize and function are established in the earliest years of youth. Biosocial, cognitive, psychosocial development in the first two years of infancy are affected by family, the parenting styles used, and early childhood education (Facts for life, n.d.). Family effect on development Family are the direct caretakers of a child. Responsibility for making sure a child goes to a doctor check up is part of making sure they are cared for. Doctors can address concerns they may observe and work together with parents to ensure the child is on track to reaching developmental milestones. Family daily feed a child the nutrients they need to fuel their body and to store fat that keep the brain nourished. Family also ensure an infant gets the right amount of sleep. Getting enough sleep contribute to normal brain growth, learning, emotional regulation, academic success, and psychological adjustments. If parents do not take a child’s sleep routine seriously, health problems from sleep deprivation will affect them throughout their life. Another aspect are experiences that is vital for dendrites and synapses to link neurons.
Parents have the opportunity to expose their children to music, interact with animals at a zoo or other people at a party to allow pruning. Pruning is a term that eliminate neurons to create established, and protected links in the brain. An infant can develop an imbalance of cortisol if they are overly stressed. A child can either always be alert or have improper behavior to stress responses. Family that holds their newborn, continually talks to them, show affection are all positive ways to contribute to a child’s developmental growth. Following a child’s self righting preference will assist them in any developmental deficits they are facing. Making a choice to vaccinate a child can prevent an assortment of diseases. If a mother is able to, breast feeding their newborn will offer and provide iron rich, vitamins, and and other nutrients to the child. Specific fats and sugar in breast milk allow better digestibility and infant brain nutrition. A child’s success in normal development. is highly dependent on their family. Parenting Styles Understanding what is being developed at what age can motivate parents and the styles they use to raise their children.
Parenting styles convey four elements of warmth, discipline, communication and, expectations for maturity. Baumrind identifies three parenting styles: Authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative. Authoritarian parenting has high behavioral standards, strict punishment, and very little communication between parents and child. Children tend to feel sad, internalize frustrations, and are driven to be obedient and quiet towards parents. Permissive parenting highly nurtures and welcomes open communication. Discipline, guidance, and control is non existent in this style. Children tend to be dependent, live at home, lack skills to share, to interact in a healthy way with peers and adults, are restless, and, unable to calm themselves down. Authoritative parenting is where parents set healthy boundaries, listen to the child and remain flexible to their child’s needs. Here children are prepared best to be successful, good communicators, and generally happy. I believe the best parenting style should emphasize the Authoritative style. I feel that having a combination of any of the styles along with the Authoritative style will produce a balanced child.
There is some merit for parents to have authority and allow their child control. Depending on each child, their needs will demand a certain style to be used. Understanding the child and figuring out what will work best will determine the style a parent can use on them. During childhood the parenting style can change so being aware of nuances and subtleties in the child must be observed. Early Childhood Education Early childhood development has a direct correlation to cognitive development. It is known that by age three of four that children learn best with sufficient practice in hearing, speaking, gross and fine motor skills, literacy, and exposure to learning numbers. Three general categories of early childhood education include child centered, teacher directed, and intervention programs. Child centered programs nurture children to discover at their own pace, and allows a child to express themselves artistically. Child centered programs are influenced by Piaget. These programs usually have games with a math component, have number rules to abide by. For example, two kids can get juice at a time. In addition, they follow routines and make use of a daily calendar. Montessori and Reggio Emilia schools follow a child centered approach to teaching. In teacher directed programs, teaching foundational skills of reading, writing, and mathematics are taught. Children have a more structured schedule of learning letters, phonics, counting, and writing their names. his teaching approach is driven by behaviorism. Behaviorism involves repeating something over and over and a step by step learning style. Intervention programs are programs offered to those that typically do not have the opportunity to go to school due to finances or for other reasons.
Head Start is a federal government funded program offered to disadvantaged kids. Early start was offered to younger aged children and programs geared to children with disabilities have developed. These intervention programs specifically made a difference in a child’s vocabulary. Ultimately, children learn most effectively with quality based early education, and training that is warm and continuous. Head Start programs find that early childhood education significantly reduces future special needs classes and adults that can find employment. Conclusion Infants and young children are resilient human beings that are eager, teachable, and impressionable in their first few years of life. Sometimes it appears as if they are too young to learn and observe what is in their surroundings. However, it is crucial to set up the ground work for success at a very young age. Acknowledging what develops at what age can enable parents and a child’s support system to offer children the opportunities to grow and learn to the best of their abilities. Family, parenting styles, and quality early childhood education all make a difference in the development in the infant and early aged children.
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