Influences on Childhood Development
Child development process is a compulsory process to all children. The process involves mastering and learning skills like suckling, sitting, eating, talking, walking and skipping. There are many factors influencing children development process, as well as their future behavior and performance. There exists a link between early childhood care and the development process. One of the important aspects during this process is the parental figures around the child. Parents play the biggest role in a child’s development stages. A child is a product of genes and environment. Therefore, parents influence the child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive perspective throughout this period.
Development process has predictable milestones, which most children achieve gaining certain percentage of skills. Cognitive development is the stage when a child learns to solve simple personal problems. For instance, a three months baby crying whenever the parent leaves her or a four year old boy learning to add and subtract numbers. Emotional and social developments are the ability of a child to relate and interact with people. This stage includes social smile, waving bye and playing with other kids. Language and speech development involves both the ability to communicate using language and understanding what is said. Fine and gross motor skills development refers to the ability of using small and large muscles respectively. Children learn to do tasks with their muscles in each milestone. This includes lifting objects, writing, making toys, pulling objects and playing (Zhou et al., 2002).
Social behavior is passed on from parents to children through observation. Children emulate their parents as they believe they always do what is right. They duplicate their parents’ movements whether they are socially safe or risky. Many children learn smoking and drinking from their parents. Homosexual parents have different lovers from both genders. Children observe this and feel comfortable having male and female sexual partners, as well. They end up being homosexuals just like their parents are. Children take parents to be their role models, therefore, do everything they do irrespective of its consequences.
Parents’ anxiety and mood affect the child’s social life. This is associated with inhibition and social withdrawal. Whenever parents remain upset or depressed, children fear staying around them. They develop a negative attitude towards all people and start withdrawing from everyone. Children from immigrant families are affected by their parents’ moods and anxiety (Halloran & Ross, 2002). In case the parents are uncomfortable in the foreign country, children will live to be uncomfortable too. Without associating and communicating with their parents, children cannot learn how to interact with people around them.
Showing too much concern to the kids is harmful. This is referred as overprotection, and can cause more harm to children development. When parents portray the world as dangerous, children fear moving away from home. They are not ready to face the cruel world, therefore, prefer staying with their parents only. Families from minor ethnic groups teach their children how other ethnic groups belittle them. This makes them fearful. They cannot raise an issue in a group of people as they fear more humiliation. They remain sheltered by their parents, which makes them antisocial and lonely. They withdraw from their peers and the entire society and may suffer much in case they lose parents (Cytryn & McKnew, 1996).
Emotionally open families produce sociable children who can fit in any society. Children from these families have understanding, empathy and compassion. These characteristics make them interact freely with other people. They feel free to express their positive and negative emotions to their parents and other adults who can help them out. They have high self esteem and appreciate their parents for showing them how to express their feelings. Growth oriented families bring up socially strong children. Working parents teach their children social behaviors including independence and expressiveness. This makes children resilient to pressure and socialize with their peers freely (Halloran & Ross, 2002).
Children take their parents’ problem as their own, even when it does not involve them at all. Whenever parents divorce, children believe they are the main cause of this fate. This becomes a burden for them to carry. It affects their physical, social, cognitive and emotional development. They develop low self esteem and withdraw from their peers.
Parents must offer parental warmth to their children. They should portray genuine care and concern for what the children are doing. Parents who show compassion for their children help them develop high self-esteem and personal image. Parental connectedness which includes care, love and parental warmth, protect children against development disorders (Zhou et al., 2002). Children feel important after recognizing how their parents love them and value their presence in the world. Children develop a positive attitude towards life when they know how much their parents care for them.
Parents should invest energy, love and time to ensure positive child development. They should spend time with their children playing, talking and reading together. This makes children feel important and express their opinions to their parents. They also learn to be social and important interacting with people.
In conclusion, children grow up trusting their parents and listening to them. Parental behavior and status influence children’s emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. It is hard to convince children otherwise once they have made up their minds. They develop strong feelings concerning themselves through their parents’ comments and comportment.
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