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Infancy and Early Childhood Developement Essay

It is amazing that our earliest memory is still years after we first begin to develop. No one remembers being a one celled zygote or any aspect of the prenatal stage. And the first years, from birth to two, are for the most part a mystery as well. My earliest memory is playing on a porch at a trailer my parents were renting. It is only now that it is realized that my personality was most likely shaped in those early years. Before my memory was fully developed my likes and dislikes, attitude toward affection and sense of humor were all impacted by choices made by my parents.

FAMILY EFFECT Perhaps the greatest influence in any person’s life is their family. If a child has at least one emotionally supportive parent then there self-esteem will likely be higher than a child with no one to support them emotionally. However, many things can affect a child well before they take their first breath. Prenatal care is a very important stage of development; it is during this stage that our bodies transform from one sperm combining with an egg to the very complex creatures that we become.

How does family come into play with this stage? It is during this stage that soon to be parents can choose to terminate a pregnancy or not. So in a way, it is in the prenatal stage that our families can affect our lives the most. Once a zygote becomes an embryo and then becomes a fetus a baby is born. It is now when the family will begin to determine how well the baby’s emotional and social aspects develop. The family will influence the newborn baby emotionally and socially by how they interact with them.

For example if a father is unsure how to hold, change, feed or dress a baby and distances himself from the baby it is possible and likely that the baby will be hesitant when the father does eventually come around. Likewise if parents are affectionate, caring and encourage learning in the first years then the child can become excited about learning and gain a higher level of self-esteem. PARENTING STYLES According to Diana Baumrind there are three types of parenting styles; there is the authoritarian parent, the permissive parent and the authoritative parent.

The authoritarian parent is very demanding and does not tolerate failure to meet their high standards. When the child disobeys they can expect physical punishment (spanking not abuse). This method can be effective when used consistently, for example if a child is disobedient about cleaning their room but is only punished at random (spanking or grounding) then the room will likely remain messy and cluttered. Permissive or indulgent parents seek to be a friend to their children and would rather not take responsibility for the shaping of them.

They are portrayed in popular culture by being inept and lazy when in reality it is possible that permissiveness results as a feeling of resentment from authoritarian parents. Regardless of the reason for the parent’s indulgent behavior they are likely to have low standards for their children and be lax when it comes to rules and punishment. The authoritative parents form a middle ground between the authoritarian and the permissive parents. Authoritative parents listen to their children’s feelings and concerns while maintaining a role of authority.

When comparing Baumrind’s parenting types it seems that a different type would be most useful to each stage of development. For the early childhood stage (birth to two years) the permissive parent may have the most affect being that they are able to hide frustration and disappointment. Also having strict rules and high expectations, as with the authoritarian, could lead to fear and anxiety in the child. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION There are two major options for parents when selecting a preschool or day care program for their child.

Parents can choose from child-centered programs or teacher-directed programs. Child centered programs allow children more freedom to choose their own activities and are generally less structured believing that children will benefit from being able to express themselves through art, dress up, music and dance. Teacher directed programs are more similar to grade school in that children will be expected to follow along with the teacher’s lesson plan and utilize listening skills during instruction.

These programs will typically follow a schedule for all the children to complete activities at scheduled times. Through personal reflection you can imagine that if you were at a teacher-directed program and now as an adult enjoy structure that may be one of the more significant reasons. Conversely attending a child-centered preschool can influence a child to become more musically inclined and develop a greater appreciation for the arts. Of course there is also another option for parents, and that is to keep the child at home until they begin kindergarten.

This was the social norm until the 1990’s and is still practiced by some families where one parent is home full time. CONCLUSION Desmond Tutu said, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ” To me, this means that parents should understand the extreme importance of their role in their child’s life. Especially in the early childhood stage as this is a vital time for children to develop emotionally, physically and socially.

When parents accept the challenge of being an active participant in the development of their children they are giving their children the opportunity to grow and prosper in a way that may not have been possible for them. REFERENCES Berger, K. S. (2001). Prenatal Development and Birth. The Developing Person through the Life Span (5th ed. , pp. 88-119). New York: Worth Publishers. Berger, K. S. (2001). Early Childhood: Psychosocial Development. The Developing Person through the Life Span (5th ed. , pp. 264-291). New York: Worth Publishers. Berger, K. S. (2001).

Early Childhood: Cognitive Development. The Developing Person through the Life Span (5th ed. , pp. 236-263). New York: Worth Publishers. Cherry, K. (n. d. ). Early Childhood Development – What Is Early Childhood Development. Psychology – Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators & Enthusiasts. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://psychology. about. com/od/developmentalpsychology/ss/early-childhood-development. htm Family Quotes Page 2 – BrainyQuote. (n. d. ). Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/keywo.


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