1.2. Describe with examples how different aspects of development can affect one another. Areas of development do not work separately, they are all interconnected. When focusing on one area of development it is important not to forget that you are looking at a whole person. Social interaction is a big problem for younger children going into a setting which delays development in social and emotional areas. If a child is not willing to share they will have problems forming relationships with peers as well as practitioners, this will affect the child’s social development. Emotionally, development will be delayed as the child will struggle to feel happy in an environment which requires him/her to do things that are out of the ordinary to the child. Another example of aspects of development affecting one another is shown in overweight children.
Children who are overweight or obese will struggle when having to take part in PE sessions, often the child’s weight problem will hold them back making the child slower and easily tired, other children often become annoyed with the child and begin to pick on the child because of their weight. If this is the case the child’s physical, social and emotional areas of development will be affected. Physically, the child will stop being willing to join in with physical activities because they are aware that the other children do not want them to be a part of the group. The child will also suffer social and emotionally, socially the child will be pushed aside and struggle to hold onto or form any friendships, and emotionally the child will constantly feel put down and upset by his/her classmates.
2.1. Describe with examples the kinds of influences that affect children and young people’s development including: * background
Every child has a unique background and for some children this is a disadvantage on their development. Parental health and lifestyle, poor parenting skills and poverty are three examples of situations which children cannot control yet they have a major effect on the child’s development. 5
Parental health and lifestyle is one factor of a child’s background that can have a positive effect on development, as well as a negative. If a parent has a drug abuse problem, the child will suffer severely, mainly because the parent is likely to not be available for the child. In order to develop from a young age, the child requires a stable adult to look up to and with no parent available the child will feel pushed aside and not loved, this will cause major concern for the child’s rate of development. However, parental health and lifestyle can also have a positive effect on a child’s development. If a child has stable parents who have good health and do all that they can to spend time with their children, the child will develop at a healthy rate. Poverty and social disadvantage is the single greatest threat to the healthy development of children in the UK. Being raised in poverty can affect every area of a child’s development.
Children growing up in poverty are four times more like to die in an accident and have nearly twice the rate of longstanding illnesses; this will have a major effect on the physical development of any child being raised in poverty. According to Carolyn Meggit (2011:71) “Poorer children are more likely to live in substandard housing and in areas with few shops or amenities, where children have little or no space to play safely.” If this fact is true for most children raised in poverty, the child’s development process is at a great risk. Poor parenting skills include substance misuse, inconsistent parenting and simple things such as not being able to cook. Substance misuse is often associated with poor or inadequate parenting; this can be seen in a number of ways, including: * physical neglect
* emotional neglect
* unpredictable parental behavior, e.g. dramatically changing the way you discipline the child, ‘too soft’ one day and ‘too much’ the next day. An inconsistent approach to parenting can be very damaging for a child and can also cause lots of confusion, all of which mounts up and affects the child’s development process.
Infection, diet and sleep are three areas of health which affect how a child develops. During childhood they are many infectious illnesses that affect a child’s health and development. Most of these infections, like diphtheria, polio, mumps, measles, rubella and tetanus, can be by controlled by vaccinations; however some infections have long-lasting effects on a child’s health and development. A child’s diet is vital for ensuring that they develop properly. There are various conditions that may occur in childhood that are directly linked to a poor or unbalanced diet, including: * Failure to thrive – poor growth and physical development * 6
Tooth decay – associated with too much sugar and fizzy drinks, this could affect a child’s social development as the child could feel ashamed of their teeth and wish not to communicate with people because of this. Other children could also choose not to socialise with a particular child because of features such as teeth. * Nutritional anaemia – this will affect a child’s physical development, and could also have an effect on the child’s cognitive and social development as the child could spend quite a lot of time out of school and the child is likely to also spend a lot of time inside as they are aware of their condition and the risks that come with it. Sleep is essential for all aspects of children’s development, being tired all of the time due to lack of sleep at night can affect a child’s ability to learn as well as causing emotional, social and behavioural problems, all of which could cause development barriers for children and young people.
Pollution and housing are the main two environmental factors that can affect a child’s development. There are different types of pollution, but the main type which affects children is air pollution and this is because children have a large lung surface in proportion to their body size, this means that they absorbs toxic substances more quickly than adults. Pollution mainly affects the child’s physical development, this is because conditions caused by pollution such as asthma, does not allow the child to be as physical as other children without the condition, this could also have an effect on the child’s social skills as they often have to stay out of group activities which require you to be physical. Poor housing is another environmental factor that affects healthy holistic development. Low-income families are likely to live in homes which are damp and unheated which increases the risk of infection, which would lead to an effect on the physical development of a child. Low-income families are also likely to live in overcrowded conditions and live in areas with very little safe communal space. Overcrowded conditions could have an effect on several areas on development, including physical, social, emotional and intellectual; this is mainly because children don’t have access to a quiet space which they can call their own. Living in an area with very little communal space will also affect the physical and social aspects of the child’s development as they do not have access to outside space which allows them to be physical, make friends and socialise.
2.2. Describe with examples the importance of recognising and responding to concerns about children and young people’s development. If at any point during a child or young person’s life a point for concern is raised regarding developmental disorders, it is vital that the information is given to the necessary people to ensure that the child is given support as soon as possible. In most cases, if a practitioner hasn’t noticed the delay in development it is likely that the parent would have picked up on this, so it is always worth talking to the parents about whether or not they have noticed any changes in the child. Some developmental concerns are only temporary so it is extremely important that they are recorded as soon as they are recognised to ensure that the child receives the best possible support as soon as it can be provided. Temporary development problems include hearing impairments which can usually be treated or fixed via an operation.
It is also very important that permanent development disorders such as autism are also reported as soon as they are recognised to ensure that the child is provided with adequate care and support, and also to ensure that the setting can try and help the child overcome the problem in the best possible way. Another example which highlights the importance of recognising and responding to concerns about children and young people’s development can be seen through delays, for example, if a child’s social development is delayed it is vital that the setting make a note of this as soon as it is recognised as practitioners can then set up group activities focused around that child and her social needs. If the setting did not notice this delay until it had been apparent for some time, it would be a longer and harder process for the setting to try and get the child to the stage of development that he/she should have already reached, by now the child’s delay would have got worse and it could even begin to affect other areas of development such as emotional and language.
3.1. Identify the transitions experienced by most children and young children. A transition is a change from one stage or state to another. Children and young people naturally pass through several different stages as they grow and develop sometimes they are expected to cope with different changes such as moving schools or moving house. The expected transitions for babies and children are as follows: Babies experience transitions when they:
* are weaned onto solid foods
* are cared for by others, nursery/childminders etc.
* progress from crawling to walking
become toilet trained
Children experience transitions when they:
* start primary school
* move up to secondary school
Young people experience transitions when they:
* attend college or university
* go through puberty
* leave home
* start work
Adults experience transitions when they:
* get married
* become separated or divorced
* have children
* change jobs
* experience a death in the family, which changes family structure
3.2. Identify transitions that only some children and young people may experience e.g. bereavement. Not every transition is experienced by every child, some transitions are unexpected and these affect children in different ways. Unexpected transitions include: * New baby – although this is common, it is not always expected. * Divorce and the split of a family – often leads to changes in behaviour and changes in attitude towards one or both parents. * Adoption
* Leaving care – changing the way a young person feels, allowing them to be independent, could have a negative effect making them feel scared and isolated. * Teenage pregnancy
* The process of asylum
Sexuality issues – most teenagers go through a stage of feeling misunderstood, sexuality issues would double the pressure on teenagers, often leading to negative changes in behaviour and attitude. 3.3. Describe with examples how transitions may affect children and young people’s behaviour and development. As a practitioner you need to be able to identify transitions and be prepared to support children and young people, along with their families. Every child will deal with transitions differently however it is important that the school provides as much help and support as possible when they are made aware of changes in children and young people’s lives. Children and young people may: * Feel disorientated: especially if they are moved around a lot. They settle into one place and become comfortable enough to begin to rebuild relationships, and then they are uprooted and have to face the same process again.
Having to rebuild relationships could have a positive effect on a child’s social development as they are always using social skills to allow themselves to build relationships, however this could have a negative impact on a child’s emotional development as they go from being happy, safe and secure, to an unknown environment with lots of negative feelings. * Feel a sense of loss and sadness: again this is more the case with children and young people who move around a lot. Each time a child moves home, school, care-home etc., they lose attachments with friends and carers and have start all over again when they are settled somewhere else. Losing friendships will have a negative impact on children and young people’s development, often effecting their social and emotional development. * Become withdrawn: after a while, children who are moved around a lot begin to stop building relationships with peers and carers because they do not trust that the separation process will not happen again.
Children and young people’s development will suffer as a result of this, leading to social, emotional and possibly physical areas being the main areas which are affected. * Become clingy: needing more attention and affection, this could be craved from friends, family, carers, teachers etc. Younger children may start to take steps back with regards to development, i.e. use ‘baby talk’, start sucking thumb as these are all changes which will be noticed by parents/carers and get the child a little bit of attention, mainly affecting the child’s language, social and emotional development. Teenagers will also experience changes which affect their development, mainly effecting social, emotional, language and physical development. Teenagers may deliberately affect their physical development in order to get attention from parents/carers, this is done by suddenly gaining lots of weight or suddenly losing lots of weight, which will make the teenager extremely tired, not wanting to take part in physical activities, i.e. P.E, sports days etc.. * 10
Show risky behaviours: young people often turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of dealing with their problems as it makes them seem better for a while. Some young people result to self-harm as they feel that their life is worthless. Majority of the time, these risky behaviours are also carried out to get a bit of attention from peers and carers. This will affect areas of development including social, as the young person may lock themselves away from the world as they feel that nobody cares, and emotional, as they often hold all emotions back and do not let anybody see that they are experiencing negative emotions towards their personal life. Bibliography – TDA 2.1
Carolyn Meggit, 2011, Children and Young People’s Workforce, Hodder Education 11
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