Both the essay and research paper focus on child development as their central topic.
The subject of discussion is Child Development.
During the first year of a baby’s life, there is rapid growth and development in physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects. This article will specifically focus on the physical growth and developmental stages from infancy to adulthood. Development involves enhancing skills in using different body parts. Child development has three key principles: initial development occurs in the head region, followed by the trunk area, and finally in the legs and feet. For instance, infants can support their heads before they can grasp objects with their hands. Likewise, they can feed themselves before being able to walk.
According to the second development regulation, children grow from their midline or center towards their fingers and toes. Additionally, the third development regulation highlights that as the brain develops, children become more responsive to sights and sounds in their surroundings and can react to finer details. Generally, babies experience a rapid growth rate in which they increase in height by 50% and triple their birth weight within the first year. However, growth rate slows down after infancy.
When an infant is three months old, they are awake and aware of their surroundings.
Babies are able to support their heads and upper bodies for about 10 seconds when placed in their cribs. They try to grab toys that are hanging above the crib, and they also turn their heads towards interesting sounds or voices. Additionally, babies take pleasure in looking at people’s faces and emit adorable sounds like cooing and gurgling.
By the age of six months, a baby is acquiring the ability to control its own body.
At this stage of development, infants are able to sit with some support and can sit independently for brief periods of time. They are capable of rolling over and will extend their arms to be lifted up or to reach for objects. They can grasp and hold their own bottles and toys. They express joy by laughing out loud, babbling, making sounds to get attention, and crying when they are upset.
At the age of nine months, infants are exploring their surroundings.
Babies have acquired a range of motor skills, such as sitting independently, crawling, pulling themselves up to stand, and moving sideways while holding onto furniture. They have also developed their fine motor skills by using their fingers to indicate objects, pick up small items, and feed themselves with finger foods. Furthermore, they have begun to recognize their own names and respond to simple instructions. Additionally, they have started babbling in a manner that resembles speaking an unfamiliar language.
By the age of 12 months, a baby is starting to strive for independence.
Infants possess the capability to stand and walk, climb stairs, and exit a crib or playpen on their own. They exhibit a hand preference, as well as the ability to drop and throw toys. In new environments and around unfamiliar individuals, they may feel fear. Additionally, they have the ability to recall past events, demonstrate affection, express emotions, and employ trial and error methods for problem-solving.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a pressing issue in the United States, impacting over 8,000 babies each year. These infants suffer from delayed development and growth as a result of their mothers’ alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Unfortunately, all of these affected infants were born with complications because their mothers chose to drink while pregnant. FAS leads to physical abnormalities, stunted growth, and damage to the brain. Children with FAS often require counseling due to difficulties with concentration and memory. It is crucial to recognize that FAS has permanent consequences as both brain damage and birth defects cannot be reversed. Mental retardation and behavioral problems associated with FAS and substance abuse are irreversible.
As kids progress from infancy to adolescence and puberty, they transition into young adulthood and experience various developmental changes. This is also a time when young people desire independence and begin to challenge societal norms through rebellion, behavior, unconventional dress, and the formation of social groups. These actions represent a rejection of existing societal structures and promote the development of their own rules, structures, social classes, genders, and cultural groups. Therefore, youth culture, in its defiance of societal values, simultaneously reflects them.
As children mature, their expectations and comprehension of obligations evolve. They aspire to adhere to the rules; however, external factors such as peer pressure can often lead them to repeatedly violate them.
Many adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds and impoverished communities lack respect for authority. They resist an unjust society and seek a culture or community to identify with. Society often labels these groups as dangerous, deviant, and delinquent, leading to their stigmatization and marginalization.
Despite their claims of individualism, subcultures are actually conforming to different societal norms and values in an extreme way. They have strict dress codes, sets of values, moral codes, and rebellious attitudes that they use to impose their beliefs on the public and maintain a sense of belonging. These subcultures may appear to showcase individuality, but they are ultimately assimilating into separate societal groups with distinct norms and values.
Over time, the significance of extended households has diminished significantly. Once encompassing grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, the household held greater importance than the society it resided in. This expansive unit provided protection and guidance to children, shielding them from external influences with their strong spiritual, cultural, and familial connections. The longer a child remains within this controlled environment, the more they will assimilate the prevailing cultural attitudes, consequently alleviating any potential distress.
The traditional structure of parents and children in families is becoming less common, leading to a change in family dynamics. This shift has resulted in an increase in material wealth but a decrease in social and emotional connections within families. Instead of relying solely on parents, young children now attend nursery schools and kindergartens which take on some parental responsibilities. These institutions offer various activities like physical exercises, meals, outings, rest periods, as well as instruction in cleanliness, reading, writing, singing, and dancing. They also emphasize kindness, consideration, and honesty among children.
During working hours when parents are away from home, the state’s education system effectively assumes a parental role for children from kindergarten through high school. Despite this societal shift towards relying more on external institutions for child-rearing instead of close parent-child relationships like before; however,the state still expects families to ensure their child’s well-being and appropriate behavior.
The breakdown of the traditional family structure is considered one contributing factor to the issue of juvenile delinquency.
Another negative aspect of the decline in family life is the increasing occurrence of divorce. These factors leave the child feeling confused, isolated, and resentful towards society. Consequently, the child seeks ways to express themselves and often finds it within a youth group consisting of individuals facing similar issues. Youths from broken homes seek avenues to display their dissatisfaction with authority.
Another indication of confusion among young individuals is the lack of discussion at home and school regarding sexuality. Numerous parents and teachers believe that talking about sex or contraceptives might encourage early sexual relationships. Unfortunately, this mindset often backfires, as many teenagers engage in sexual activities without their parents’ knowledge due to their lack of knowledge. This naivety frequently results in unintended pregnancies and subsequently, abortions. Consequently, this flawed system leaves young adults feeling embarrassed and resentful towards society.
Teenagers often struggle with self-regard, which can lead to harsh treatment and exclusion from their peers. However, connecting with youth groups who share similar interests can help restore self-esteem. It is interesting to note that most individuals not only desire social belonging but also acceptance for their true selves. This emphasizes the importance of self-regard during adolescence. When lacking self-regard, people tend to rebel, whereas possessing it eliminates the need for rebellion.
During puberty, various changes occur when an adolescent reaches this stage. In the early twentieth century, G. Stanley Hall, a well-known American psychologist, initially defined adolescence as a separate phase in human development. Puberty refers to the age or period when an individual becomes capable of sexual reproduction. In different historical periods, puberty was frequently commemorated or signified through cultural rituals. This practice still persists in certain tribal societies nowadays. Nevertheless, for the majority of people, puberty is merely one aspect of a more comprehensive and intricate stage referred to as adolescence.
Puberty rites are symbolic ceremonies that recognize the transformation of young individuals, both males and females, into adults who can fulfill their duties, have sexual potency, and contribute to their communities. These rituals hold great importance for adolescents and teenagers as they aim to shape and prepare them for their future societal roles.
Today, in our Western civilization, we lack clearly defined rites, but our rites are scattered throughout the mid-teen years. For teenagers, obtaining a driver’s license, entering college, becoming of legal age, traveling across America or to Europe are all social rites. Adding to the complexity, the period of adolescence has likely doubled since Mr. Hall first identified it. Our children are maturing at a younger age and taking longer to prepare for full engagement into adulthood.
After analyzing multiple readings on children and adolescent development, it is evident that kids from infancy to adolescence develop based on various factors. These factors include society, peers, education, family life, finances, fetal development, pre-temperaments, and essentially anyone or anything that the child may interact with.