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Development Of Children

Infants grow at a very rapid rate during the first one and a half years of life.

Their development is not only physical, it is also mental, emotionally, and
social. These developments are the blue prints for further development in life.

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During development, there are three basic developmental laws. The first one is
the baby’s development in the head region, followed by the upper body,
followed by the trunk portion, and lastly the legs and feet. For example, a baby
can hold up their heads first before they can grab an object with their hand.

The second law is the baby’s motor skills. Motor skills are the child’s
ability to control movement. There are two basic types of motor skills; they are
large motor skills and fine motor skills. Large motor skills deal with all the
large muscles, fine motor skills deal with smaller muscles in the body. The 3rd
developmental law is Brain development. As the brain develops, a child responds
more and more to sight and sound. Babies are born having some sort of reflexes
in order for them to adapt to their surroundings. In the first 2 weeks after
birth, infants develop some new reflexes. Babies begin to explore their grasping
reflex where they can hold tightly to an object. A lot of these behaviors are
important for a child’s survival, without these a child would not be able to
physically develop. The absence of reflexes in a newborn is signals of possible
problems in brain development. A baby’s attention span is very limited. In the
first two months, they can only focus on an edge of an object, however by the
end of the 2nd month they can see a whole object. Newborns can hear soft voices
as well as loud voices and can also notice differences between different sounds
that are made. When babies hear someone talking they are inclined to open their
eyes wider and look for the speaker. Infants love the sounds of children since
their voices are in a high pitch. This is why they like to hear ?’baby
talk” Cognitive thinking development is the reasoning and logic of an
infant. The first 18 months of development is the sensory motor. In this stage
infants develop basic units of knowledge. During this stage infants can form
these units only when objects are present. They cannot think about missing
objects because they can’t act on them. When a very young infant sees an
abject and then looks away, the infant thinks the object is no longer there.

They do not have the concept of knowing it’s there, if it’s out of sight.

Infants will begin to develop the idea of permanent objects at around 4 months.

Also, at this part of life they are beginning to learn that a disappearing
object can still exist. Infants between 4- 8 months will follow a moving object
with their eyes until it has vanished, but they don’t search for it. From
about 8-12 months infants for the first time will search manually for an object
that disappears out of their sight. Social and emotional teaching is an
important concept for parents to be aware of. A nurturing environment can build
trails that encourage emotional stability, while repeated stress may cause
problems further in development. Infants learn from the people around them the
most. Infants learn how to handle a situation through what other people are
doing. During the first hour after birth an emotional tie begins. From an early
age infants are alert to the people around them. They prefer to look at children
and at attractive faces. Infants also communicate through their feelings by
crying and screaming. From 0-4 months babies show the majority of their emotions
through crying. Also they can communicate that they want to be alone by turning
away and sucking their thumbs. A baby that smiles and is looking around is
generally showing signs that they want to interact with others. Not responding
to an infant’s emotional sign can slow down their social development. It’s
at this point that they also develop a sense of trust. This strong sense of
trust establishes their trust for a lifetime. Without this a baby may have
problems communicating with others later on in their development. Often at 5
through 7 months infants develop a sense of fear or shyness of strangers, which
is completely naturally. Infants at this age will sometimes cling to their
parents and will not want to be touched by people who they see as being
unfamiliar. From 0-4 months babies show the majority of their emotions through
crying. They have many cries in which they show different emotions. From 4-8
months infants begin to express a wider range of emotions. Pleasure, happiness,
fear, and frustration are shown through gurgles, cools, and wails. They also
show movements such as kicking, arm waving, rocking and smiling. From 8-18
months they develop a sense of self. They begin to recognize their image in a
mirror and start to become more and more independent. Babies at this stage have
a wide range of emotional states. One minute they could be happy and playing and
the next minute they could be kicking and screaming. Moral development begins
early in an infant’s life. Moral develop depends on the type of training and
attention an infant gets through it’s parent’s. If they are disciplined
early enough in age they will grow up knowing things that are right and wrong.

If a parent ignores a child and lets them think that the bad things are ok to
do, they grow up having no morals taught through their parents. Children most
likely will first learn to respond to the words such as “no” and “hot”.

There are 3 stages to moral development. These are preconventional,
conventional, and postconventional. Moral development begins with
preconventional thinking, which children obey in order to avoid punishment. What
determines a child’s position in these stages is weather or not they choose
what they have done is right or wrong. Speech development beings within the
first week after birth. A child’s first form of communication is crying.

Crying is a baby’s way of usually saying that they are hungry, tired, or need
their diaper changed. By 3 months babies begin all the gurgles and “woos”.

This is the beginning of their development of vowel sounds. By the age of 5 to 6
months most babies will begin to babble and may even slip out the words”ma”, or “da.” Although a baby might say these words, they can’t tie
them to a certain person. 10-15 months toddlers can understand a few more words.

Names and objects that they hear often are the most easily understood. The most
common of these words are mama, dada, cookie, doggy, and car. At this stage in
communication babies also learn inflection, which is raising your voice when
asking a question. At 18-24 months their vocabulary has increased and toddlers
are most likely to repeat any word they hear. Their vocabulary may include as
many as 200 words or more. From this stage on they begin to put words together
and can eventually speak a sentence. There are many factors that also contribute
to the development of a child. Many things can slow down the development such as
low birth weight, being premature and drug use. Birth weight is an important
factor associated with an infant’s overall development and health. Children
who were born under 5 ½ pounds are more likely to have serious medical
problems and to also have developmental delays. A baby’s development is very
important for a strong healthy life
Psychology an Introduction (6th edition) Jerome Kagan and Julius Segal
Publishers-Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich Copyright-1988 Exploring Psychology
(2nd edition) Richard O. Straub Publisher-Worth Copyright-1990


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