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As a child, teen, and adult we go through many stages of changes and developments from our physical stature to our emotional stages. Even the way we think can sometimes go from wanting to be an artist when we grow up to wanting to be a contractual architect. Our minds become more mature and we start to think different and do things that we are not accustomed to; such as wearing heels to having a deeper voice. Also when we go through these changes we also have family there to help make it easier or difficult; especially being that there are times when people have different things they need to do in order to respect their cultures such as dress a certain way that is respectful and decent. This essay will examine the changes that we go through from childhood to adulthood, how we are influenced by our families who help us through these changes, talk about the current status of health and development of children today, and discuss the way that we can nurture the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development in children.
As people we start out as babies, being fully dependent on our parents to bathe us, clothe us, feed us, and carry us; but as we start to growth and development physically and cognitively we can start to do a lot of that on our own. Starting with physical development, there is a lot more to physical development than just them getting taller or even fatter. Surprisingly babies tend to grow at the same order, but at completely different rates; for example you may a 7-month old who may be crawling around speaking lots of gibberish, while the older would be sitting quietly to themselves playing with their favorite toy. Their achievements or “milestones” are things that all babies do at one point, but it is extra special that first time like crawling, standing, taking little steps. “Gross motor skills involve coordination and control of large muscles and skills like walking, sitting, and running; fine motor skills involved the coordination and control of small muscles, and skills like holding a rattle, picking up crumbs, and scribbling with a pencil/crayon; vision is the ability to see near and far, and to know what is being seen; hearing is the ability to hear, listen to and interpret sounds, whereas speech is the ability to produce sounds that form words” (Brooks, A, n.d.). Physical Development happen at many ages of life, such as at six months they should be able to show signs that they can hear, see, taste, touch, decipher whether they are cold or hot and know what pain is; compare to at eighteen months they begin to learn to walk, go upstairs by crawling, and become somewhat independent. At two years old they can walk, go up and down steps, run, sit in a chair by themselves, use a spoon and fork, and kick a ball, even though they may miss from time to time; whereas at four years they can skip on ne foot, use scissors, throw a ball, put on a shirt and pants and button and unbutton them. The last age range I am going to cover is from nine to 12: nine-year olds are able to play organized sports on a team like basketball, baseball, and soccer, they can ride a bike without training wheels, jump rope, at this age his strength and his ability to coordinate will show more. At 12 they will be on the verge of hitting puberty, if they have not already, depending on their genetics they may have a growth spurt while some may grow gradually.
Cognitive changes of child development requires basic sequences of four stages, sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stage; this theory was known as the Piaget’s Four Stages of Cognitive Development. The sensorimotor stage the infant constructs an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences with physical actions and progresses from reflexive, intuitive action that they are born with to the start of symbolic thought at the end of this stage (0 to 2yrs). Preoperational stage the child starts to represent the world with pictures and words that reflected heightened symbolic think that go beyond the link of sensory information and physical action (2 to 7yrs). Concrete operational stage the child can now reason logically about concrete events and classify objects into different sets (7 to 11yrs) and finally the Formal Operational Stage where they adolescent reasons in more abstract, idealistic, and logically ways (11 years old). (Santrock, J., 2011) Piaget described in his stage-by-stage theory, each stage connecting to a particular age group that suggest that children are preforming this way cognitively. Although this theory is widely associated with children it only mentions children who develop at a normal rate; however children develop at their own paces and what also comes into factor is their genetic makeup, environment, and their support system.
There are two types are parenting styles that can impact the cognitive and physical changes is the authoritarian and uninvolved. The authoritarian parent can cause physical and cognitive harm to the child by being too hard on them, and giving them punishments they do not deserve like hitting them with a belt or yelling at them for little reasons like spilling milk or them making an annoying sound; this can cause the child to grow up thinking they are a bad person, being scared of the world or even being an underachiever. The uninvolved parent can affect the child’s cognitive and physical development by the child will feel as though they parents do not love them or they may feel as though and grow up to find love from the wrong or first person that shows them affection and hurt them at the next turn. It can cause physical pain by the child doing whatever they want such as taking drugs, drinking, smoking, or even early age sex/pregnancy. Children of divorced parents can grow up to resent both of their parents by choosing not to stay together, some would even try and used this situation as a means to gain material objects from either parent. Working parents can teach children how to be more independent by doing some things on their own or it could get them into trouble because they would be doing these that could get them into trouble like the things I describe above.
After watching the video, I can see that the area that are doing well is the fact that there is some progress in the issue of low birth weight and preterm birth. “For over a decade those figures have been going up every year, in spite of our efforts to contain them and make them go down this year we’ve finally made progress; we’ve lowered the preterm birthrate from about 12.8% to 12.7 and we’ve lowered the low-birth weight from 8.3 to 8.2 percent.” (Alexander, D.M., 2009) Other areas that are declining is the amount of 10th graders who are smoking cigarettes on a daily basis, along with 10th graders who have heavy alcohol consumption. The areas that still need attention is the number of children living in poverty as increased and homicides that are a threat to children has increased.
There are numerous of ways that we could help to nurture the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development in our children. Physical: when they are babies, they should get the right nutrients to make for strong bones and growing muscles, as they grow in to youths you can encourage them to play more outside by running with them, throwing the ball, creating physical games that can get them use to physical organize sports. Social: parents can join mommy and me classes where they will join together with other babies and know what it is like to be around other children, for child age they can join clubs like the boys/girls scouts that will teach them all kinds of growing skills and they can make lifelong friends, and so that when they get to junior high and high school they will be more willing to join clubs and organizations. Emotional strategies would include helping them feel better after they fall off their bike, make them laugh during tummy time as an infant, or even influence them to talk about what they are feeling as teenagers, the age when parents feel least connected to their child. Lastly there is cognitive parents can show them colors and shapes when they are toddlers to get them prepared from pre-k and beyond, also as the child gets older they parent can get learning books that can help them as they reach the next level in development and school.
In closing, children can develop at all kinds of rates and paces. As children we look at the world more as a big, sometimes scary playhouse, and they soak up everything they come in contact with such as they meet a new person or move to another school. Their minds begin to mature and they start to realize that a lot of the world is not as scary as they thought and they see that there are people than can trust and there are not. They also learn that they parents are either two people they can turn to or two people they will grow to disgust.
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