As a parent and an educator I have learned much about child development and am learning more everyday. When I was pregnant with my first child I discovered child development begins in the womb. My husband and I read to our child everyday and played music through a large set of head phones. As the months passed the baby began to respond through movement or rest. It also depended on what we were doing. If we played music, the baby was active with up beat children?s songs, but calm and relaxed with soft or classical music. I remember singing in the church choir oh my! The baby was bouncing all over the place. When we brought our son home from the hospital for the first time after he was born we played the music that we played while he was in the womb. He responded by turning his head towards the music. Through this experience Child Development became a reality in my life through hands on experience. Children have five basic needs of development; which include Physical, Social, Emotional, Language and Intellectual development. Through every stage in a child?s life these developmental phases take place. Physical development takes place through hands on activities, walking, talking, playing, singing, crying and every act of movement possible. A child?s beginning physical development depends on the adults that are teaching them. If they are not taught I believe it stunts (slows) their growth. Children need to have an example to follow to learn and imitate. Celia Genishi states ?Children learn primarily through movement and their senses how to deal with gravity to keep their balance to move their body through space, about time and sequence of events.? ?It?s a marvelous process to watch and a marvelous opportunity for parents and educators to foster and implement important periods of growth.? As a parent and educator I do believe children learn what they live.
Social development depends a lot on who a child spends time with. If a child is with other children they behave like children but when a child is with adults they tend to act as adults. According to Erik Erikson the socialization process consist of eight phases ?the eight phases of man.? These phases are basic trust vs. mistrust; children realize trust when people are dependable and mistrust when people fail to keep promises. Autonomy vs. Shame when guided children gradually and firmly praise and accept attempts to be independent and autonomy develops. If the parent or guardian is too harsh or demanding the child feels defeated and experiences shame. Initiative vs. guilt, through understanding and supportive guidance children show initiative. If punished for attempts of initiative the child may develop a sense of guilt. Industry vs. Inferiority, if an adult supports the child?s efforts a sense of competence develops if not supported the child feels feelings of inferiority. Identity vs. confusion, young adults attempt to develop identity teens try on different identities which takes them through an identity crises; if resolved they develop identity diffusion. Intimacy vs. isolation, intimacy the ability to be close, loving and vulnerable with romances and friends; Based in part upon identity development, if failed leads to exclusion or rejection.
Generativity vs. Stagnation, strong sense creativity, success you develop generativity, if not stagnation is developed. Lastly Ego Integrity vs. Despair, people develop ego integrity and accept their lives if they succeed and those who don?t experience despair. A child?s emotional needs are developed through a sense of belonging and identity; as parents and educators we must nurture the emotional needs of children to assist with this phase of development. Through intellectual development children begin to speak, read, write and the process of language development begins to take place. As stated by Celia Genishi, ?Children are avid learners at all ages absorbing information through daily interactions and experiences with other children, adults and the world.? When children become exposed to the world through their independence they begin to communicate with others. Language development is important according to Ms. Genishi, ?as children progress in school both their communication and usage of language grows and improves.?
In closing I have worked with many children of all levels, cultures, backgrounds and mental states. I must say they all have the same need which is love and a sense of security to survive. All children need to develop trust and feel comfortable in their environment in order to grow and for all aspects of child development to take place. I also think when they have this security they can learn better and they grow beyond what ever disabilities or obstacles they are facing.
Celia Genishi www.comeunity.com/disability/speech/young-children
Erik Erikson www.psychpage.com/learning/library/person/erikson
Author: Erica Handson
Date of post: 2007-04-18