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Infancy and Early Childhood

Infancy and Early Childhood Development Paper Beverly Mahone PSY/375 July 11, 2011 Andrew Rodriguez Infancy and Early Childhood Development Paper The immature years of life and the stage in which the most development occurs in a child are referred to as infancy and early childhood.

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In this paper the subject will explain development during infancy and early childhood, explain how families affect the development of infants and young children, evaluate different parenting styles and their influences on development during infancy and early childhood, which of the parenting style is most effective and why, and discuss early childhood education and its influence on cognitive development. Development begins in the prenatal stage. During this stage proper nutrition and monitoring is important to ensure that the development is not affected by any factors.

In the first two years rapid growth is obvious in the body, mind, and social relationships (Berger, 2008). The body of an infant grows rapidly in height and weight. An infant’s body stores more fat to provide insulation for warmth and a store of nourishment. This nutrition helps is needed for the brain to continue growing. Experience in exploring the world around an infant helps an infant to develop skills. Through smell, touch, taste, seeing, and hearing sensory skills are developed, and from that perception is gained.

Stimulation and a caring environment support motor, sensory, and perceptual skills, and when a child becomes aware of physical sensations such as his or her hands, feet, and mouth cognitive development occurs (Berger, 2008). Between infancy and early childhood the physical body develops in many ways to include height, weight, and muscle formation. As a child develops into early childhood the body begins to develop more muscle. Brain growth is rapid during the first months of life, when dendrites and the synapses within the cortex increase exponentially (Berger, 2008).

In early childhood a child uses gross motor skills to sit, stand, walk, run, and keep his or her balance, use hands to eat, draw, dress, play, write, and do many other things, enhance speaking, using body language and gestures, communicating, and understanding what others say, enhance thinking skills including learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering, and enhance social skills by interacting with others, developing relationships with family, friends, and teachers, cooperating, and responding to the feelings of others (Boyse, 2010).

The most important development throughout an individual’s lifespan is early childhood. Brain and biological development during the first years of life is highly influenced by an infant’s environment (Early child development, 2009). Health, education, and economic participation for the rest of an individual’s life are determined by experiences. Families can affect the development of infants and young children in the ways of heredity disabilities, improper nutrition, lack of nurture, and non-involvement. Individuals learn through experiences.

A child learns a tremendous amount of material from one-on-one experience with family members. Language development depends upon one-on-one conversations every day and emotional regulations depend on parental regulation. Parents can help a child development by spending more time with him or her. Spending more time with a child will allow a parent to notice any developmental problems as soon as they arise. All parents use different parenting styles concerning parenting children. There are three different types of parenting styles that explain how children are parented.

The first parenting style is authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parents set down clear rules and hold high standards, have strict punishment, have low communication with his or her child, and do not show much affection to the child. Authoritarian parents basically parent with an iron fist. The second parenting style is permissive parenting. Permissive parents parent with high nurturance and communication but rare punishment, guidance, or control. Basically permissive parents would rather play the role of the child’s friend, and the last parenting style is authoritative parenting.

Authoritative parents set limits and enforce rules, but they also listen to their children. Of the three parenting styles, the authoritative parenting style is the most effective. Children need guidance, affection, discipline, rules, and communication to help them develop. The authoritative parenting styles include all of these aspects without being too harsh or too lenient. Early childhood education consists of many institutions such as nursery school, daycare, preschool, and pre-primary. However, there are only three cluster programs, child-centered, teacher-directed, and intervention programs.

Child-centered programs stress children’s need to play and explore rather than to follow adult directions, encourage artistic expression, and creative vision should be encouraged. Teacher-directed programs stress academics taught by the teacher to the entire class, praise, and other reinforcements are given for good behavior, and time-outs are punishments, teach basic skills, including reading, writing, and arithmetic, and there is a clear distinction between the serious work of schooling and the cozy play of home.

Intervention-programs are programs that help children who are less fortunate, or slow in learning the opportunity to receive special education to enhance their learning. Head Start is a program that provides special educational needs for children who require them. Organized educational programs during early childhood advance cognitive and social skills, although specifics vary a great deal (Berger, 2008).

Children start to reason, build concepts, and lay the foundation for concrete operations, generate logical thinking and understanding, and distinguish between one’s own perspective and someone else’s perspective (Developmental Psychology Student Netletter, 1998). Infancy and early childhood development stages are the most important development stages in a individual’s life span. These two developmental stages are the stages in which the brain is developing, the body is developing and the learning process is beginning. What a child learns and how he or she learns begin in these two stages.

An individual can be affected by what he or she learns in infancy and early childhood throughout his or her life. During the developmental stages in infancy and early childhood, families play an important role in the developmental process. The time spent with a child helps in the developmental process along with nutrition, and teaching. Although a parent can spend numerous hours with a child, the type of parenting style he or she chooses to use will also have an effect on the developmental stages. Parenting, education, nutrition, and the environment all contribute to the development in infancy and early childhood. .

References Berger, K. S. (2008). The developing person through the life span (7th ed. ). New York, NY: Worth Publishers. Boyse, K. (2010). Developmental Milestones. University of Michigan Health System. Retrieved from http://www. med. umich. edu/yourchild/topics/devmile. htm Media centre. (2009). Early child development. Retrieved from http://www. who. int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs332/en/index. html Developmental Psychology Student Netletter. (1998). Have you ever wondered why your pre-schooler thinks differently than you?. Retrieved from http://www. mesacc. edu/dept/d46/psy/dev/Fall98/Ear_Chil/ErlyChild. html

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