Child Development

Child Development

Child devel­op­ment is the con­tin­ual process of change, where your baby will try new activ­i­ties, undergo all-round devel­op­ment and become more inde­pen­dent. Stages of child devel­op­ment are new­born, infant, tod­dler, preschooler, school-aged and adolescent.

All that is valu­able in human soci­ety depends upon the oppor­tu­nity for devel­op­ment accorded the indi­vid­ual.” ~ Albert Einstein

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Your baby will soon try new activ­i­ties, become more inde­pen­dent and even start going to school! Child devel­op­ment is this all-round and con­tin­ual process of change. Chil­dren were seen as minia­ture adults, through­out much of his­tory, and lit­tle atten­tion was paid to their bio­log­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tional changes. The early twen­ti­eth cen­tury, how­ever, wit­nessed an emerg­ing inter­est in the field and sev­eral the­o­ries were pro­posed to explain the devel­op­men­tal changes that chil­dren undergo. Psy­cho­an­a­lytic the­o­ries of child devel­op­ment were pro­posed by Sig­mund Freud and Erik Erik­son, who devel­oped Freud’s Stages of Psy­cho­sex­ual Devel­op­ment and Erikson’s Stages of Psy­choso­cial Devel­op­ment respec­tively. Jean Piaget pro­posed the cog­ni­tive the­ory of child devel­op­ment in Piaget’s Stages of Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment. The­o­rists includ­ing John Wat­son, Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skin­ner pro­posed behav­ioral the­o­ries of child development.

Robert Kail pro­posed the fol­low­ing stages of child devel­op­ment: New­born (ages 0 to 1 month); Infant (ages 1 month to 1 year); Tod­dler (ages 1 to 3 years); Preschooler (ages 4 to 6 years); School-Aged (ages 6 to 11 years); and Ado­les­cent (ages 11 to 18).

Robert Feld­man argues that your child will undergo devel­op­ment in five main areas: phys­i­cal, social and emo­tional, intel­lec­tual and cog­ni­tive, speech and lan­guage, and sen­sory. John Santrock says that it is of essence to note that these areas of devel­op­ment are con­nected to one another — growth in one area influ­ences and is influ­enced by growth in another area. Sit­ting, run­ning and lift­ing objects, for exam­ple, indi­cate phys­i­cal devel­op­ment which is directly related to her intel­lec­tual devel­op­ment. Abra­ham Maslow sug­gested that the needs of every indi­vid­ual could be arranged hier­ar­chi­cally. Maslow pro­posed the Maslow’s Hier­ar­chy of Needs the­ory to elu­ci­date how indi­vid­u­als are dri­ven by spe­cific needs at spe­cific occa­sions. For exam­ple, when a tod­dler has met a par­tic­u­lar need, say hunger, it will no longer be a moti­va­tor and the tod­dler will then make efforts to meet the next press­ing need, say play.

Feld­man, R. (2009). Child Devel­op­ment. Upper Sad­dle River, N.J.: Pren­tice Hall.
Kail, R. (2006). Chil­dren and Their Devel­op­ment. Upper Sad­dle River, N.J.: Pren­tice Hall.
Santrock, J. (2008). Child Devel­op­ment. Boston: McGraw-Hill.


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