Early Childhood Development Essay

Early Childhood Development
Jade Acosta
Every choice made during the early development of a child has the potential of affecting the rest of their life. If every parent, educator, or caretaker raised a child with this statement in mind, children would be given the best chance at developing to their fullest potential. Early childhood development has many aspects to it, but the three main developmental areas are physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional. Each developmental stage is just as important as the next and becoming aware of how they work can help parents and caregivers better understand how to raise a child most effectively. Physical development in early childhood is the most easily charted because it can be visually seen how quickly
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Jean Piaget’s influence on this developmental area allows us to better understand preoperational thought, egocentrism, and conservation. According to Piaget, preoperational thought is when a child is now able to understand symbolic play and have the ability to imagine something even if it is not physically there. Having these thoughts and abilities can encourage a child to use language to describe their play (Piaget, 1951). Another great example is using art to convey this growth. When a child draws, they are using their memories, mental representations of people, and things around them to put it down on paper! Being able to describe their surroundings is largely made possible by hearing people talk around them. Vygotsky believed children are able to build on cognitive structures by hearing social speech around them. Equally as important as social speech, is a child’s private speech. In early childhood, a child’s private speech will not only help them practice using the newly acquired language, but also learn to internalize dialog for mental activity (Vygotsky, 1962). A great way to improve upon these skills is to ask a child open ended questions to encourage them to use their words. Language will flourish and children will now have the ability to have conversations and tell stories about the things they imagine. While children are learning how to use their words during symbolic…show more content…
Certain social and emotional milestones need to be met in order for a child to function in a positive way. Starting from within, a child will learn self-regulation. “Self-regulation is the ability to control your own thoughts, behaviors, and emotions and direct them to meet the demands of the situation.” (Cook & Cook, 2014). These self-regulation skills can allow a child to be motivated, goal oriented, and even adapt better to their social surroundings. During this age, children will be starting school and interacting frequently with classmates, being able to control their behaviors can correlate with how well they do in school. Teaching children the proper way to handle their emotions all starts with culture and parenting styles. For example, in some cultures it may be considered inappropriate to express too much emotion in public, children will pick up on these social cues and use them (Thompson and Goodvin 2005). Parenting styles that contain a warm but firm disposition, called authoritative parenting, have proven to be the most effective when teaching moral standards and rules in early childhood. This type of parenting will teach respect and understanding between children and adults and can be beneficial in school years. Social development takes large strides during these years because of the new interactions with friends and classmates. These new interactions
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