We need to recognize some of the major milestones of gross and fine motor development in early childhood.
The textbook offers a information on these milestones in section 7.1. These next few chapters cover physical, cognitive, language and emotional/social development and is sectioned into Birth-6 mo., 7-12 mos., 13-18 mos., and 19-24 mos. This is a great resource for you to use when researching your final paper. (Lefrancois, 2012)
Some other important concepts are to recognize the theories of Vygotsky and Erik Erikson and his contributions to understanding early childhood emotional development. Two of the facets of Erikson’s theory deal with “basic trust versus mistrust” and “autonomy of shame and doubt”. According to the text, Erikson believed that “warm, responsive care giving leads infants to resolve the psychological conflict of basic trust versus mistrust”(Berk, 2008). He supposes that it is not the quantity of care but more of the quality of care that an infant will respond most positively to. Not all parents are in tune with their child’s needs but being attentive, calm and kind does a great deal of good for a young child. Erikson believed that the theory of “autonomy of shame and doubt” focuses on a parent encouraging the right decisions and not being overly critical. As a child learns to be more independent (autonomy) a parent can be helpful by modeling, encouraging, and providing opportunities for the child to assert their independence. On the other hand, a parent that always condemns or reprimands harshly the child when he/she fails will ultimately cause the child to not trust themselves or others.
We also need to understand the impact of parenting styles on the emotional development of children. This mirrors the examples given by Erikson in his theory of Infant and Toddler Personality. The development of basic emotions can be seen in most infants. These emotions are happiness, anger/sadness, interest, surprise, fear, and disgust. Some researchers think that parents who interact with their infants and model different emotional expressions help to teach and organize those basic emotions for their children.
This next important concept ties into the previous one because we are to analyze the development of basic emotions, including happiness, anger, sadness, and fear, over the first year. This is a direct component of Erikson’s theory and parenting styles that we have read about in our text. The development of these emotions leads to a child constructing their temperament. These temperaments can help to categorize a child’s emotional reaction to a situation, activity level, attention and emotional self-regulation on a daily basis. Children can fall into these categories: the easy child, the difficult child, and the slow-to-warm-up child. One thing to take note of is that temperament is affected not only by genetic influences but environmental influences as well.
The last concept covers the unique features of ethological theory of attachment. Bowlby’s theory recognizes that the attachment between an infant and a caregiver is something that evolves over time in stages. At birth babies recognize their mother’s voice, smell, face, etc. but do not have an extreme attachment yet. From 6 weeks to 6 months old, a baby begins to develop that attachment because they tend to prefer their caregiver over another adult. However, it is from about 6 months to about 2 years of age that there is evidence of a definite attachment. Infants tend to display “separation anxiety” during this stage and are clearly upset when their caregiver leaves. Because of these experiences during these stages, children create a connection to their caregiver that they can utilize as a support when the caregiver does leave. (Rathus, 2011)
Some of the most interesting pages to read in our textbook are the examples, statistics and stories given. These offer real life examples of the theories, influences, and studies on child development that these chapters discuss. They also help to broaden our perspectives because they share about cultures and family lifestyles that we may not be familiar with. I encourage you to take the time to read these as you come across them in the chapters each week.
Berk, L. (2008). Infants and children – prenatal through
middle childhood (6th edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon
Lefrançois, G. R. (2012). Children’s journeys: Exploring early childhood.
San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Rathus, S. A. (2011). CDEV 2010-2011 Edition. Bellmont, CA:Wadsworth
Gender roles are the combination of attitudes, behaviors, and personality characteristics that a culture considers appropriate for an individual’s anatomical sex. Psychologists have proposed a number of theories to explain gender typing (LeFrancois, 2012).
For this discussion, you will choose and analyze two of the four scenarios in the videos below, and explain how each scenario relates to the theories that explain gender typing. (links can be accessed in attachment).
a. Boy Meets Girl
b. Free to Be, You and Me – Ladies First
c. Free to Be You and Me – Princess Atalantis
d. Free to Be You and Me – William Wants a Doll
What do you think influenced the children in each video? Next, explain how your own gender identity may have been influenced by gender stereotypes. Finally, what are some strategies you can use in an early childhood educational setting to avoid gender stereotyping?
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