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Growth of a Child from Infancy to Adolescence
When a child is born, it is virtually helpless and unable to complete any form of operational tasks. Though a superior being above many creatures, the infant will be able to grow from infancy to adulthood in areas of physical, intellectual, language, emotional, and social development. Every stage of the child's life provides milestones in which will display their growth to full development. Tools may be used to assist them to reach their full potential. Among these tools, the most significant is the knowledge and nurturing of a parent and influential adults. Within this instructional guide, babysitting staff and parents will be able to better understand which milestones will happen at what ages, examples of what they may observe in the child to prove growth, and how to assist their child to thrive.
An adult will see a great amount of growth in an infant among its first few years. When a child weighs about six pounds at birth, a parent can expect the infant's weight to triple in the first year, reaching about eighteen pounds at their twelve months birthdate. When the child is born, they mainly have only instinctual reflexes and are not able to control their body movements. Proof of such is that they will often move their arms in odd ways, such as obstructing feeding times despite their immense hunger. Visually, the child will be able to see objects clearly at about ten inches from their face, better developing themselves at about six months. At four months, the child is learning to sit up with a little assistance, hold their head up, and roll over. These are examples that their muscle system is developing (University of Illinois, 2011).
When the child reaches the age of one to two years old, they become considered a toddler. Their muscle and motor skills are developing and they are doing considerably better at control. To verify growth, adults will be able to observe their ability to walk, scribble drawings, stack toy blocks, and drink with assistance from a cup. Their consumption of food and drink may appear to be considerably less than before, but this is because they are eating more frequently. When they do eat, the toddler still has a great tendency to spill their food. By almost age two, the child will have improved their control of muscles so much that they are able to stand on their top toes, walk forwards and backwards, run, climb, and go up and down steps. To further develop their muscle and motor skills, parents and teachers should encourage the use of toy blocks, crayons, and toy balls. Because the toddler is eager to learn, they will most likely show an interest in potty training, which should be encouraged (University of Illinois, 2011).
By the time the child reaches preschool age, their muscle skills will be developed enough to ride tricycles, jump, run on their top toes, swing, and skip. The preschooler is able to build larger towers out of blocks, dress themselves, and throw a ball overhand (University of Illinois, 2011). When the child finally enters grade school near the age of five or six, their motor skills have improved enough to use their eating utensils, brush their teeth, and clean themselves after going to the bathroom. At this age, the child is beginning to lose their baby teeth and fat, and with the loss of fat comes the gain of muscle (Lee, n.d.).
The child will enter their teenage years around the age of thirteen. Mostly dormant since infancy, the teenager will see rapid growth in height and weight. A boy may expect to grow four inches on average, while a girl may grow 3.5 inches. Their brain development is thriving, as well as their secondary sex characteristics. Proof of their puberty will be their growth of pubic hair, underarm hair, and acne, voice change and facial hair in boys, and in increase of oil in their sweat glands. Because of their growth, teenagers are often more tired and clumsy, and parents are to encourage but not cater to these actions (Ruffin, 2009).
3.0 Intellectual Development
Infants are born with basic intellectual skills. They are able to understand body parts existence, and demonstrate by observing their feet and hands. Because everything is new to them, they show many signs of their observation and learning skills. An infant is able to turn when they hear a sound and attempt to locate its source. When they see objects or people, they are able to follow them with their eyes (University of Illinois, 2011). A simple tool parents may use to develop this skill is to take an object or use their eyes to grab their infant's focus. Once the infant's eyes are focused on the parent or object, the parent may move it back and forth slowly to get the infant's eyes to follow. This will enhance their ability to look, follow, and locate objects.
When the infant becomes a toddler, they still have a short and limited attention span, but are able to follow simple directions. The toddler's curiosity will grow, as they want to continue to learn and discover new things. When they want an object, they are able to point directly at it. When they hear animal sounds, they are able to imitate the sounds (University of Illinois, 2011). The intellectual growth by preschool-hood is outstanding. The child is able to understand basic concepts, including numbers, size, weight, color, distance, time, and position. To display comprehension, a parent should question the child about these concepts and correct if necessary. The preschooler loves to learn by doing, and is able and should be encouraged to complete basic puzzles. When the preschooler is curious, they will often ask "how?" And "why?" And will love to talk in response. Though they often have high amounts of energy, the preschoolers will need a parent or significant adult to shape a well balanced schedule between physical activity, play, and quiet time (Colson, 2006).
The grade school child is able to demonstrate far more complexities than they previously could during toddler-hood. They are better in school subjects and are able to focus on numerous aspects or events at the same time. When playing with others, the grade school child is able to understand an overall set of rules and know that the rules apply to everyone. They are better able to understand others' point-of-view and reason with observation. Their intellectual understanding is obvious through their grasping of concepts such as that even though medicine may taste bad, it is able to make them feel better (Colson, 2006).
As the child grows into their teenage-hood, their intellectual growth has thrived. By middle adolescence, the teenager will understand abstract thought and will use this tool to challenge the thoughts and rules of adults. Parental and social beliefs in concepts such as religion, politics, work, and dress code are often challenged and disputed between teenagers and their parents. With their "full" operational thinking, the teenager often belittles their parents beliefs, thinking their parents do not know much, Their judgment is better developed than previously, but continues to grow into their adulthood. Slower developing than females, males can take until their third decade of life to fully develop their judgment (Harvard, 2010).
4.0 Language Development
When reaching the age of one or two, the toddler should be able to verbally name familiar objects and things, such as body parts, people, and familiar pictures. At this age, the toddler believes the world revolves around them, and "no," "me," and "mine" are among common language. At the end of toddler-hood, the child should be able to form very basic sentences, expressing their feelings and wishes in the use of three or more words in combination. Parents should help develop their child's language skills by the use of songs as a tool, because preschoolers can join in on simple songs (University of Illinois, 2011).
In preschool, a child is fully able to communicate their needs, ideas, and questions. They are quick to learn and use silly words or profanities, so parents must be careful in their vocabulary. Because they are developing their speaking skills, the preschooler loves to talk, and enjoys when adults will humor them in serious discussion (University of Illinois, 2011).
As the child begins to attend school, their vocabulary grows to about 8,000-14,000 words, with a growth of approximately 6,200 words a year until they are teenagers. With their cognitive growth, the child is able to understand subject-verb and noun-pronoun use. They can grasp basic concepts of idioms and that words may have more than one meaning. Their communication and their sense of humor are becoming for more developed than before (Zembar & Blume, 2009).
When their vocabulary growth slows, the now-teenager has a vocabulary of nearly 80,000 words. As they are encouraged in school and at home to read, write, and converse, their use of words, understanding of…[continue]
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