Family-Centered Approach in Child Development
Child Development: Importance of Family Involvement
Family plays a vital role in the upbringing of a child. A child has not developed his/her senses at the time of his birth. Senses are present from the time of the birth and give the child enough potential to step out in the practical world. Apart from five basic senses i.e. taste, smell, touch, sight and sound, there are countless of other senses that are fed by the family. Ideally a person must be able to utilize every resource he has in him but this does not happen. Einstein being the world's genius person utilized his potential up to 11% approximately which means 89%of his brain was left unexplored. Similarly a lot of other people can do better if their family helps them to explore their personalities while growing up. This research will investigate a family's involvement in a young child's social development and will discuss some of the key issues related to the topic.
Every child is born with some unique physical and mental characteristics that evolve over a period of time as the child grows up. Stages through which a child grows and passes through as a human being have been discussed to a great extent over a period of time by various researchers, poets and novelists alike. While some unique characteristics are attributed to a child by birth, as part of what s/he inherits from his or her genes sources, other aspects of a child's personality are developed and are greatly dependent on the environment that a child is exposed to furring the cycle of his or her upbringing.
According to pediatrics, a child develops him/herself through various developmental milestones over different intervals of time. If the environment fails to provide support to a child's development the child is likely to either experience developmental delay s or might develop in an abnormal manner. In that case such a child requires medical assistance. It must be noted that in the early personality grooming of a child, family has a crucial role to play. This process of personality development is then taken up at later stages by the school teachers.
In general a child achieves his or her developmental milestones within a certain age bracket. However, certain external factors have a strong influence over the degree to which a skill is developed and the time taken to develop the skill (Berk, 2006). These include genetically factors, environmental factors and nutritional factors. If a child inherits a genetic abnormality from either of the parents than chances are that the abnormality might be indicated in the development of a certain skill. Similarly lack of proper nutrition or being brought up in a polluted environment may also effect the development of skills.
Considering this, it is of immense importance that educators and preschool teachers in particular develop a curriculum and teaching methodology that focuses on enhancement of a child's pro-social skills, speech power, confidence, self-esteem and empowerment.
Importance of Family in Child Development
A mother, someone with whom the child spends most of his/her time during the early stages has a highly critical role to play in the personality development of a child. When the child starts developing his/her personality according to his or her gender orientation, the male parent, which is the father, also becomes an equally important source of personality grooming for a child. As he grows older a lot of other people get associated with his/her life in the form of teacher, friends, and colleagues but the initial grooming is provided by the family. There are certain key factors that need to be focused on in a child's grooming.
An attachment, in its literal meaning, is a knot. While in adult and mature relationships, this term is often used to refer to mutual devotion and emotional bonds shared among two partners, in theoretical context it refers to the need of safety, security and protection (Prior & Glaser, 2006). This context is quite relevant to child development as a child's attachment to his/her immediate family and with the parents in particular is mainly based on the fact that s/he feel secured with...
However, when s/he realizes that the mother cannot fulfill every need then s/he slowly switches on to other members that are helpful in his/her upbringing. These other members can be his/her father, brother, sister or teacher.
Children love to do things for themselves. It helps them learn and develop self-help skills. Eating, toileting, washing, grooming, dressing, and undressing are daily tasks that a child masters as s/he grows. Small children show an interest in learning these skills, but they need parent's patience, help and encouragement but as they grow older, parents make them feel comfortable by talking to them on different matters and opening their doors to new confidants such as school teachers and other siblings. Children are attracted to colors and teachers play a major role by exploring their creative side and making them used to drawing, painting, music and crafts. It has been observed and has been highlighted by many researchers that children who are two pampered by their parents and elder siblings tend to be less self dependent. This seemingly 'caring' but negatively over protective attitude of parents has negative implications on child's personality as s/he grows up and begins to encounter the outer world.
A child needs empowerment in many areas while growing up. They are self-confidence, building up a healthy personality, fighting their weaknesses etc. In essence empowerment is greatly dependent on the degree to which a child is self-dependent, a trait which is developed as his or her self-help skills.
Self-confidence is very important to build up a strong personality in children. This can be built up by encouraging a child for little acts he/she does on daily basis. Making a child feel that he/she is an important part of the family: consulting them in casual family matters, building up decision power in them etc.
Empowering of a child's literary skills can be done by reading story books and in the end concluding the stories in a positive manner so that he/she could learn lesson from them.
The responsibility of developing the reading habits among children is greatly attributed to parents. Researchers have proven that children who get exposure to reading material at early stages develop not only effective linguistic skills, but also develop stronger mental and analytical skills. (Britto, & Brooks-Gunn, 2001). This empowerment makes a child utilize his/her brain in a better way and think critically. Not only that, but it also strengthens a child's decision making skills. Children who grow with lesser degree of independence have been observed to come out as shy people with poor confidence levels. Such children face immense difficulties in socializing with others and expressing their opinions and thus suffer in various aspects of life. Moreover such children are also known to get bullied at school.
Pro-social behavior occurs when someone helps another person by having no other motive than to help a fellow human. The qualities that involve this act are being courteous, generous, helpful and comforting.
Pro-social behavior refers to the urge to provide assistance to someone in need without the motivation to gain any personal benefits. This also involves the ability to identify and understand what the other person feels or needs (Hojat et al., 2002).
Before teaching this, parents will have to decide whether they themselves are pro-social or not. The genes transferred to their children are of the same type and if they are not pro-social in their own behavior then they will have to implement this nature first in order to teach their offspring. This is important because a large part of a child's cognitive development is inherited from his/her parents.
Pro-social behavior requires feelings to be developed in children in order to distinguish between happiness and pain. Parents motivate their children to do community services and help them with it. Many researchers have also shown that children who are exposed to care taking of pets at home tend to grow up as more pro-social then children who do not keep pets. Taking care of pets instills in them, the skills of identifying and anticipating the need and emotions of others and acts accordingly in order to help them.
Self-esteem, a highly important personality trait, refers to the value that one attributes to one's own self and admires his or her own achievements. People with high degree of self-esteem tend to acknowledge their hard work and achievements and learn from their failures without the feeling of insecurity from success of others.
Many parents place the importance of positive self-esteem in their children on top of the list. They…
Britto, P.R. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (2001). The Role of Family Literacy Environments in Promoting Young Children's Emerging Literacy Skills. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Davies, D. (2010). Child Development. NY: Guilford.
Hojat, M., Gonnella, J.S., Nasca, T.J., Mangione, S., Vergare, M., & Magee, M. (2002). Physician empathy: Definition, components, measurement, and relationship to gender and specialty. American Journal of Psychiatry.
Meggitt, C. (2006). Child Development: An Illustrated Guide. UK: Hienemann.
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