Looking Into the Development of Wellbeing and Resilience in Children Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


In the transition of children into adolescence and adulthood, there are several factors, which have an effect on their mental health together with their well-being. Such factors include life experiences, the social and physical surroundings, and the genetic/biological factors. Whereas one is not capable of predicting the outcomes of life for any child, in particular, one could make efforts to offer every child a positive start that shall assist them in dealing with various life challenges. Secure attachment connections in the early years lay down the foundations for the best emotional and social development and well-being. Encouraging the development of emotional and social skills, and a positive character calls for the need to present children with a secure and supportive surrounding -- emotionally, socially, and physically. Children learn by observing others and by the feedback they experience. The manner through which grown-ups communicate with kids in their daily care giving practices could not only possess a significant impact on the self-concept of kids, but also on their development of emotional and social skills (Building Social and Emotional Skills, n.d). The essay posits that encouraging autonomy and the development of age-appropriate emotional and social skills is significant in early childhood.

Social development theories

Ecological systems

The ecological systems theory was developed by Bronfenbrenner. He placed emphasis on a balance between nurture (environment) and nature (heredity). Demonstrating his theory graphically, he portrays the child as surrounded by four concentric circles, each one signifying a different group of factors that affect the child. The four regions, beginning from the innermost are:

Microsystem -- It signifies the direct family and surroundings of the child

Mesosystem - It signifies wider surroundings and pressures on the development of the child, such as pre-school and doctor's surgery among others.

Exosystem -- It signifies a wider circle of individuals that indirectly affect the child. Examples of factors in the exosystem are the services available to the family and the workplace of the parents.

Macrosystem -- It is an even wider system which entails the customs, outlooks, and values of the cultural group of which the child is a member (A basic introduction to child development theories, 2002).

John Bowlby (1907-1990)

John Bowlby is assumed to be the first to initiate the attachment theory. He deemed that early relationships with the care-providers play a significant role in the development of children, and continue to have an impact on social relationships all through life. If a child's parent is always reliable, the infant shall develop a bond with his/her parent, and shall feel safe enough to explore their surroundings (Basic Theories and Principles of Child Development, n.d).

Emotional theory

Eric Erikson (1902-1994) (as cited in McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010) presents a theory of emotional development. He suggested three essential regions for emotional development on which early childhood teachers concentrate. These regions are:

Trust versus mistrust stage

Autonomy versus doubt and shame

Initiative versus guilt

Trust versus mistrust

Children learn to trust grown-ups via the interactions they have with them. Keen and responsive parents, family members and teachers illustrate to kids that they are adorable, important and secure. Infants that are left to weep, not cared for, harmed or placed at risk learn mistrust at quite an early phase of life and such treatment might cause permanent emotional problems, stress, and mental health issues in the child. This stage is very vital (Supporting Children's Development and Wellbeing, 2014).

Autonomy versus shame

Children become conscious of their own abilities and want to experiment these, explore these and enact their own agency as they develop. In this particular phase children begin to wish to carry out everything on their own (Supporting Children's Development and Wellbeing, 2014).

Initiative versus guilt

Emotional conflict emerges in this phase when the energy is constructively directed and is valued by others or, on the contrary, when it is non-useful and rejected. Opportunities which facilitate the initiative's development are:

Trying to master new skills and objectives

Putting plans and actions into place

Attempting to obtain new data, and Discovering ways of maintaining their behavior within boundaries thought as suitable by the society (Supporting Children's Development and Wellbeing, 2014).

An enabling environment encourages and fosters active learning and growth for all kids (The national strategies, 2008). Social circles make up the human world. Individuals live, play and work in social surroundings in which they interact with one another. Social development deals with learning to co-exist with others in our social world. The social development of kids starts with their birth and as soon as they start interacting with others. Children learn via their interaction with others and the accepted "social norm' (Supporting Children's Development and Wellbeing, 2014). Emotional skills development deals with learning self-control and how to convey our feelings in the suitable way for the context, frequently called emotional intelligence. Emotional development starts with developing a positive self-identity. Kids ought to be supported through the transition so as to attain positive self-identity (Supporting Children's Development and Wellbeing, 2014).

There are numerous observable examples of social-emotional growth all through the development of a child, such as illustrating the yearning to accomplish tasks without help, among others. Erick Erickson states that, Kindergarteners through 3rd graders fall into two differing age groups in the psychosocial phases of development (Gonzalez-Mena, 2009). According to Erickson's stages, children need to reconcile matters like autonomy, basic trust, industry, and initiative prior to transitioning to the following development stage (McLeod, 2008). Also, primary grade kids enjoy their autonomy as well as the fast learning which comes via discovery of new thoughts and things (Gonzalez-Mena, 2009). Kids in the K-third grade age group converse with their surroundings in both, verbal and non-verbal ways. In accordance to the California Department of Education (2015), this is to develop their social awareness and develop relationships with their equals and adults. Through friendship, kids get to know more regarding their emotions and that of others. They become aware of how to identify emotions like sadness or anger and how to respond to them as well. These ideas of emotional and skills could all be sub-divided into more particular skills such as the acts of sharing, displaying teamwork, and learning of repercussions among others (Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004).

Coming up with effective emotional and social skills as well as a positive sense of self are significant factors of kids' development. Efficient social skills allow children to develop and maintain useful relationships. Developing emotional skills of kids include the ability to convey, identify and control their emotions. As kids develop their emotional skills, they become increasingly capable of effectively engaging in tasks, having positive encounters, and coping with setbacks (Developing children's social and emotional skills, n.d).

Infants create bonds with important individuals in their lives. Early bonding is regarded as a biological origin since infants need grown-ups to care for them for survival. This particular survival technique is believed to take place soon after conception (Johnston & Nahmad-Williams, 2009). The influence of maternal deficiency on attachment and future emotional development were researched by John Bowlby (as referenced in Johnston & Nahmad-Williams (2009)) and he deduced that attachment was important for future welfare. This particular need of the kid for security, closeness, and a sense of feeling, creates a yearning to be secure, and are tantamount to several attachment behaviors. In the ideal circumstances, attachment behaviors get associated with strong positive feelings in children as well as in grown-ups and the 'dependent behaviors' illustrated initially result in independency. A secure bond is distinguished by the capability of the kid to utilize his/her significant other as a safe base and a comfort source from where to explore and leave. The child shall be ready to survey and play if he/she feels confident in the presence of their parent (Supporting Children's Development and Wellbeing, 2014).

Early childhood is the period of maximum growth and development, with the inclusion of kids' emotional and social skills. Children are naturally social beings having a liking for social interaction together with the ability to experience and convey feelings, explore their surroundings, develop and learn. There is a constant development of children's emotional and social skills at varying stages and ages. It is broadly acknowledged that the development of emotional and social skills in early childhood profits every aspect of a child's lifelong development and learning (Developing children's social and emotional skills, n.d).


Kids develop and learn emotional and social skills via their social encounters and relations with others right from the instant they are born. In the initial years, children transit form being extremely dependent infants, to being more independent preschoolers having increasingly complicated skills and abilities. It is recognized that kids are inherently inspired to interact with fellow human beings. Children having positive early care experiences anticipate that their relationships with others and their surroundings shall be the same. Positive early care encounters organize the brain of a child so that they have the skills as well as the confidence to take part in satisfying positive…

Sources Used in Document:


A basic introduction to child development theories. (2002). Retrieved 12 January 2016 from http://lrrpublic.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/lrrSecure/Sites/LRRView/7401/documents/theories_outline.pdf

Basic Theories and Principles of Child Development. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2016, from http://familychildcareacademy.com/basic-theories-and-principles-of-child-development/

Building Social and Emotional Skills (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2016,


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