August 20, 2012
Developmental Profile of Early Childhood through Middle Childhood
How a child develops during early childhood through middle childhood is very important. Not only do children experience physical changes during this time, their brain, and nervous system also experience extensive changes in cognition, judgment, and problem solving skills. During these developmental stages, a child also experiences emotional and social development that involves family influences, peer relationships, self understanding, self concept, emotional regulation, and differences between males and females. This paper will summarize these changes, and the stages that a child experiences during their early childhood and throughout their middle childhood life span. Infants and Toddlers
During the first two years of a child’s life, his or her body goes through dramatic changes. When a child is first born, he or she is born with a large head and torso; however, their legs are short and weak. This makes them very top-heavy during the first few months of their lives until their bodies begin to redistribute their body fat and muscle mass. Although all children develop differently, it can be noted that from infancy, girls are normally lighter and shorter and have a higher rate of fat to muscle than baby boys do (Berk, 2010, p. 121). As a baby begins to grow, their bodies become more cylindrical and “they have a larger ratio muscle mass to body fat; especially in their legs” (Adolph & Avolio, 2000, p. 1148). By the time the child has reached the age of two, in most cases their height has almost doubled and their weight has quadrupled (Berk, 2010, p. 120). During the first year of growth, many healthy babies have a great deal of baby fat which is beneficial because it helps to regulate his or her body temperature. At the age of nine months, most babies start to slim down and this continues to progress through their middle childhood years (Berk, 2010, p.121). Because babies are not very muscular, they have limited coordination and strength. However, as a baby grows, they start to incorporate together their head and trunk control, arm and leg coordination, and the increasing capacity to counteract gravitational forces. All of these motor skills play a large part in a achieving the major milestone of walking. This generally occurs around the age of one (Vereijken, Pedersen, & Størksen, 2009, p. 374). During the first two years of life, a baby’s brain and central nervous system are rapidly growing. A baby’s brain is continuously growing, and there are “some aspects of self-development that occur during the first year of life. However, self-representation does not emerge until the middle of the second year” (Lewis & Carmody, 2008, p. 1329). Self-representation relates to self-recognition, in which the child begins to use pronouns such and I, me, or mine. The child begins to develop self-conscious emotions and starts to show embarrassment, empathy, and altruism for others. This stage is where they start to understand their own feelings as well as other’s (Lewis & Carmody, 2008, p. 1330). At this stage in life, a child’s judgment and cognition start to emerge. An example of this would be when a young child is scolded in front of others. Often times, this may result in the child becoming upset because they are embarrassed that they had done something wrong, and they were scolded in front of others. Early Childhood
Early childhood generally refers to children between the ages of three and six. This period is extremely important to the development of a child. During this stage, the child’s growth begins to slow down. Children, “on the average add 2 to 3 inches in height and about 5 pounds in weight each year. Boys continue to be slightly larger than girls” (Berk, 2010, p. 216). The child’s posture begins to improve, and they become much more coordinated and one can see the difference if they see...