A Parents Look on Biological, Cognitive and Socioemotional
Factors Influencing Childhood
Jacqueline and Mark Walker were eager to enter parenthood after being married three years ago. Practicing with their nieces and nephews, the Walker family felt that they were prepared to raise children of their own. Now, after having two kids, Jacqueline and Mark are worried that their parenting skills need more work. Bella, now eleven months old, is an easy going child who reacts with a smile to the voices of her parents, the dolls in her crib and much more. Yet Bentley, at three years, is easily angered and hard to comfort. With Bella and Bentley’s stages of growth being drastically different, the Walkers are unsure of how to teach them so the children can develop normally.
When it comes to parenting, understanding how biological, cognitive, and socioemotional factors influence each child’s development is important. Because Bella and Bentley are in different age groups, infancy and early childhood, it is essential that the Walkers recognize that aspects of their children’s growth will be considerably different. Biological factors are elements that are physical in nature. During infancy, the rate of growth is extremely fast. The birth weight of the child is nearly tripled at four months of age. Most of the growth is occurring in the patterns of the brain. As infants absorb the world around them, the brain is trying to keep up with each action learned. Understanding motor development is one of the infant’s motivations to learn. As the child starts sitting up straight without interference from others, crawling, and gripping it allows he or she to grow independently. Using reflexes such as sucking and grabbing or maintaining gross and fine motor skills also allow the child to gain more responsibility. In the case of the Walkers, it is important that the parents protect Bella’s head the most because as the brain develops rapidly, any injury to it can be damaging to its development and prevent further learning. Early childhood biological factors differ greatly. Instead of the brain size changing, patterns within the brain are now altering. This increases the efficiency and speed of the information learned from the toddler. Just as infancy, gross and fine motor skills are still being mastered during this stage of life. Instead of crawling and sucking however, their goal is to achieve jumping, hopping, and building block towers without having them fall down. Nutrition and exercise are just as important as motor skills because as children are growing constantly, it is crucial that the child stays healthy. Exercise helps the gross and fine motor skills become stronger and more constant. With this in mind, Jacqueline and Mark should consider letting Bentley outside more to allow him to get his frustration out through exercise while still being able to progress in his gross and fine motor skills, while still maintaining his health.
While biological factors deal with physical aspects, cognitive factors involve thought and language. Even though it may not be apparent, infants are absorbing everything around them. One strategy used by infants is schemes, depictions of knowledge in the mind. Babies use schemes as motivators to obtain the things they want at that time. Grasping an object, as well as sucking on it, is one of the many actions that can be performed by infant as a scheme. Besides schemes, object permanence, the sense that concrete objects are still present even when they seem to disappear, is a tough milestone for infants to comprehend. Because an infant’s memory ability is very low, an infant probably will not remember an object, such as a toy, was there as it slips there mind in seconds. Considering the Walker family, the parents should focus on making Bella’s memory and thought processes stronger by repeating words and actions so that these factors can become stronger.