Infancy and Early Childhood Development

Topics: Parenting styles, Jean Piaget, Developmental psychology Pages: 7 (1918 words) Published: November 19, 2014
Infancy and Early Childhood Development Paper
Infancy and early childhood are considered a time when most cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development takes place; allowing it to be exceptional and very essential in human development. A child’s development does not start at birth but through proper nutrition before and during conception. “Infancy and early childhood is a critical stage of development that forms the foundation for children’s future well-being and learning” (UNICEF, 2011). At this early stage of life, development can be hinder due to certain factors within families and the environment. In this paper, I will explain how families affect the development of infants and young children. I will also evaluate different parenting styles and its influences on a child’s development during the infancy and early childhood stages while voicing my opinion on which parenting style I believe is most effective. Lastly, I will discuss early childhood education and the influence it plays on cognitive development. Effect of Families on Development

Throughout history, the role of families and how it affects a child development has been a topic of discussion for centuries. “Family is the first interaction that a child have that remains continuously” (Elkin & Handel, 1978). The family structure and parent-child communication have more of an impact on the child development than those early years of attending daycare. Throughout the United States, children are raised in various family environment ranging from single to dual parenting, same-sex parenting, and multi-racial parenting. All of those factors contribute to the different families, cultures, and religion a child is introduced to because they are all spawned through marriage, divorce, and other forms of relationship connections. Berger (2011), argues that “families accommodate responses in children from the facial expression, emotional and physical connections.” “The sense of security a child finds at their home base is the foundation of their success in life” (Harris, nd; Faith, n.d). Engaging in “baby talk” allows children to gain socialization skills. Positive family interactions make room for healthy brain, emotional, and cognitive development. Children learn from their surroundings, they absorb all information from families and parents; whatever message that is giving to that child molds the “basis of the child’s self-concept and self-confidence, which are vital to positive social and emotional developmental changes throughout childhood” (Faith, nd.). During these early stages in a child’s life, they are more dependent on the role of family members to meet their needs thus molding their development in how they will later interact, learn, and view the world. Styles of Parenting

Based off the studies of clinical and developmental psychologist Diane Baumrind, she “found that parents differed on four important dimensions” after studying “100 preschool children, all from California and mostly middle-class European Americans” (Berger, 2011, pg. 273). These dimensions are expressions of warmth, strategies for discipline, communication, and expectations for maturity. In order to understand the different parenting styles, the characteristics of these dimension for parent should be addressed. Expression of warmth describes a parent who is warm and display affection, when other parents can be analytical. Strategies for discipline are the thought process the parent goes through in determining the best route in dealing with the action of the child. Communication is the value the parent set on listening. Expectations for maturity describe the amount of responsibility that the parent(s) places on the child. The four different dimension of parents, allowed Baumrind to later identify three styles of parenting. Authoritarian Parenting

Parents who have an authoritarian style of parenting are “extremely strict and high controlling” (Gurian, 2011). “The...

References: Berger, K.S. (2011). The developing person through the life span (8th ed). Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection Database.
Grisham-Brown, J. (2009). Early childhood development. Influences of early childhood development. Retrieved from on April 4, 2014,
Gurian, A. (2011). Parenting styles/children’s temperaments: the match. Retrieved from on April 4, 2014.
Harris. B & Faith. R. (n.d). How early relationships affect child development. Retrieved from on April 3, 2014.
Nuttall, E. (n.d.). Cognitive development in early childhood education. Retrieved from on April 5, 2014.
Santrock, J.W (2010). A topical approach to life-span development. Boston: McCraw-Hill Higher Education.
UNICEF. (2011). Early childhood development: a key to a full and productive life. Retrieved from on April 1, 2014.
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