This paper will attempt to explain the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development that occurs in the pre-school child from positive encouragement of environmental influences, such as parents, siblings, kindergarten teachers and peers. It will incorporate the works of several theorists including Erikson and Piaget to help to explain how these environmental influences affect the pre-school child in the above three phases of development. Period of lifespan
Lifespan period of the 4 year old is encompassed within early childhood, which ranges from three to six years old. This is stage three of Erik Erikson’s theory of the eight stages of lifespan development (Hoffnung et al., 2013). During this period there are major changes in the physical growth, the cognitive development and the psychosocial interactions with others. Even though a person’s growth and development is individual, the sequence of this development is not, as it is directly related to certain stages, these stages relate to certain developmental changes (Berman et al., 2012). Key physical aspects of the pre-school child are a slowdown of growth and a more proportionate body, progressively more adult-like. In early childhood the acquisition of language is a major advance in cognitive development. Around four years old they become more curious, asking many ‘WHY’ questions. Pre-schoolers learn to deal with conflict and aggression and develop the ability to relate to others empathically (Hoffnung, et al., 2013). Environmental influences on physical development
Good nutrition can positively affect the physical development of the young child. This can lead good health, better physical growth and can also have a good impact on their intellectual development (Berman ... [et al.]. 2012). There can be vast differences in how same age children process information. These differences or variations can exist due to a child being under less stress or living in a nurturing environment. Confidence and self-esteem can affect physical grown in a positive way. A child can have a much greater self-esteem and a higher level of confidence in themselves through positive encouragement from parents, siblings, teachers and peers (Smitherman et al., 2007). This can contribute to them deciding to participate in more sport and physical activity. This in turn will promote more physical growth through more muscle development (Crisp and Taylor 2001). ‘Involving the parents is important, because the home environment can be considered as the most important place where children develop these behaviours’ (De Craemer, et al., 2013). Parents by limiting television time and by being highly supportive of their children's active pursuits can promote physical activity among pre-schoolers. Physical activity is particularly important in children, as it improves gross and fine motor skill development (De Craemer et al., 2013). Environmental influences on cognitive development
Using Erik Erikson stages of development as a model for the stages of thinking and learning for children, you will notice that in this stage there are opportunities for positive ego development (Harder 2012). It is important to encourage children to find their own answers, depending on one’s response; you can promote higher-order thinking (The Curious Child, 2013). This depends on the child’s age and the questions that you ask. You can suggest that you help them look for the answers. It is important that you let your child find these answer, even if they assist that they can’t, you can guide them to the correct answers (The Curious Child, 2013). If you give them the chance, the pre-schooler can explore new ideas and activities and achieve the tasks and goals that they desire (Harder, 2013). The pre-schooler is abound with curiosity and is forever searching for answers to a myriad of questions, they want to know why? To enhance a child’s reasoning ability, it is important to give them the support and encouragement...
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