Institutional Affiliation

Institutional Affiliation:

1.1 Introduction

The development of different individuals remains a lifelong process that encompasses both the biological and socio-emotional elements. In this case, it is essential to note that this paper seeks to determine the different theories used in the determining the element of lifespan development. The paper will therefore focus in the biological and socio-emotional development aspects of children. In order to achieve this, the study will put efforts in observing the behaviors of children within the context of a specified physical environment. On the other hand, the paper will also seek to determine the effects of the environment on a child’s development.

1.2 Background Information

As determined, it is essential to determine that development is a lifelong process that involves the cognitive, socio-emotional, and biological elements in the process of growth. It is therefore vital to consider that the socio-emotional development functions refer to the behaviors and actions exhibited by an individual in their daily activities. The actions and behaviors are therefore aimed at determining the children’s expression of inner feelings (Raab, Dunst, & Hamby, 2016). These activities inclusively include the avoidance of aggression, showing persistence in difficult tasks, relaxation as an approach of controlling their overwhelming situations, and showing appreciation towards others. It is therefore essential to denote that biological development process initiates an observational approach that engages the physical changes that are identified in life for this population group, These factors include the children’s ability to coordinate their body movements. On the other hand, the children’s motor skills adjust to the body postures, bending, reaching for different objects that are far, and the maintenance of balance while playing or walking.

1.4 Biological Observation

Most children start being playful as they walk towards the back and jumping forward at the age of three to six years. This stage is recognized when a child begins to show signs of massive motor development. At this age, the children are usually very energetic and most of them become extremely explorative. They are usually very jumpy and often run round obstacles several times. Language is usually considered as the key element in boosting a child’s cognitive development (Raab, Dunst, & Hamby, 2016). This is due to the fact that it enables children to solve their problems since it enhances communication amongst them. At eight, a child is able to point out some important issues and mostly those that do not entail complicated concepts. Nevertheless, the eight-year-old has the capability to think in concrete ways while trying to comprehend theoretical ideas.

Children at the age of three to five years begin to think theoretically, which causes an effect on their massive development. The ability of a certain child to skip, hop and jump is often developed due to cognitive influence. These physical abilities are developed by the immense involvement in huge body movements. Additionally, children study by imitation and observation at this age by the use of cognitive thinking. They can be able to assemble and group objects using their divergent colors without considering shape and size (Walker, Gopnik, & Ganea, 2015). At this stage, teaching should consider their fantasies and their incapability to characterize time. They should also be aware of the fact that children at this age are able to learn effectively by feeling the texture of different objects and mainly get attracted to substances with a rough texture.

It is equally important to understand that at this age, children tend to pay more attention to their physical abilities and criticize the abilities of others. Their focal point is mainly occurs on the progression of objects to serve as a portion of the whole. They commonly illustrate unpleasant motor growth because they aspire to be victorious and not failures. The playfulness abilities as discovered in these children at this age are brought about by their need for self-sufficiency and innovativeness. They often abandon their houses in order for them to search for playmates. They long for sovereignty and freedom from their guardians including their parents (Walker, Gopnik, & Ganea, 2015).The stages of a child’s development have been considered by different elements that include the customs, cultural and social institutions. On the other hand, the laws that makes up an entire society and is additionally essential in the developmental stages of a child’s life. For instance, when professionals and researchers define the period of early childhood development as a process that happens between birth and 8 years, the society in the U. S consider children between the ages of 5 and above in a better state of development since they have the capacity to enter into a formal school or cultural practice.

There are three broad stages of development within a child’s life: early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence (Wilson, 2015). At age three to five years, children grow quickly and most of them begin to develop and widen their skills. When they are five, the majority of them reveal comparatively good management of things like crayons, scissors and pencils. Other achievements include the capability to balance on a single foot. It is important to consider the fact that children’s growth reduces gradually at the age between the age of five and eight years. On the other hand, at this same age of five to eight years, the body magnitude and skills become more advanced.

1.4 Social-Emotional Developments

Children aged between three to five years tend to illustrate their wish to have friends particularly those of the opposite sex. They portray a lot of liberty as well as apparent relations. At this age is where they begin to notice sexual differences where in this case boys prefer playing with boys while girls play with girls especially within school environs. They also convey emotional aspects like love and anger. This stage is commonly referred to as a phallic stage where children become extra careful with theirs and other children’s genitals. It causes many conflicts leading to anger and bitterness amongst themselves conditions known as Oedipus complex. In the case of female children, their desire for male partners is termed as Electra complex. Alternatively, it can also be called penis envy. In males, this phase can be recognized following their desire to get close to their mother’s while the female children have a tendency of staying close to their fathers (Wilson, 2015). On the other side, boys sometimes feel anger and envy their fathers who end up being their enemies which can lead to some immoral behaviors like masturbation. The female children gain knowledge concerning their roles as women by staying close to their mother’s while the boy child associates with the father in order to learn their roles as men. After this stage of developmental conflict, they move to the next level termed as the latency stage.

Children between the ages of three to five years start to become familiar with the character growth effect which is known as the initiative vs. guilt stage. During this stage, a desire to form playing activities is developed. In this stage, most children find themselves struggling with Oedipal which attacks them unconsciously (Hsiao, Chang, Lin, & Hu, 2014). However, when they begin to handle and recognize their social roles, those struggles end. It is crucial to note that whenever normal goals and desires are not met, they usually face shame and guilt. In this case, the family’s connection is very vital in supporting the children as well as helping them to avoid oedipal problems. At this stage, most children are anxious and often want to know if they are good or bad, and usually feel guilty whenever their goals are not achieved. At this point, children begin to take the initiative for goal realization roles and leadership. They often exercise the leadership skills during their play time while others engage in risky activities without seeking for help.

According to Piaget’s theory of development, children aged between three to five years undergo a stage known as a preoperational stage. He points out that during this stage, the thinking pattern of children is influenced by fantasy and often are self-centered thus making it hard for them to make ideas from others (Hsiao, Chang, Lin, & Hu, 2014). This leads to arguments and conflicts with others. During this stage, children have the perception that everything around them feels the same as them. It is equally crucial to consider that in spite the fact that the theories have different version concerning the aspect of social-emotional growth, their ideas finally tend to concur.

 1.5 Psychological Development

On the other hand, it is essential to note that different and variable environments have the capacity to influence the development of children in different ways. These different contexts would therefore include: gender, beliefs, customs, and stages in life, socioeconomic status, school, home, communication environments and office. It is important to note that different scholars like Lev Vygotsky, Erik Erikson, and Lawrence Kohlberg have developed different approaches that aid in understanding the development process of children within this age group (Diamond, & Whitington, 2015). In addition to this, it is significant to acknowledge the efforts of research in the provision of information that aid in understanding the element of development and its nature in children of this age group.

In early childhood it’s established that psychological changes are accompanied by changes in a child’s cognitive and language improvement. From the time of birth, children are known to use their senses to focus to the environment after which the eventually start to build a sense of cause as well as the impacts of their activities and behaviors along with the responses from their guardians (Diamond, & Whitington, 2015). During the three years of development, children are likely to develop a vocabulary of words and are also able to effectively use their language to study things that surrounds them. At the age of five, the vocabulary words increase of a thousand words. Additionally, they acquire skills that enable them to construct sentences comprising of five to seven words, tell common stories by the use of pictures and finally gain knowledge on how to use past tenses.

When these children enter school, they are bound to leave their security with the family and at home. In this case, they turn out to be players in the larger context of the school and friends. The children therefore learn different skills such as the making of friends, building relationships that could impact their future and the development of problem solving skills within their capacity (Airman, & Lundegård, 2014). Additionally, their self-esteem which incorporates a sense of worth and belonging changes rapidly depending on the events that happen around them. This therefore explains the reason why children within this age groups act as adults when the leave school with backpacks full of different responsibilities.

1.6 Predictions for Next Five Years

In the next five years, the cognitive development of the children within this age group will reach a full-scale intelligence. This therefore determines that neurological, psychomotor, behavioral outcomes as determined in the regression model will be fully functional (Wu, Liao, Luo, Ye, Yao, Chen, & Wu, 2016). On the other hand, their verbal intelligence, processing speed quotient and performance intelligence is predicted to improve. It is therefore essential to note that the children will advance in their motor skills and vocabulary. Additionally, the children are likely to adopt different skills in relation to their cultures and traditions.

At this point, children begin to take the initiative for goal realization roles and leadership. They often exercise the leadership skills during their play time while others engage in risky activities without seeking for help. The children will be in a position to make judgments on what is right and wrong. The children therefore learn different skills such as the making of friends, building relationships that could impact their future and the development of problem solving skills within their capacity (Lager, 2016). Their self-esteem is therefore known to incorporate worth and belonging changes rapidly depending on the events that happen around them. These children are additionally likely to develop into a different stage that prepares them for the adolescent’s stage in which they believe they are mature to handle their issues.

1.7 Conclusion Findings

According to this report, it is essential to establish that to determine that development is a lifelong process that involves the cognitive, socio-emotional, and biological elements in the process of growth. Most children start being playful as they walk towards the back and jumping forward at the age of three to six years. This stage is recognized when a child begins to show signs of massive motor development. It is equally important to understand that at this age, children tend to pay more attention to their physical abilities and criticize the abilities of others. Their focal point is mainly occurs on the progression of objects to serve as a portion of the whole.

1.8 References

Airman, C., & Lundegård, I. (2014). Pre-school children’s agency in learning for sustainable development. Environmental Education Research, 20(4), 437-459.

Diamond, A., & Whitington, V. (2015). Studying early brain development: Educators’ reports about their learning and its applications to early childhood policies and practices. Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood, 40(3), 11-19

Harel, B. T., Pietrzak, R. H., Snyder, P. J., Thomas, E., Mayes, L. C., & Maruff, P. (2014). The Development of Associate Learning in School Age Children. Plos ONE, 9(7), 1-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101750.

Hsiao, H., Chang, C., Lin, C., & Hu, P. (2014). Development of children’s creativity and manual skills within digital game-based learning environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(4), 377-395

Lager, K. (2016). ‘Learning to play with new friends’: systematic quality development work in a leisure-time centre. Early Child Development & Care, 186(2), 307-323. doi:10.1080/03004430.2015.1030634.

Raab, M., Dunst, C. J., & Hamby, D. W. (2016). Effectiveness of Contrasting Approaches to Response-Contingent Learning Among Children With Significant Developmental Delays and Disabilities. Research & Practice for Persons With Severe Disabilities, 41(1), 36-51. doi:10.1177/1540796915621189.

Walker, C. M., Gopnik, A., & Ganea, P. A. (2015). Learning to Learn From Stories: Children’s Developing Sensitivity to the Causal Structure of Fictional Worlds. Child Development, 86(1), 310-318.

Wilson, H. E. (2015). Patterns of Play Behaviors and Learning Center Choices between High Ability and Typical Children. Journal of Advanced Academics, 26(2), 143-164.

Wu, M., Liao, L., Luo, X., Ye, X., Yao, Y., Chen, P., & … Wu, Y. (2016). Analysis and Classification of Stride Patterns Associated with Children Development Using Gait Signal Dynamics Parameters and Ensemble Learning Algorithms. Biomed Research International, 1-8. doi:10.1155/2016/9246280.

Appendix A

Date and Time: Thursday:  April 29, 2016: 12:30

Activities Observed: Children Aged 6 years climbing over the climbing rings. It is also essential to determine that during this period, I had the opportunity to watch Tamara pretend play at the tire mountain within the larger wooden structure.

My Intention with the Child: Spend enough time answering questions about me, my name and here I came from Tamara.

2; 45: Tamara on her first recess was racing across a ring with her friend. During play, she fell down on the ground and started crying, calling herself a loser. I then took privilege to pull her aside and talk to her with the aim of finding out what was wrong with her.

2:50: She kept on crying and mentioned she was a loser since she did not win the race and has never won such races. She also mentioned that her friends have always called her a loser since she cries when she loses the races. Her friends are in a tendency of making fun of her since they beat her up.

3:00: I therefore tool an initiative to reassure her that she was not a looser and mentioned to her the reasons why she lost in the climbing game. She continues crying even after her friends came and cry to comfort her to give it another try.

3:10: Tamara continued crying even with her friend’s initiative to calm her so she thinks she is not a loser. She then mentioned that her friends would beat her up when she tried again and failed again. After encouraging her to try the game once more, she went out and found her friends gone. She then begun crying again ad walked away from me.

3:15: I therefore took time to observe Tamara after she walked away. She sat down and stopped crying. She then picked a peace of stick and begun drawing on the ground. She looked happy and satisfied with this activity.

3:30: Tamara the begun jumping around and laughing since she had found comfort in her own game. She walked close to me and asked me to join her but promised her I would only watch her and not play. I watched her jump over some boxes she drew and used this opportunity to affirm that she was not a looser.

4:00: I realized that Tamara would spend much of the time playing by herself than in a group of friends. She spent close to 45 minutes playing on her own and looked so happy. I analyzed her pattern on play and discovered that much of her time was spent alone.

Appendix B

Date and Time: Thursday:  April 30, 2016: 12:30

Activities Observed: Informal interaction and developmental assessment

12:30: During this period, I spent time with Tamara during one of the activities she engaged in with her friends. Tamara was having fun during this moment and encouraged other mates to join her. However, things changed when one of her friends messed in the rings.

12:45: Tamara pulled Mary’s legs until she fell off the rings. Mary then grabbed Tamara’s dress since she was mad at her for pulling her off the rings. She asked Tamara why she pulled her off the rings with a sign of beating her. Tamara began crying before Mary beat her. Mary then decided to leave her alone and join her pals in play. I defused in the process to find out the reason why Tamara was crying even when Mary had forgiven her.

12:50: I took time to talk to Tamara and determine the reason why she was crying. She was mad at me and mentioned I was like the other kids who wanted her to fail in the ring game. I decided to give her time and left her.

1:00: Tamara realized she was wrong and went to apologize to Mary. Mary was willing to forgive her and allowed her to join the game again.

Summary of Findings

In this case, I was able to note the two kinds of aggressors: the proactive and reactive aggressors. In Tamara’s case, she is used to the proactive type of aggression and relies heavily upon this approach in resolving her social problems. In this case, she is confident that she will benefit from the participation in aggressive actions. When no concern is showed to her, she resoles to crying in order to capture the attention of her friends.

On the other hand, her friends show the reactive type of aggression since they are aware of Tamara’s actions as having malicious intentions. In this case, it is important to note that the two types of aggressions are evident in this situation, a factor that confirms Dodge’s social theory of information processing.

Appendix C


I therefore took time to Interview Tamara’s mother to understand the child more: Tamara’s mother was called Rebecca who is married to Bob, a social worker in the community. Bob is always away fulfilling his work responsibilities, with Rebecca at home caring for the children. Tamara is the last born I the family, with other 3 siblings in the family.

Me: Could you inform me of any disabilities noted in Tamara

Rebecca: As far as I am concerned, I have never noted any since she was given birth to.

Me: What is Mary’s height and weight?

Rebecca: The last time Tamara was weighed, she was 6 kgs with a height of 3.5

Me: How would you describe Tamara’s sleep pattern?

Rebecca: Tamara is found of sleeping at 10:00 and wakes up frequently during the night. However, this happens occasionally.

Me: What is her current dies and engagement in physical activities?

Rebecca: Well Bob is so concerned about diet and he ensures that his children feed on a balanced diet every day. The kids are limited to particular snacks such as sweets. Most of the time, Bob takes the children for physical activity. However, Tamara has always showed no interest in these activities and attends them out of pressure.

Me: Are there any serious chronic illnesses in Tamara?

Rebecca: No

Me: Do you think your child’s actions could be a resultant of a toxic environment?

Rebecca: Well in my view, I think Tamara is not so social and spends most of her time playing alone that with friends and her siblings. In this case, I may not think her actions are related to the environment she lives in.

Summary of Findings

In my view, it is essential to note that Tamara‘s actions and way of social engagement is not inherited, but results from her nature. This is attributed to the fact that this child is not social and finds more pleasure in playing alone than with others. In my perspective, this could be a psychological problem, resulting from the fact that her dad has limited time to spend with them. As a result of this, the child watches over the behaviors of her father and learns from this.

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