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child development

Children Are Fearfully And Wonderfully Made

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture).

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You can always learn something new.  As you might know, I am teaching a child psychology class this summer.  What I am reading is reinforcing what I already knew.  Children are busy little beavers from birth and they come equipped with amazing hardware which enables them to perceive and understand their environment.

Children are fearfully and wonderfully made.  They are not just passive receptacles of stimuli.  They are programed to take it in in a certain way and then use it to form an amazing 3-D, multi-sensory model.  It forms their conception of what the world is like.  From this, they proceed to make assumptions about how things are and they use these assumptions to draw conclusions about what will happen in their environment.  This will lead to developing concepts like depth perception and object permanence.

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Children as Experimental Subjects

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 22:  Day care workers...

At one point in time there were experimental studies in psychology where children were viewed as subjects.  Theories of child development were based on these.   Children need to be observed in their own environments, not in sterile laboratory rooms with strangers.  A lot of what children do is based on where they are and whom they are with.  When children are comfortable with their surroundings and the people there, their typical behavior is more likely to appear.  They must feel safe and secure before they start to explore and interact with each other or adults.  Also for young children, most child care environments contain kids of the same or close to the same age and  familiar adult females, usually not males.

It was said once upon a time that babies or young toddlers engaged in solitary play and did not get involved  in interactive play with other children.  If you observe children like these in their homes, at a close relative’s house where they often come to play, or in their accustomed daycare setting with familiar same age playmates, they will usually get involved in play with each other that seems to follow certain rules and also have reciprocal behaviors .   Also you, yourself, or the observer must not be a stranger to the children.  This makes it difficult to conduct scientific studies with an impartial observer in a controlled environment.  As a partial observer of my grandchildren in a familiar environment where they are playing with children they  play with all the time, I have seen interactive play among children as young as one year  and eighteen months of age.   In fact, all three when together usually play in the same place {no matter how much room they have to play in) and  with the same things (no matter how much they have to play with).  One child does something and the other children do it too. Sometimes there seems to be a pattern of behavior.

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Did You Lose Something in Childhood?

Problem Solving

Problem Solving (Photo credit: mikecogh)

There are things about childhood that are unforgettable or at least they ought to be unforgettable.   Children are little explorers.  They are always seeing something new to them.  They are always learning seemingly at the speed of light.   They go from only expressing their needs non-verbally  to verbally.   Vocabulary grows ex-potentially.  Watch out  as soon they  will learn to read and write.  When do we stop growing like this or should we?  It is a big world out there and it is conceivable that we should never stop learning.  It helps with our problem solving skills.  It expands our concept of the universe and the possibilities that we have to choose from.  Both in the terms of goals and ways to do things.

Besides our curiosity, we have our imaginations.  Little children quickly learn how to do things like talk on the phone.  Part of this is mimicking what they see and hear and part of this is done by using their imaginations.  When we imagine, we can be or do anything we want.  The possibilities are endless.  Most or all things that come into being in reality are first created in somebody’s mind.  There are few or no limits on what the mind can imagine.  Besides imagining things that don’t yet exist, we can imagine ways to do things that aren’t possible yet.  Exercise your imagination and grow.

 

 

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Negative Thoughts are Like Mosquitoes

Your Childs Self Esteem

Your Childs Self Esteem (Photo credit: ouvyt)

Negative thoughts swarm around you taking bites out of your confidence and self-esteem and preventing you from achieving success.  Thoughts like: “What makes you think people will like that?”  “Money is evil.”   “There is someone out there doing that already.  What makes you think you can do it too?”  “You’re not that smart or talented.”  It could go on for ever.  Where does it come from?  It comes from the unconscious where it hides until it comes out when it can do you the most harm.

We are born with little or no knowledge about ourselves and abilities so we often believe and incorporate into our identity the things that people tell us about ourselves such as,  “If you keep on doing that you are going to end up in jail,”  “Guys don’t make passes at gals who wear glasses,”  or “You’ll never learn to read (or swim or get married).”  “You’ll never get higher than a “B” in college,” which was one of mine, and I never got lower than a “B” in college.

What we think that we know about our world, other people,  many groups, and different religions etc. comes from what  we are exposed to as a child.  We may develop prejudices because of this.  This is opening an old womb; but what was said about African Americans before civil rights were established?  or even the Japanese Americans until after  World War II.   Negative thoughts like these  buzzing around in our heads prevent  us from being successful in our interaction with and understanding of others.

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