Influences on Child Stages of Development

Modified: 21st Nov 2017
Wordcount: 2137 words

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  • Samra Saleem

Unit 2: Understanding and Promoting Children’s Development

In this assessment I will be describing the expected pattern of children’s development. I will be analysing how personal and external factors can influence a child’s development, the reasons why children’s development may not follow the expected patter and why early intervention is important when delays in development are suspected.

Children’s development will usually follow an expected pattern; however children will develop at their own rate and in their own time. Understanding the pattern of child development can help to identify children who may have delays in their development and require additional support. I will be looking at child development and will be looking into

  • Physical Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Communication Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Moral Development

Physical development: physical development looks at how children attain physical movements. Physical movements are split into three different skills. Gross Motor Skills is the movement of larger limbs, for example using your arms or legs. Fine Motor Skills is when smaller movements are obtained such as using your hands to hold things and Locomotive Skill is when there are full body movements such as walking or running which requires the whole body to move.

The following the expected stages of development in physical development for children:

  • 0-6 months: at this stage babies are able to lift and turn their heads and growth and height from their time of birth. Baby’s weight may drop after birth will be gained quickly.
  • 12-18 months: during this stage most children will develop strength in their legs and will begin to stand up without the help of another person and start walking.
  • 3-5 years: at this stage children will be able to co-ordinate their movements. They are also gaining more control of their fine manipulative skills and are more competent in using material and scissors.
  • 7-9 years: at this age children’s fine and gross motor skills are now well developed and they are continuing to grow in height. You will begin to notice that the child is able to write better and neater and have the ability of stability in their hands.
  • 11-13 years: at this stage children will most likely go through puberty. This is when the child’s body will go through different stages of sexual maturation.

Cognitive Development: this area of development looks at a child’s intellectual development, the way in which the brain processes information. Cognitive skills include memory, problem solving and imagination.

  • 0-6 months: at this stage babies can recognise the sounds and smells of their mother and will be aware of their surroundings.
  • 12-18 months: at this stage babies are becoming more aware of their routine for the day. At this age babies are able to play with more complex toys.
  • 3-5 years: at this stage children’s concentration is growing in activities they enjoy and show a like into the activities which they would prefer.
  • 7-9 years: at this stage children’s academic skills are developing and writing and reading become easier. At this age children will be able to take tasks such as problems solving and putting their skills into practice.
  • 11-13 years: children are able to reason more and can solve more complex problems.

Communication Development: this area of development looks at the way that children learn to communicate. Communication development includes reading and writing, verbal communication and non-verbal communication, such as gestures and body language. Even before children can say their first words, they are already capable of understanding a great deal of language.

  • 0-6 months: at this stage new born babies communicate their needs by crying. Babies will start getting your attention when needed my makes sounds and acknowledge others by smiling. Babies at this age will also be able to differentiate between their parents and others voices.
  • 12-18 months: by this age babies will be able to replace their blabbering with some simple vocabulary.
  • 3-5 years: at this stage children’s vocabulary is continuing to increase and their speech will now be recognisable to most adult’s. at this age you will find that children are much more aware of their surroundings and how things happen, therefore they will start asking questions regarding incidents.
  • 7-9 years: by this age children are able to communicate properly and hold full conversations and also the skills of writing and reading has also extended by this age.
  • 11-13 years: at this stage children now have developed good reading and writing skills, with grammar becoming more accurate in written communication; therefore they will have the ability to write out sentences in the right structure.

Social and Emotional Development: this area of development looks at children’s development of feelings and self-identity as well as the formation of relationships. This area of development also covers behaviour - a child understanding what behaviour is acceptable and social skills such as feeding themselves. From when a baby is born and to their early childhood there are many changes which they undergo.

  • 0-6 months: at these early years the babies will be able to establish a close relationship with their main carer and will settle in for feeding and for comfort from that individual. As the baby gets a little older he/she will begin to smile and show enjoyment in activities
  • 12-18 months: at this stage the babies are likely to experience anxiety when separated from their carer and have fear of any strangers. Children in this age group start showing significant amount of interest in other children.
  • 3-5 years: at this age children will begin to take more interest in other children around them and also engage themselves into play activities with them.
  • 7-9 years: by this age children are going through the stage of making good friends which is a very important factor in a child’s life stage.
  • 11-13 years: there will be a lot more changes in a child’s life at this stage as they are getting ready to move to high school. This could be a tough time for a child as they may need to leave old friends whom they may have a good relationship with and the thought of going into a new environment may stress them out as they will need to make new friends.

Moral Development: this area of development is strongly linked to social an emotional development and covers the choices and decisions that children and young people make. The development of morality also covers how children react and behave towards other people and the principles and attitudes they adopt.

  • 3-5 years: at this stage of development children are most likely to have difficulty in understanding what is considered as right and wrong choices and actions.
  • 7-9 years: by this stage children will appreciate if they are given duties and responsibilities as by now they know what is expected of them.
  • 11-13 years: at this age children will have an expanded understanding about the importance of why rules and boundaries are set and how to effectively follow them.

A child’s development is shaped by both personal and external factors. The following are some of the factors which influence a child’s development.

Personal factors

Problems during pregnancy and birth: a child’s development occurs as soon as conception is taken place as soon as the egg and sperm meet. This is when the generic information for that child is determined. A well-known condition known as down syndrome is a condition caused when there is an extra chromosome present. This condition causes delays in a child’s development through learning difficulties and heart problems. babies can also be effected by their mother behaviour and attitude during pregnancy. For mothers who smoke, take drugs and consume alcohol during their pregnancy can have a high risk and harm their baby. Birth experiences can also have an influence on a child’s development. Babies who are born prematurely may have delays in their development process as well as babies who do not breathe instantly at birth could suffer from lack of oxygen to their brain and body. Health: a child’s health can also be determined by their generic factors. Factors such as poor health can effect a child’s development and strain physical strength. Disabilities: generic factors at birth could also lead to babies having disabilities and health conditions which they are born with. These disabilities and health issues will affect their development process.

External factors

Poverty: there is increasing numbers of children who are experiencing poverty. 1 in 4 children is experiencing poverty in the UK and is said to be increasing my 2020. This number relates to the relative poverty than the absolute poverty. Relative poverty is a comparison of income compared to the average income off households. These are requirements needed to live a daily life from the materialistic things and the personal possessions. Absolute poverty is a lack of basic human needs including food, shelter, warmth, sanitation, health care and education. A balanced diet in a child’s growth is very crucial for their development. Families who may not be able to afford much may end up buying cheap food which contains harmful substances for a child’s diet. These foods are often full of saturated fats, salt and sugar and consuming large amounts of these foods can lead obesity and malnutrition in children. Consumptions of such foods can result in the children being hyperactive and lethargic. Those who live in poor housing conditions may suffer from conditions such as asthma due to cold and damp housing conditions. Family backgrounds and ethics have a really important part in a child’s development as children will watch and learn from their parents and other family’s members whom they are around. As children grow older they will find themselves in situations where they will need to make decisions on their own. Negative pressure from friends could lead to a negative decision and action taken by the child.

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Emotional influences: children will succeed when their emotional needs are met and when they feel happy and secure. Physical reasons: a child’s physical growth can affect its overall development. If a child is suffering from difficulties in their growth this could lead to their physical development being affected too. Environmental factors: external influences such as their family structure and the education which they receive could also have an impact on a child’s development. Cultural reasons: all cultures hold different beliefs and values about their children’s upbringing. The difference in being treated due to your sex could play a part on a child’s development negatively. Social influences: family structures and lifestyle has been seen to influence a lot on a child’s development. For those children who see their parents going through a separation or divorce may be effected negatively and undergo stress. Disability: there are many disabilities and conditions that a child can be born with or develop. Each of these will affect a child in a different way and will impact to changing levels on their learning and development.

Early intervention

If a child has been suspected of having a delay in their development, at this stage it is very important to identify exactly what support is needed and receive appropriate help and support for the overall development of the child. Identifying these delays early enables the child to overcome the difficulties and develop in the area where support is needed. If conditions and development factors are identified within a child then there is an opportunity to get receiving support from the Early years childcare settings. Children attending these settings will be assigned to a key worker who is responsible for that child. The child will closely be observed and any areas of concern will be highlighted.


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