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Physical, Social and Emotional Development of Children.

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Introduction

Physical, Social and Emotional Development of Children Physical development is "the gradual process by which children develop the use and control of muscles"(Yvonne Nolan: BTEC National Early Years), thus the child is gaining a wider range of movements. As a child begins life as a being with "little control of movement and progresses to one who can run, jump, laugh, sing, write with a pencil and control their own small and large muscles with growing confidence. This progression is physical development." (Enfamil: article on physical development.) Physical Development includes: * Changes in motor behaviour - newborn babies display involuntary reflex actions. A fifteen-month-old child can increasingly voluntarily control their movements. * Fine motor development involving movements of the hands and fingers - the early primitive grasp shown by babies as young as four weeks old develops into a very neat and co-ordinate grasp using the forefinger by five years of age. * Changes in the sensory organs, such as the eyes - the development of eye muscles enables most babies to see clearly and over a much larger area than at birth. Physical development is important for children's overall development for three key reasons: * It allows new learning to take place - a baby who learns to crawl can the start to move and explore their environment. * It allows further development to take place - once a child has learnt one skill, they can then build on this skill. * It affects children's confidence and self-esteem - children who have learnt to ride a tricycle feel good about themselves, while older children who feel that they are no good at a certain activity may lack confidence. As a babies physical development progresses, new skills are learnt, these enable the baby to become involved in more activities and to explore their immediate world. Further complex skills are learnt giving the baby/child increasing control of activities. ...read more.

Middle

Bowlby also place a lot of emphasis on the importance of one single attachment. Research by Schaffer and Emerson, 1964, has shown that as children get older, they can develop equally strong attachments to other figures such as their fathers and siblings. Michael Rutter criticises Bowlby's 'maternal deprivation' as being too general. "Factors such as discord in the family that nature of separation and the quality of attachments made would all affect the outcome." (Yvonne Nolan: BTEC National Early Years). This is why some children are more adversely affected by earlier experiences than others. Also Michael Rutter disagrees with the term maternal deprivation as stated by Bowlby because "children experience deprivation in other ways not just through separation from their mothers; children can also experience maternal deprivation within the family setting even if the mother is actually present." (Teena Kamen: Psychology for Childhood Studies). Bowlby himself recognised that the amount of time children spend with their mothers is not the crucial factor; it is the quality of time spent together not quantity. Quality is a key factor in children's other attachments. There is no evidence that quality day care has a detrimental affect on young children and it is unlikely that the young children will suffer because their mothers work. There has been some research that has looked at the quality of babies' early attachments. It would seem that where babies and children are securely attached they are able to explore and develop their independence. Babies and children whose attachment is less secure seem to show clingy behaviour. Psychologist, Mary Ainsworth elaborated Bowlby's ideas. She argued that all children develop an attachment to their parents, even children who are abused. While children of different parenting styles and environments all develop a bond to their parents, they differ in the security of attachment. Security refers to children's confidence in their caregiver, the belief that the caregiver will be available to meet their needs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Imaginative play is very good for the development of fine manipulative movements, such as hand-eye co-ordination e.g. pretending to pour drinks from a kettle to a cup. It develops gross motor skills e.g. pretending to go shopping by getting on a tricycle. Imaginative play is also enhances social and emotional development. It helps develop the understanding of gender and social roles. Children as part of trying to make sense of their world and their role in it. It helps develop and explore friendships between children. Pretend play helps promote enjoyment and freedom e.g. they create their world, and children can feel released from the world and adults. Activities such as using puppets can help children express their emotions and needs without being aggressive or attention seeking. From placement I have observed this with one child who seemed to be very shy and quiet and unable to communicate, and she was able to express her feelings through role-play but also through stories and puppets. It is important to remember to choose stories where central characters express their emotions and also look for ways of helping children talk about things that make them happy, sad, angry or jealous. Role-play, dance and drama are used to help children express their emotions and their thoughts about the world. Children can show self-expression when moving to music. Children enjoy having space and music to move to, this why children can interpret their feelings through their dancing and body language and also let of steam at the same time. Through observing a dance lesson during my work placement dance seems to be the place where children are able to let off steam and just dance and act out their emotions and feelings. Dancing to music and doing actions seems to relax the children and calm them down from what may have been a hard working day. The children seem to enjoy dancing to the music and doing what may seem bizarre actions and pretending to be something different helps also take their mind off any problems or worries which they might have. ...read more.

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