Lifespan development entails various elements such as change, and movement from one life stage to the other. Trying to understand early childhood development using life span approach has many positive implications to early childhood professionals since it will help them in playing an important role in helping children and their families develop sound social policies. Lifespan development results to life transitions and can be associated with various skills such as fine motor skills, overregulaization, centration and private speech among others. Some of the lifespan developments are permanent while others only last for a while. Lifespan development is used to describe growth progression through several stages. Development is used to measure the level of maturity.
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To illustrate this I chose a 3 year old girl. This little girl is a pupil of a daycare center. I got to know the girl because my daughter works in that institution. The girl’s mother works in the same institution and this was one of the reasons I considered using the girl in my case study since her mother would help me in giving answers for questions I needed in order to identify certain special skills. In order to understand early childhood development skills interviews concerning various observations and interactions both physical and social were used in order to determine which skills the child had.
The main objective of conducting this project was to identify various skills and changes that are associated with three year old child. The girl I used represented a sample of three year old children. Three years in childhood development is a transition period and its during this age that a child is able to start learning about himself and the surrounding world. As a result this stage is considered a preoperational stage since the child learns a lot in this age. According to Piaget’s theory, its during this stage that children develop private speech and show animated thinking since they can not manipulate information mentally (Goetz & Allen, 1986).
Most of the developmental skills such as child rearing styles, gender identity and centration are acquired at this age. The family has been keen in helping this girl develop at this age. Usually her mother who is also the teacher for the daycare center has developed a consistent schedule since at this age it’s important to train the girl on rituals that are associated with this preoperational stage. By doing this project I wanted to determine the level of maturity and skills of the three year old girl. To determine the maturity level I used various action and skills that are associated with children aged 3 years.
Physical development refers to changes and improvements in physical parts. Some of the attributes that are used to describe physical development include control, movement, coordination and manipulation. For a child of three years, these improvement attributes are easily scored by analysis the performance of the child. For girl used in this project showed various physical developments. The girl was able to hop on one foot one of the coordination physical development associated with three year old child. In addition, the girl’s walking coordination is good hence she was able to walk in a line.
This girl like other children of three years was able to walk on toes. The girl also was able to wash her hands, brush teeth and retrieve own drink. The girl also enjoyed helping in household chores as well as she is able to put on shoes. These are some of the physical developments that are expected for a three year old child. These activities define the over regularization skills that are associated with three year old child development. The child at this age tries to learn almost all aspects of life.
In addition other physical development skills that this girl showed was that she does not wet her bed occasionally as children of her age are expected to. The girl has also ready learned how to use toilet. When got doing something wrong, the girl feels shamed and has already learned to differentiate between similarities and differences. The girl also showed she has gender identity skills by being able to differentiate parents’ gender.
In addition, the girl showed the following motor physical development. She was able to walk with a swift this showed that she had better walking coordination as the walking was almost adult style.
The girl was also able to run around obstacles and to catch balls throw overhead thou inconsistently. Her in ability to catch the ball consistently showed that the girl’ centration skills were not fully developed. The girl who was interviewed and observed during this project could ride tricycle and was able to alternate feet when climbing stairs. Hence the child demonstrated fine/ gross motor skills (Esther, 2010). Fine motor skills are used to determine development requiring smaller movements and interactive capabilities such as movements that require use of hands, and legs. Demonstrating fine motor skills shows that the child is able to use both her hands and legs properly. Gross motor skills on other hand are used to show a child’s ability to move various body parts as expected at that age.
The girl’s ability to solve puzzles and manipulate clay and figure paints clearly demonstrates her development of fine motor skills. Another aspect that was used to determine the physical development of the child is through studying her language and thinking development. The girl showed to have developed some of these skills since she was able to understand some concepts such as concerning now, later and soon. In addition, the girl was able to match pictures with objects and to recognize cause and affect relationship. Developing of puzzles of 5-6 years child is an appropriate behavior for 3 years age and can be used to indicate fast development phenomenon. Cognitive development refers to ability of a child to learn and solve problems.
For 3 year old kid, cognitive development enable the child to learn how to draw some images, build blocks with the intention of making specific structures such as trains, towers or buildings. In addition a three year old child enjoys showing what they already know. The child also likes seeking attention and making comments especially on stories touching family events. Another cognitive development for three year old child is that they are able to construct a sentence of three or four words and also are able to pluralize items, produce verbs and also to negate ideas by using no, and not. This cognitive development noted showed that the girl had already developed private speech skills. Private speech skills enable the child to pass information as per their understanding and require one to have the ability to negate ideas, to differentiate ideas that are in plural among others. Private speech enables individuals as they develop to correctly pass their information.
The girl who was used for this project has most of the attributes associated with cognitive development for three year old child. The girl enjoys following directions and orders skills which are also associated with pre operation stage. In addition the girl speech is understandable and is able to construct 3-5 words sentence. The girl is also able to match pictures to objects. Like other children of her age are expected to the child learns by doing and through sense rather than being told concerning something in order to understand. From the project it was noted that the child is in preoperational stage and has developed her initiative Vs guilt aspect. The initiative V guilt aspect was demonstrated by the girl’s ability to feel guilt when found on the wrong (Esther, 1986). This can by illustrated by her cognitive development of being able to follow orders and to try to learn things by doing them. All the cognitive development behavior that was observed in this girl rhyme with those expected for children of her age.
Social and emotional development
Some of the skills that are associated with this social and emotional development of children aged 3 include gender identification, centration and sociodramatic play. Some of the skills that can be used to show centration include liking to help in household chores and being more bossy hence making demands and orders to their parents and care givers. The girl used in the project showed this skill since she at her own will enjoys helping but also her own will chooses not to obey and orders her will to be done. This shows that her social and emotional development is self centered; it’s her own will that determines if she can help or share or not. In addition, the girl demonstrated sociodramatic play by her skills that enables her play pretty well with other children thou it was also observed that she prefers playing alone implying that this social emotional development has not fully developed.
The following social and emotional development skills were also noted about the girl, child rearing skills which are mostly employed by children when they notice other people feelings and moods. When her mother is sad or angry the child tries employing these social and motional development skills by trying to be too sweet (MamaHealth.com, 2009). The child rearing skills are developed by child to show her concern for other people just the same way she expects to be shown concern.
It was also noted that the girl expresses some animistic thinking social and emotional skills since she does not like sharing especially when instructed unless on her own will. Other social and emotional skills that the girl shows which are associated with her age is the ability to realize her own limits and hence seeking help for what she can not achieve on her own.
Early child hood development entails the acquisition of various skills. It’s the skills that a child acquires that can be use to determine if the child’s development is regular or not. Unlike other forms of growth, development milestones can be identified at the first glance. There are several separate development areas which should be analyzed when analyzing life span development. These separate development areas were in this project analyzed and used to identify certain special skills associated with them.
The development analysis not only identifies certain developments but also is used to detriment the stage and how the development ahs occurred. For instead when determining physical development of the girl, the research did not just observe if the girl is able to walk bit also tried to probe further and identify how she walks, if she has steady pace and if she is able to put one foot in front of the other. It’s through analyzing these developments that one is able to determine the development skills that a child at a given age has already achieved and which ones they have not.
It was noted that the girl showed gross/fine motor skills development and this was determined by the research observing the girl’s general ability which are associated with 3 year old development. In addition, by identifying the activities that the girl is able to do with her hands such as manipulating clay it was concluded that the girl’s physical development was rhyming with that of three year old child. The girl’s cognitive and social and emotional development also rhymes with that of three year old children.
These were determined by the observation of various skills such as private speech development, identification of some child rearing styles associated with this particular age and demonstration of sociodramatic play which are also reflected in various development theories such as Piaget’s cognitive development theory. The family especially her mother has played an important role in fostering the girl’s development. The mother has developed a schedule on the activities to be done and this can be attributed to the girl’s ability to do things even beyond her age such as solving puzzles for 5-6 year children. In addition, the family’s effort to train the girl to use potty at 1 and half years also can be attributed to the girl’s successful lifespan development.