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The Importance Of Parenting Styles In Early Childhood Development

2075 words - 8 pages

"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” – Erma Bombeck. Early childhood is the most rapid period of development in a human life. Although individual children develop at their own pace, all children progress through an identifiable sequence of physical, cognitive, and emotional growth and change. A child who is ready for school has a combination of positive characteristics: he or she is socially and emotionally healthy, confident and friendly; has good peer relationships; tackles challenging tasks and persists with them; has good language skills and communicates well; and listens to instructions and is attentive (World Bank 1). The interactive influences of genes and experience literally shape the architecture of the developing brain and the most important ingredient is the nature of a child’s engagement in the relationship with his or her parents (Bales 1). The parenting style of a mother or father has a strong and direct impact on the sequence of development through which the child progresses on the way to becoming a physically, mentally and emotionally healthy individual.
From birth onward, the physical needs of a child are fundamental to the child’s ability to maneuver through the many developmental stages of childhood. Protection from physical danger, adequate nutrition, adequate health care and immunizations, fundamental hygiene and motor and sensory stimulation all combine to insure that the child is physically capable of successfully moving through the various developmental stages (World Bank 2). At birth, babies’ basic sensory systems are working but these become more complex, coordinated and sophisticated during the early months (Honig 1). At this age, each month brings new skills. Babies discover their hands and feet, lift the head and, as early as two months, may roll from their stomach to their back. From four to six months, babies become able to put objects in their mouths, sit when propped, roll over, scoot and grasp objects. Months seven through twelve find babies able to shake objects, sit alone, creep, pull up to a stand and walk (World Bank 2). In addition, babies are very sensitive to touch. Babies who are rarely touched have brains 2 ½ times smaller than babies who are often touched and held (Honig 1). As the months pass, every day brings the possibility of new physical achievements and milestones. When parents know what to expect at each stage of their child’s physical development, they can encourage progress by helping the babies be physically active and facilitate learning new and more complex motor skills (Admin 1). Parents should also begin the process of teaching basic hygiene skills during early childhood. Hand-washing, tooth-brushing, bathing, hair-washing—all are hygiene skills that parents should introduce and facilitate during the early childhood years to encourage children to develop the habits that the child will continue independently...

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