Child development theories explain how children grow and change throughout their young age. Theories have been developed to try and focus on various concepts associated with child evolvement including emotional, social, and cognitive growth. Since growth and development are a wide and rich subject, several theorists have come together to help understand why and how people learn, grow, and act. They try to understand how certain behaviors are related to family relationships, age, and individual temperaments.
The cognitive theory was developed by Jean Piaget and is based on the idea that children gain knowledge as they interact and control the environment around them. In the history of cognitive development, this theory is the most famous one and has been widely accepted. According to Bjorklund (2018), the cognitive theory is majorly composed of four major stages, being sensorimotor, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational, and the formal operational stage.
Behavioral terms focus on how the environment surrounding a child influences the development and deals with observable behaviors. In this theory, development is measured by the reaction toward punishment, stimuli, or response towards a reward. Psychoanalytic theory is based on the inner drives and unresolved needs from childhood and how unconscious motives affect development. This theory is dependent on how a baby’s past experiences affect their behavior (Bjorklund, 2018). It is believed that if they are reared in harsh environments, the young ones will grow to be insecure. In Charles Darwin’s theory, he believed that certain traits could be adopted from the lineage to help survival, and also these traits can be learned from watching the older generation. The ethological theory suggests that the intensity of the attachment the caregiver provides to the child has a massive impact on their capacity to form trusting relationships, and security and also promotes their survival (Bjorklund, 2018). He continued to add that, feeding was not the basis for attachment, but mothers who are available for their infants’ needs create a sense of security.
The Cognitive theory explains the development of an emotionally stable adult since the environment is the determining factor. When one is growing and is introduced to different stimuli that encourage stabilizing the emotions, they will help in adjusting to different situations accordingly. Since this theory suggests that children think differently from adults, one can say they can choose their emotional path. Additionally, the psychoanalytic theory can be used to test emotional stability since the theory emphasizes past experiences. If toddlers are exposed to certain stimuli at a young age in a favorable environment and are taught ways to control the emotion at hand, they will grow up to be emotionally stable adults. Certain stimuli can cause unwanted emotions to make the kid have unstable behavior when they are older.
Children from healthy emotional bonds with their caregivers during their early years continue to form positive relationships with their peers. When parents tend to become unreliable and frightening these behaviors may make kids indecisive on seeking or sustaining the learned behavior. Other attachments that are crucial to children include sibling attachment. Sometimes others feel more secure around their siblings than around their parents. Children can also form strong bonds with members of the community by taking up various exercises carried out in the society together. Bonds created in religious places help to boost one’s courage and straighten morals. Sometimes caregivers are to blame for the moral decay of their children as some do not give them the space to interact with peers who can help form other attachments.
In conclusion, children brought up in safe and conducive environments have an easier time creating attachments. What way one brings up their babies depicts how they will adapt to different surroundings. Different strategies in upbringing portray how a child will behave in the future. It should be noted that some people change within youthful age to their desired stimuli opposite to the way they were brought up.
Bjorklund, D. (2018). A metatheory for cognitive development (or “Piaget is Dead” Revisited). Child Development, 89(6), 2288-2302. Web.