Bringing up children and fostering their personal and social development is a complicated process requiring significant efforts from their parents and caregivers. It includes a number of activities intended to enhance their various skills. Some of them are generally practiced within a family, while others are represented by community-wide or national events. The review of specific examples and the theoretical principals lying behind them is a valuable step in choosing the right activities for any child.
Starting from the first years of life, communication with adults and peers plays a critically important role. As the book mentions, infants “live in a network of daily social relationships,” where people other than parents can largely contribute to their lives (Clegg-Kraynok et al. 151). Moreover, interaction with peers supports toddlers’ autonomy from their mothers and becomes an essential comfort source. This goal is largely fulfilled by the widespread infant birthday parties. A perfect example would be the second birthday party of Kylie Jenner’s daughter, Stormi Webster. A setting that included “carnival rides, a ball pit, a photo booth, a merchandise store,” and invitation of numerous guests provided for a lot of interaction for the little girl (Slattery). Such events ensure the development of communication skills at a very early age.
The next critical period comes at the preschooler age when increased social interactions and valuable development opportunities combine to define future physical and cognitive capabilities. As noted in the book, it is worth mentioning fine motor coordination, which is primarily improved by drawing. It also supports “self-concepts, emotional and social attitudes, and cognitive development,” providing an important set of valuable skills (Clegg-Kraynok et al. 189). This activity culminates in different competitions, ensuring additional motivation for children. For example, the Space Foundation International Student Art Contest is open for kids starting from three years old, developing their creativity and desire to expand their horizons (Choudhary). However, this period is also associated with the expression of aggression, defined as actions “intended to harm another person or an object” (Clegg-Kraynok et al. 228). It constitutes a threat to peer relationships and endangers future school interactions. To counter the possible adverse effects, a Moravia Judy Center introduced a program under which teachers visit children’s homes, building trust and preparing them for school (Caron and Zoepf). The combination of these types of activities ensures sustained personal development and resolution of conflicts arising during it.
Finally, it is feasible to review certain topics related to adolescence, along with the new opportunities and problems occurring in this period. As the book notes, cognitive development becomes more focused on specific knowledge domains, and critical reasoning starts playing a leading role. It allows to apply knowledge and think creatively “usually for purposes of making decisions or taking actions” (Clegg-Kraynok et al. 367). This is precisely the type of skills fostered by the National Economics Challenge, in which students apply their problem-solving abilities to real-world events in the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international cooperation (Frazier). At the same time, adolescents face several health threats, with vehicle accidents being the leading cause of their death and accounting for over fifteen thousand victims every year (Clegg-Kraynok et al. 342). To tackle this issue, the National Safety Council holds a National Teen Driver Safety Week designed to provide adolescents and their parents with valuable accident prevention recommendations (Davis). Along with many other similar activities, these events enhance the necessary skills and prepare teenagers for adulthood.
The various activities mentioned above make a significant contribution to the development of cognitive and social skills. Starting from early childhood, community and national events play a valuable role in supporting parents in their sensitive mission of bringing up a child. Showing the paths for enhancing various abilities and limiting the occurring threats, they constitute a practical application of the highly elaborated theoretical principles of physical, psychological, and moral development. Their proper selection allows a person to integrate into society and become prepared for successful adulthood.
Caron, Christina, and Katherine Zoepf. “Pre-K Teachers Are Making House Calls. It’s Helping Kids Succeed.” The New York Times, 2020, Web.
Choudhary, Mahashreveta. “10th Annual Space Foundation International Student Art Contest invites entries.” Geospatial World, 2019, Web.
Clegg-Kraynok, Megan, et al. Lifespan Development. 3rd ed., Academic Media Solutions, 2017.
Davis, Shelby. “National Teen Driver Safety Week Aims to Save Lives.” WTRF, 2019, Web.
Frazier, Liz. “National Economics Challenge Elevates the Need for an Education in Economics.” Forbes, 2019, Web.
Slattery, Jill. Kylie Jenner Threw Stormi the Most Epic (and Kinda Weird) Birthday Party. Mabel + Moxie, 2020, Web.