All behavior is a result of the interaction between one’s genetics and the environment
A child’s behavior is often the result of their interaction with the environment. One of the immediate environments that children are exposed to is family. Parents’ interaction with their kids has a profound impact throughout the lives of the children. During early childhood, parents spend more of their time with children. The family setting nurtures a child, encourages learning, develops self-esteem and provides harmony and stability (Paris et al., 2019). A good home environment is one which aids the child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social needs.
Family relationships also affect how a child grows and develops. At times, most families focus more on meeting the child’s physical needs and fail to help them establish friendships with peers as a way of preparing them to develop healthy relationships as adults in the future. A home environment where children witness domestic violence are more likely to inherit violent behavior. Besides, they draw their sexuality from the genetics of their parents. Some of the personalities are also inherited from the parents’ genetics. Biological processes shape an individual’s personality. For example, if a child’s superego does not develop normally due to genetic constraints, they risk developing antisocial behavior as adults in future.
Children play both an active and passive role in their development
Children play an active role in their development in areas such as self-understanding and self-efficacy. Young children start developing social understanding at very early stages in life. They can conduct individual assessments of how they perform in activities such as play. A child can also tell their age, physical traits, and behaviors (Paris et al., 2019). Besides, they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. During middle and late childhood can tell when they are good in a particular task and when it is beyond their ability. A child can also compare their own performance in these activities with that of others. Self-efficacy is where a child has the belief that they are capable of carrying out a specific task (Paris et al., 2019). This belief in one’s self is important in helping children overcome physical, cognitive and emotional challenges during childhood. If they believe that they can engage in an activity successfully, they will do so without hesitation. Self-efficacy is self-constructed therefore, if there is an error in a child’s judgement concerning their selves, the misconceptions can have a profound effect on their perception. At times, children can only play a passive role in their development. One of the areas where a child plays a passive role in their development is motivation Although they are actively involved in developing their intrinsic motivation, they get motivated better when they receive motivation from other people. Besides, a child can experience learned helplessness which is a perception of being helpless in performing a task. It is often associated with low self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Development is both continuous and discontinuous
In childhood, development is both continuous and discontinuous at different stages. Childhood experiences have a significant impact on the emotional, mental, and social development in later stages of life (Paris et al., 2019). There is a significant association between the attitude of an adult toward nature, growth, and development and childhood experiences. Development of children takes the form of three stages namely: early, middle and late childhood. During these periods, development is both continuous and discontinuous. Kohlberg suggests that a child’s cognitive development is continuous with stages such as early, middle and late childhood. However, the theorist argues that in middle childhood, children have a more realistic sense of self as compared to their colleagues in early childhood. This shows that development can be both continuous and discontinuous.
Paris, J., Ricardo, A., & Rymond, D. (2019). Child growth and development. College of the Canyons.