Child?S Development Essay, Research Paper
Enthusiasm in children is like a ripple in the water … it
The study of child development helps us understand the
changes we see as children grow and develop. A child’s
development is divided into five areas: physical, emotional,
cognitive, social, and moral development (Mitchell and David 1992).
Although each area will be discussed separately, it is important to
remember that all these areas overlap. Together, they make up the
Physical development is an increase in body size and shape.
Motor development is included in physical development because it
shows the development of the large and small muscles. Changes
in the brain and nervous system will affect physical and motor
Emotional development is how the child feels about
himself/herself, other people, and the world that they live in.
Emotional development also involves children’s learning to
distinguish different feelings and express them in culturally
acceptable ways (Henniger, 1993/94).
Cognitive development is how the child thinks and learns.
Children learn by interacting with their environment, objects,
adults and other children. Cognitive development includes growth
in memory, attention, reasoning, problem solving strategies, and
language abilities (Mitchell and David 1992).
Social development is how children of different ages relate to
other people. In the beginning, the social world of a child consists
of family members. Throughout development, they meet friends,
teachers and other adults in their community. Social development
is simply the act of making new friends and learning how to get
along with other people.
Moral development is when the child will learn the difference
between right and wrong. Piaget came up with three theories of
moral development: id, ego and superego. Lawrence Kohlberg
expanded Piaget’s theories and came up with six stages of moral
A four year old child is known to be very active and energetic.
They love to talk, enjoy silly humor, love learning new information
about their world, and enjoy finding solutions to problems in
imaginative ways (Miller, 1999). Not every four year old child can
perform these tasks at the same time. It is important to remember
that each child is an individual and should be motivated to reach
their full potential.
The child that I am observing is a boy named Michael. On
the first day of my observation I was not sure who I wanted to
observe. Michael caught my eye right away when he came over to
me and asked if I would help him find snowballs. As I continued to
watch him, I noticed that he is very outgoing and likes to be the
center of attention. If I was not paying attention to him when he
was throwing a snowball or sliding down the slide he would call out
to me and say,
“Hey! Look over here at me”.
Michael’s physical characteristics resembles any other four
year old boy and does not show any signs of limitations. He has
brown hair and brown eyes and is average in height, weight, and
body structure. His style of dress consists of jeans or comfortable
sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
In the life of this four year old, physical, emotional, cognitive,
social and moral development are brought together and expressed
in every day play and activities (Mitchell and David 1992). In this
personality study, I will look at why knowing about childhood
development is important and compare Michael’s behaviors to that
of other developing four year old children.