Healthy Child Development Essay, Research Paper
The Concept of Healthy Child Development
Most caregivers try to be the perfect parent and aspire to raise the perfect, well-rounded child. Caregivers want a child to be healthy, caring, and responsible. Healthy child development plays a major role in how a child turns out. There are many aspects of a child s development. The different aspects include the primary caregiver, school, spiritual guidance, social environment, and the role of television, videos, and computers. All these things play an important part in a child s development.
The primary caregiver has many different roles in a child s life. They have different jobs to fulfill. Primary caregivers provide support and boundaries. They are able to communicate effectively with the child, and they are a positive role model in that child s life.
The primary caregiver needs to make a child feel as if they are supported in many different ways. A child should feel that they are encouraged in their school by the parent. Parental involvement in the school is a positive image for kids. If their caregivers care about what they are doing in school, then most likely so will the child. The primary caregiver should give confidence in the activities that a child is involved in. Activities are important for children. It gives them something to do, and it keeps them active. It s better than letting them sit in front of the television all day. The primary caregiver should encourage this kind of activity. It promotes a healthier lifestyle for the child.
Communication between a child and the primary caregiver is extremely important. A child should feel like they can talk to their caregiver without being looked down upon. They should be able to seek advice and counsel from their primary caregiver. The communication between the primary caregiver and the child should be more positive than negative. If it is negative, the child may feel like he/she cannot talk to the primary caregiver any longer.
Helping children communicate and accept their feelings may lead to more positive behavior. If children feel that they can talk to adults about anything, they will be more likely to report incidents of racism, prejudice, and abuse. If children feel that they will disappoint or anger the primary caregiver by telling them something, they will be more inclined to keep it to themselves. Being able to communicate effectively is something children will use and benefit from throughout their lives.
There are many different approaches that a primary caregiver can take to communicate effectively with their child. The primary caregiver needs to open the doors to communication by talking respectfully to their child. A child may have a different way of looking at things than the primary caregiver. Work together to come to an agreement or solution. This will give the child a chance to be creative and helpful in the process. The child will also be more willing to cooperate with the primary caregiver in this way.
Active listening is an extremely important aspect to communication. This shows that a person not only heard, but also understood what the child was talking about. Keep your thoughts and emotions out of the process and focus on the child. A primary caregiver must be willing to listen, help, accept a child s way of thinking and not be afraid of the intensity of it, trust that the child can handle his/her problems and feelings, and allow him/her to be responsible for them, and remain open to changing your mind.
Boundaries need to be set in a child s life. Children need rules, consequences to the rules, and consistency with the rules and follow through. This is the primary caregivers responsibility. Establishing family ground rules is an excellent way to set limits for a child. The rules should be clear, simple, and little in number. When creating rules, focus on positive messages that teach a child values. For example, we keep a clean house by picking up our own things. Use the family rules to guide the child toward the goals the primary caregiver has for him/her, to make things work smoothly, to keep him/her safe, and to help everyone to respect each other s needs. A child, who goes through life with no rules, will grow up to be an adult who doesn t respect authority. They will not be able to function very well in the real world.
Children need an adult role model in their life. The primary caregiver is a major role model in a child s life. The caregiver needs to show positive behavior and responsibility. This will enable a child to grow up with knowledge of how to act towards others in their life. The primary caregiver needs to remember that children imitate what they see. Show the child what responsible adults look like by practicing responsibility. Providing the child with opportunities to practice responsibility is the job of the primary caregiver. It is also important for the primary caregiver to accept responsibility for their actions. When making a mistake admit it and tell the child how it could have been handled better. Help the child learn from their mistakes by providing a respectful and learning environment.
Remember that actions speak louder than words. Teach children with actions. A primary caregiver may be telling him/her to do one thing, but if they do another, then that s what he/she will pick up on. A child will learn best from experience, so look for ways in everyday life to show him/her what responsibility and caring look like.
The school is another important aspect of a child s healthy development. Children need a positive environment that builds self-esteem and encourages him/her to do well. They also need boundaries within the school. Clear rules need to be set for the school, and they need to be enforced consistently. If one teacher is telling the student one thing, and another teacher is telling him/her another, that is giving the child mixed messages and the child will not know what to do. They will quickly learn which teacher will let them get away with what.
Communication between the teacher and primary caregiver is extremely important. Both caregiver and teacher must realize that each has different views about the child, but they need to work together in one common goal. That is, to make sure that the child is getting the proper education that he/she needs to be successful in life. The primary caregiver should avoid blaming the teacher for their child s unsuccessful progress in the classroom. This will teach the child to blame others and avoid taking responsibility for their problems.
The main lesson learned in school is how to get along in the world. The school needs to make a subject interesting so that it has meaning for the child, and the child will want to learn and remember the information for the rest of his/her life. They also need to understand each child in order to help each child to overcome weak points and develop into a well-rounded person.
Spirituality is an element of childhood that often gets overlooked. But this is valuable to a child s healthy development. Primary caregivers who encourage their children s spirituality teach them how to get along with others and how to deal with feelings in an environment where the human spirit is connected and supported. This will teach kids they can grow up and take care of themselves and be responsible to the people they love.
Spirituality teaches us that what is important is on the inside. This is an excellent virtue to instill in a child. They need to know that what they feel on the inside is important and that it is okay to let those feelings out. A child needs to learn that keeping their feelings bottled up will eventually lead to self-destruction. Turning inward is a basic component of many religions. Meditation, prayer, and chanting all are tools to quiet the mind. Providing a quiet environment will encourage a child to have some quiet moments.
A primary caregiver can weave opportunities to talk about deeper issues into everyday routines at home. One easy method is choosing books that deal with spiritual issues. Traditional folktales and fairytales often contain common teachings found in world religions. Books give parents the chance to talk about the power of unselfish love in ways a child can understand.
A child s social environment is important to a healthy development. The social environment consists of playmates or friends, the neighborhood and community in which you live, and the after school or in-school sports and activities. All these things have an impact on the development of a healthy child.
A child s playmates or friends have a profound impact on a child. Peer pressure is a very crucial contributor for our children all the way through childhood. Peers influence values, interests, and the way a child dresses. The way that it affects your child is whether or not the influence is good or bad. Positive peer influences are from those friends who model responsible behavior. If a child is hanging around these types of kids, then most likely he/she will be more responsible also. The type of influence also depends on the type of group that a child is around. A child is in many different groups including at school, on the playground, in the neighborhood, at church, etc. Each different group has different characteristics to it.
A child should feel safe within their neighborhood or community. They need to feel a sense that they are valued and appreciated in the community. A child can feel this by being given useful roles in the community. The neighborhood should contribute to a child s since of security by monitoring the child s behavior when he/she is out in the neighborhood. The neighbors should be caring towards a child.
After school activities are important in a child s life. They give the child an opportunity to expand their horizons and try different things. It will give them a sense of belonging to a group. Activities will also keep them from getting into trouble. Sports instruction also gives them needed exercise. It also teaches them how to cooperate and work with others.
The role of television, videos, and computers are an important part of our culture and should be used wisely. Depending on how you are using these things determines how it affects your child. Children benefit more from person to person interaction than screen time. Too much screen time can take away from the time that children spend in play and other activities that help children develop language, social, thinking, and motor skills.
Violence on television is a major issue with children today. Do not assume that because a program, video, video game, or software product is labeled for children that it is not violent or scary. Saturday morning cartoons contain more acts of violence than prime time shows for adults. Heavy exposure to violence on television is harmful to children, can reinforce negative values, and poses several risks. Children exposed to a lot of violence learn to be less sensitive to the pain of others or may become immune to the images of violence. They also slowly learn to accept violence as a way to solve problems, imitate violence, and become more fearful of the world.
Primary caregivers need to determine which programs, games, etc. are appropriate for their child. Wisely chosen, these things can provide learning experiences, fun, and a positive influence for children. Caregivers should limit the amount of time spent watching a television or computer screen. They should also monitor what their child is watching or playing. Evaluate video games before buying them, or trying out the game before letting a child play it is beneficial. When the child is on the Internet make sure that they have guidelines that they need to follow. A child should not be using the Internet while the primary caregiver is away. For television viewing there is the new v-chip that allows people to block programming from their TV sets. It can block all shows with a TV rating that is chosen from the TV ratings system.
What a child learns during their childhood is reflected in their adulthood. Healthy development of a child depends on what they learn and their experiences. The primary caregiver, school, spiritual guidance, social environment, and the role of television, videos, and computers all contribute to a child s healthy development. This contribution can be bad or good. The healthy development of a child leads to a caring, healthy, and responsible individual.