Early childhood, an age between 2 to 7 years of life is an important phase of development. This phase is crucial for physical,social,emotional and cognitive development. The reason is that children just moving from infancy, which is dependent and less social phase of development. Due to increase physical development, children are more active ,take participate in social play, they are more adventurous and always trying to explore their worlds. Due to this reason they are also called as little scientists.
Early childhood, an age between 2 to 7 years of life is an important phase of development. This phase is crucial for physical,social,emotional and cognitive development.
The reason is that children just moving from infancy, which is dependent and less social phase of development. Due to increase physical development, children are more active ,take participate in social play, they are more adventurous and always trying to explore their worlds. Due to this reason they are also called as little scientists. They are moving from dependence to independence. For a child to develop and learn in a healthy and normal way, it is important not only to meet the basic needs for protection, food and health care, but also to meet the basic needs for interaction and stimulation, affection, security, and learning through exploration and discovery.
According to the develop mentalists view of continuum of children’s development, Children below the age of eight learn best when they have objects they can manipulate; when they have chances to explore the world around them; when they can experiment and learn from trial-and-error within a safe and stimulating environment. At about the age of nine they begin to view the world differently. They can manipulate ideas and learn concepts mentally and are less dependent on objects. Thus in terms of learning theory, the birth through age eight time period presents a developmental continuum. Both the child’s physical growth (the child’s health and and nutritional status) and the child’s intellectual, emotional and social growth are crucial in the child’s overall development. The child’s current developmental status either facilitates or inhibits future learning. Thus learning is part of the development process.
During this stage, parents have a great role in development of child. So parents should be attentive and feel their responsibility to nurture their child.
SUGGESTIONS FOR EFFECTIVE PARENTING DURING EARLY CHILDHOOD:
These are some guidelines for parents to foster the development of children during ECH:
i. Accept each child as unique person. Every child has a talent and ability that differentiate him or her from other children. So be careful and do not judge your child’s abilities and interests with others. Parents should nurture the child’s self esteem. young children have inflated views of themselves ,they see them through the eyes of parents., parents tone of voice, words and action affect the self esteem of child than anything else. Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud; letting children do things independently will make them feel capable and strong. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make them feel worthless.
ii. Avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons. Comments like “What a stupid thing to do, cause damage. Choose your words carefully .Do not use harsh words because low self esteem leads towards suicide and psychological problems in future.
iii. Catch children being good .They want to gain attention. Mostly parents give attention either positive or negative to child when he shows destructive behavior .If they conditioned to this, they become problematic and show negative behavior. So it is important that parents should admire and show their attention when child show positive behavior.
iv. Parents should set limits and must be consistent with it.It means provide freedom within limits. But be consistent with your discipline, inconsistency cause confusion and it is also ineffective to learn the child manners and discipline. Parent cooperatively communicate with other parent .If mother have asked something to child, father or any other family member encourage the child to rebel it.
v. Parents should be actively involved in their child’s life .They should be engaged with their child by participating in his play ,by telling them stories. It will help the child to built his confidence and also help in language development. Researchers (Hutten locher and Cymer man,1997) have found that the quality of talk that parents direct to their children is linked with the children’s vocabulary growth. Also children enter elementary school with a small vocabulary are at risk for developing reading problems. so early speech input have important effect on the development of a child’s language skills.That,s why talk to your child with larger vocabulary.
vi. Provide your child a stimulating and enrich environment. It is very much important because during early childhood , there is a stimulation in brain’s part that are involved in earning and reasoning and also for feelings(frontal cortex and dopamine) .Young children have fresh mind, because their brains are making new mental representations as their first hand experiences. Due to this, activities that are done and experiences in early life built base that what in future he child will become. Answer the child about things through reasoning. involve him in different activities and try to make him independent e.g to train how to dress up, toilet training and also tell them about table manners.
vii. Encourage the child to adopt socially appropriate behavior and respect for others.
young children experience many emotions during the course of day. They also try to make sense of other people’s emotional reactions and feelings. Parents help children to understand and control their emotions .they can talk with children to help them cope with distress,sadness,anger and guilt. Emotional regulation is an aspect of getting along with peers. In one study, researchers (Fabes and others 1999) have found that children who made an effort to control their emotional responses were more likely to respond in socially competent ways in an emotionally provocative peer situation as peer took something away from the child. Also learn your child about sharing.
viii. Finely accurately observe child behavior .Children copy and act in that way as their parent’s do. If parents are abusive, impulsive and not disciplined, their children will also behave like this. Love and care your child because children learn how to love and care when they are loved and cared.
Sent And Written By:
Bsc (hons) H.E
Major: Human Development And Family Studies
Agriculture University Faisal Abad