The initial years of the life of a child are vital for their development as well as health. Developing in a healthy manner means that children manage to grow up in environments that meet their emotional, social, and educational requirements. In this sense, subjecting children to safe and loving households in line with spending a considerable amount of time with them, such as through singing, playing, reading, and talking are vital. Proper exercise, nutrition, and rest also make a significant difference in the life of a child.
Based on the ways children play, speak, learn, move, and behave, they can reach certain milestones. Children have distinct development paces, so it is essential to understand when a child learns a particular skill. Nonetheless, the developmental milestones of children allow people to gain a general overview of the changes they should anticipate when their children are growing older. As such, it is the role of their parents to take their time to know their child well. In case the children fail to meet the milestones for their particular ages, or when the parents think that their children are encountering problems in development, they should embark on communicating with their child's doctor as well as share their specific concerns.
Health care experts and parents should consider collaborating to follow the growth as well as the development of children. During each visit to a doctor, a physician can look for any delays in development or problems and communicate with the parents regarding any concerns that parents have. Therefore, screenings and monitoring carried out by doctors play a critical role regarding realizing any symptoms associated with the condition of the child, as well as the child's mental, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Hence, by laying considerable emphasis on the diverse developmental needs of children, it would be possible to meet the overall welfare needs of a child.
The Ecological Systems Theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner revolves around the child development needs. It explains the way a child's inherent qualities as well as the traits associated with the outside environment influence the growth and development processes. The Ecological Systems Theory reveals that it is essential to study a child in the perspective of the numerous conditions to facilitate in understanding individual development. Moreover, children are brought up in different environments such as at home and at school. Furthermore, children usually interact with other members of the society and their culture. The systems interact with a child as well as affect each other in diverse aspects of the child's life.
As for the Ecological Systems approach, it frequently organizes development context into five major outside influences that interlock. The levels are categorized from intimate to broadest levels. The microsystem usually serves as the most vital since it targets the immediate environment that a child resides in. Therefore, it comprises of the everyday day-care or school, home, community environment, and peer group environment of a child. The interactions that typically occur within this micro system normally involve personal relationships with classmates, family members, caregivers, and teachers. The way that the individuals or groups interact with a child influences the way that the child grows. Similarly, depending on the way that a child might react to the individuals in the micro system influence how the child is treated in return. In the event of more nurturing as well as supportive environments, the relationships and interactions support the child in realizing improved development. Therefore, the Ecological Systems Theory explains why it is hard for Garrys family to adapt to the changing environment. For instance, Adam could not adapt to the change in family when Fiona gets married to Garry.
Environmental forces have considerable influence on child development, especially socially and emotionally. For instance, loud as well as overcrowded living affects the development process of a child negatively. In such environments, the parents do not interact with their children adequately. The reduced interaction might influence the capacity of children to relate with other people, in particular for infants and toddlers. Although it is possible for children to cope with crowding and noise through withdrawing, they usually affect the social, cognitive, and emotional development of the children. As for the Adams` case, his parents do not have time to talk to their children, as they are usually preoccupied with different activities. They also take alcohol and are always arguing. As such, their children have resorted to improper social activities such as wrestling and stealing, which have led them to get in trouble with the police. According to the Ecological Systems Theory, the kind of environment in this sense might affect how the children develop. Therefore, it is the role of Adam's parents to ensure that they communicate with their children often to promote development, such as through spending more time with them in areas, such as parks to facilitate quality interaction. They should also ensure that they communicate with their children in a calm, focused, pleasant manner to ensure they refrain from engaging in improper social activities.
The economic struggle also serves as an environmental force that plays a crucial role in influencing the ways in which children develop. Economic struggle affects child development mostly through poor nutrition. It is vital for parents to ensure they provide their children with adequate nutrition to fuel the rapid growth of their children's brain. With insufficient food, the growth of children's brains slows, hence delaying the social, cognitive, and emotional development. Furthermore, research reveals that the way in which a mother usually responds to financial stresses influence the emotional and social health of a child. In case mothers respond by portraying depressive symptoms, they might result in negative interactions with their children.
For instance, Fiona usually drinks because of the financial stresses they go through, which she also lacks the education to secure a job. Here, it is worth noting that the depressive symptoms that a mother portrays serve as social competence predictors as opposed to the case of education or income. The manners in which parents manage economic pressures usually have a significant influence on the development of their children as opposed to the material gain. Therefore, for Fiona and Garry, they should consider being more affectionate and nurturing to children in the event of severe situations, hence mitigate the various developmental problems that their children portray.
Moreover, parental affection and attention are an environmental force that affects the development of children. For instance, in the case of early childhood, parents might develop anxiety. They might fear to make parenting mistakes, which might result to negative developmental influences in the future. Here, it is worth noting that the quality of the relationship that prevails between parents and children is of vital importance. During the initial years, a loving and stable relationship serves as the major force behind healthy growth and development as well as learning. A responsive, friendly, and consistent care characterized by significant attention as well as positive interaction would end up covering parental imperfections. However, in the case of Adam's parents, they have failed to exercise affection toward their children, hence one of the major forces behind the improper behaviors that their children portray at school, home, and within the community. Thus, exercising affection and attention would play an essential role regarding supporting effective child development.
Parenting capacity refers to the ability of the parents to attend to the needs of the children. Parenting capacity has its origin in the Children Act of 1989 (Department of Education, 2015). Besides, the parental capacity to respond to change refers to the likelihood of the parents to overcome risk factors that hamper their best parenting roles. These factors include domestic abuse and alcohol addiction. Environmental, social, and psychological problems significantly affect parental capacity (Beckett, 2008).
Fiona and Garry are drunkards. The habit reduces their role as parents and makes them be perpetrators of domestic abuse. Besides, the couple have no stable job to sustain their drinking habit. Therefore, they have hard times to manage the minimal resources so that they balance between their alcoholic behaviour and caring for the children (Conte, 2014). Therefore, the love for alcohol increases the chances of the parents foregoing the care for their children such as taking them to school and buying them better schools uniforms. Alcoholism also leads to reversal of roles because the kids start to care for their alcoholic parents who come home drunk. The parents waste more time in alcoholism to the extent that they forget to meet the basic needs of their children.
Moreover, domestic abuse also affects parental capacity. Fiona and Gary engage in constant arguments which strongly influence the growth of their children. The constant arguments make the children harbor feelings of violence to the extent that Caleb loves to engage in wrestling to defend his life and this makes him believe that resorting to acts of violence is the only way of dealing with difficult circumstances. Domestic violence predisposes children to danger and impairs their personality to the extent that they have a false sense of security (Eriksson, Bruno, & Nasman, 2013). Furthermore, Garry introduces Archie to fellow taxi drivers, and in the process, he makes him independent at a tender age. This makes him lose concentration in class work together with his siblings (Crosson-Tower, 2014).
Other mental disorders such as depression and stress also affect parental capacity (Doyle & Timms, 2014). For instance, Fiona`s parents left her to caregivers and thereby she ended up losing touch with the family links. She states that she no longer feels the warmth in the family and therefore she has little value for family relationships (Hering, 2012). This affects her children upbringing style so that she engages in alcoholism and cannot elicit self-esteem out of her kids. A well-knit family that exhibits togetherness has a probability of having successful and well-mannered children (Howe, 2005). She hardly can encourage solidarity in her family, yet she is the mother. She allows her son to be mistreated by her husband merely because she is asked to choose between Garry and her son, Archie. Finally, lack of self-esteem makes her lose authority so that she cannot order her children to attend schools as she cannot see the necessity of attending school.
Change of living conditions and caregivers also affects parental capacity. This kind of changes reduces the ability of the parents to care for the children since it reduces the stability of the minds of the children and their security (Parton, 2006).
Family strength refers to the mechanisms within the family unit that encourage proper child development (Rubin & Merrick, 2013). Parents must be able to make sure that the mechanisms are in place for the development of the children. Among the strength within the family that is needed for proper child development includes nurturing relationships (Frost, Lloyd, & Jeffery, 2003). For instance, the inability of Fiona and Garry to nature favorable family relationships makes it hard for their children to open up and tell their pr...
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