Development is the process of changing in terms of growth, where something becomes larger than the initial size. This process of creating something that was not there before takes a period of time. According to Kegan, a good environment plays a great role in enhancing the development of an individual throughout their lifespan; he states that it is only in childhood that there are specific stages of development associated with a certain age (72). Thus, a child needs to be taken good care of to ensure that their development is not interfered with. Children develop from little kids, through to adolescent stage until they attain maturity age where they can be depended upon to take great responsibilities.
According to my own experience, tender care and love from the mother or nanny can play a great role in giving a child a conducive environment that favors growth. The environment influences the development of a child in that, the child learns through what they come into contact with in their surrounding environment; if children are exposed to a negative environment, then they will adapt the negative influences and if the environment is positive, then the child will develop responsibly. (Leifer and Fleck) This is largely influenced my social interactions with other individuals in their surrounding. This involves the interaction between the individual and the culture in which they develop. (12).
Mature individuals therefore need to take care of the actions that they involve themselves in when they are in the presence of the developing children. This is mostly important to parents who provide the first environment for the development of the child. They should know that they are the children’s role models and therefore should display the best qualities that the children can copy. Negative relations will automatically affect the moral development of the child hence making them irresponsible individuals.
Lev Vygotsy believed that social and cultural experiences that an individual grows up in largely influence their development (48). Provision of physiological needs such as food, good health, proper clothing and shelter plays a significant role in the development of a child. These are important since they help to save the child from possible environmental dangers such as diseases, malnutrition and attack by wild animals. Parents should have in mind the fact that they are supposed to provide the developing children with all the physiological needs to enhance their proper development. The society also has a responsibility of ensuring that the culture and traditions into which children develop does not interfere negatively with the normal development of the children. Inappropriate traditions and certain cultural forms that could be negative should be eliminated from the society. Strong values and norms that encourage proper relations and a favorable environment for development should be avoided and eliminated.
There are several factors that can lead to hindered developmental process, which may include child neglect, in which a child is left under nobody’s care, child abuse whereby the child could be subjected to harsh and cruel treatment, lack of provision of basic necessities, which may lead to a child developing without proper security thus rendering them vulnerable to many dangers in the environment. These suppress the child’s self image and self esteem, thus preventing them from exploring their environment. This I have witnessed from the children I have witnessed growing in such unfavorable environment. I have seen children who were neglected and abused during their early years of development and this has largely developed their personality. Most of them become withdrawn and may result to similar act during their later years of development. Some become aggressive and may therefore find fulfillment by causing pain to other people through acts such as violence and use of abusive language.
According to Kegan (1994), being “in over one’s head” means an individual being in a state of having an individual who has a very high achievement expected from him/ her but being unable to meet the expectations. This state produces feelings of anxiety, doubt, frustration and helplessness. These may negatively affect an individual’s performance. It is therefore not a good thing in the development of an individual. It makes individuals develops feelings of inadequacy and incompetent.
I would compare my sense of development to the growth of a plant, in which, sometimes there are good conditions that favor growth while other times are characterized with seasons of dryness and unfavorable weather that hinders growth. This comparison would fit comparison to my development, which has been characterized by good seasons that favored my development and others that have been harsh for proper development. However, just like a plant withstands all the conditions up to maturity and bears fruits, the same way my life has been and I look forward to bearing good fruits. It is therefore important in my own view, to have the people around the environment into which children are growing nurturing the delicate lives of the young children to prevent them from experiencing distorted growth. When the development of the children is interfered with, it translates into poor fruits in future. Thus, every stage of development in a child should be handled with a lot of care to avoid hurting their future.
Leifer, Gloria, and Eve Fleck. Growth and Development Across the Lifespan: A Health Promotion Focus. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier, 2013. Print.
Reese, Hayne W. Advances in Child Development and Behavior: Volume 18. Orlando: Academic Press, 1984. Internet resource.