Infancy and Early Childhood Development

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Infancy and Early Childhood Development Early childhood development usually means some kind of change; it does not necessarily mean a specific type of change (Seifert, 2004). These changes come about for several different reasons. Some are due to the family a child is born into, some are due to the parenting style that is chosen, and still others happen because of education. The question is—what effect does each of these have on the development of the child? The Effects of Family on Infants and Young Children A child’s brain begins to ready itself for learning even while still in the womb. “Even before birth, [the neurons] fire electrical charges that carve mental circuits into patterns in the brain, actually changing the structure of the brain” (Beaty, 2006, p. 256). This is the brain wiring itself for use. But the real learning begins at the moment of birth (Beaty, 2006). At the moment of birth, an incomprehensible amount of learning occurs. However, “what happens next is up to the people and the environment surrounding the infant” (Beaty, 2006, p. 256). When positive interactions with caring adults takes place, the atmosphere stimulates the child’s brain, causing synapses to grow and connections that already exist get stronger. “Those synapses in a child’s brain that are used tend to become permanent fixtures; those that are not used tend to be eliminated” (Beaty, 2006, p. 256). So having a loving, caring family around who will provide positive interactions will help a child grow and learn. But having a completely positive environment may not be possible. Sometimes parents encounter conflicts while raising a child. Different types of parenting styles can have a profound effect on a child. Parenting Styles There are four types of parenting styles. They are authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved parenting. Authoritarian parents expect
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