Psy/375 Essay

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Infancy and Early Childhood Development Paper PSY/375 January 8, 2012 Carol Gegenheimer A child’s development starts in the fetus way before a child is even born. Some of the major factors to a normal infant physical and mental growth are ensuring you have a healthy pregnancy and provide a positive early childhood environment. As the World Health Organization states, “Some of the most detrimental factors to early childhood development include malnutrition and dietary deficiencies, a lack of learning opportunities and exposure to violence.” A child’s biggest growth spurt occurs during the first year after birth. By age six months an average child would have doubled in size. Around 18 months a child rapidly begin to develop motor skills. By age two a child begins to accelerate in cognitive and linguistic development. As the Clearinghouse on Early Education states, “The period from ages two to six years is the most important time for language acquisition.” In this paper I will be discussing how families affect the development of infants and young children, discussing different parenting styles and their influence on development during infancy and early childhood, and early childhood education and its influence on cognitive development. Families affect the development of infants and young children Infants have no control over their way of life; they are born into the ways their families live in the world. The influences a family’s culture has on an infant or young child helps to mold values, aspirations, expectations, and practices. A family’s culture is kind of like a how-to-manual for raising a child. A family’s culture helps to determine how and when infants are feed, as well as to where they are feed, with whom they sleep with at night, and in which way to respond to an infant’s crying and a toddler’s temper tantrums. The whole family

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