Psychology the Developing Child
Psychology the Developing Child
In the current world, child development and transition into school life has gained currency across the world. Children transition stage to school is an important phase in children’s development process. Parents have been presented with myriad responsibilities for their children as they begin new roles. There are various challenges accompanied by a child transition process to school life. Parents are, therefore, obliged to get ready in facing the new role and in the development of children. There are myriad issues connected with the children transition and its application in improving the learning and development process of children. The concept of school readiness can be analyzed under three dimensions: according to child's readiness perspective, parents’ perspective, and schools’ readiness perspective. The essay will focus on the rationale for school readiness for the involved parties. Besides, various strategies to help both children and parents in readiness for the new transition period are going to be analyzed.
A transition occurs at various stages in a child’s life. For instance, the transition begins at a stage when children move from parents care to a child care facility. Afterwards, children move to kindergarten and later in school. It is important to ensure that children undergo successive transitions in order to improve their learning and development process. Transition of children into school is also influenced by their educators. Children are required to be adequately prepared for these transitions in order to make it a success through successive stages. On this front, children need to be prepared based on cognitive, non-cognitive, and social skills. The study of children and their development is usually important in understanding and appreciating emotional, cognitive, social, physical, and educational growth of children. There are various theories that have been put forward in explaining the development of children.
Transition to school is an important aspect of the child's development process. Children begin their school after attending kindergarten, whereas others begin with childcare services. Children are presented with quite a different environment when they begin schooling. Children are first exposed to child care or kindergarten. As a result, they face a completely different physical, academic, and social nature when they start school. Interaction of children in school may be different from their previous institutions of learning or at home. The approach through which they are taught may also vary at different stages of development. Children learning and teaching practice may also vary depending of the kind of childhood care services and schools attended. As a result of the aforementioned changes in children transition, it is important for families, educators, and children prepare for the changes adequately.
A transition can be referred to as a change in an individual’s role, relationship, and perception of the world in response to new challenges and situations. Children transition usually under various stages. Transition in children can be divided into three stages depending on the age bracket.
- Early stage, between birth and 6 years
- Middle stage, between 6 and 12 years
- Late stage, between 12 and 18 years
These transitional stages in childhood development are of crucial importance for children and families at large. The success of children in the aforementioned transitions depended on how the children are prepared to face new challenges. Transition to school can be perceived, not as a point in children’s development, rather a continuous process in their life. School readiness for children forms the basic aspect of learning and later development of skills. According to research studies, children who are ready to learn have been attributed to successful learning in schools. School readiness is a continuous process that involves the acquisition of skills at different stages in the development process. Lack of school readiness has been attributed to various the large numbers of primary school drop-out rates in most developing countries. According to research studies, there have been various programs designed to prevent excessive numbers of dropouts in the developing countries. Studies in developing countries have indicated a positive correlation between school readiness and achievement in academics at late stages. Children transition-to-school largely based on their preparedness to embrace a new change. The importance of children transition can be stated as to achievement and success in the learning process among children.
There are various challenges associated with the transition that affect various individuals in the society. For instance, the financially disadvantaged are usually presented with a heavy burden during transition. The less financially disadvantaged are posed with a threat of financial stress. As a result, they are not well prepared for the transition to school. This has an adverse effect on children’s emotions, and social readiness. Apart from the negative effect imposed on children, parents are also influenced by their inability to invest in strategies and programs for their children. The preparedness of children in transition is significantly influenced by the ability of parents to indulge their children into transition-to-school programs and child care facilities. Financial stability can thus affect children cognitive outcomes. Children with disabilities tend to pose a greater challenge to parents in transition to school. Schooling of disabled children can be more demanding and stressing compared to children without disabilities. As a result, many families with disabled children face extra challenges in supporting their children through the transition to school. Indigenous families have a history of low success rates at school compared to their counterparts’ non-indigenous children. As a result, indigenous children tend to have a low readiness for school leading to adverse cognitive, social, and emotional effects. There could also be culturally and linguistically aspects of families that affect the transition to school children. For instance, there are families with different perspectives on children transition to school due to diverse cultural beliefs. Children can also face racial discrimination and language barriers at school. This can lead into various psychological issues such as bullying, harassment, and emotional stress.
Promoting Resilience in Children
In effective transitions, many families can experience confusion, fear, and uncertainty due to the emergence of a new role and responsibility to undertake. Research studies postulate that experiences gained by children throughout their transition usually have a long term effect on their resilience. This implies that children tend to adapt to changes as they grow. It is essential to ensure effective transitions for children in order to support their learning and development process. Promoting children’s continuity and development require support from families, and educators. Transition of children in the early childhood perspective can have a significant impact on the children’s learning process. As a result, it is important for parents to ensure children go through the transition stages successfully with the required support. Transition to school is usually a joint process between parents, children, and educators.
Resilience can be referred to practices or strategies imposed during children transition in order to promote their adaptability and effectiveness in the development process. Other terms used to refer to resilience include positive coping, persistence, and long-term success of children despite adverse situations. Resilience can also be closely related to practice educators apply in building self esteem in children. In children transition, resilience can be viewed as a practice and process fostered throughout the development process of children. When viewed as a developmental process, then resilience can then be fostered by through strategic practices and educators in a consistent manner. By contrast, children will not be resilient even after changing practices, attitudes, and policies. It is important, therefore, to create a balance between the critical events during lifetime depending on the risk and protective factors. On this front, protective factors need to be, consistently, reinforced in order to provide children with the necessary potential when faced with vulnerabilities and risk factors. According to research studies, resilience process contains the following characteristics.
- Resilience is a long-term and developmental process.
- Resilience process focuses on children’s as having strengths, rather than risks.
- The process tries to nurture children with protective practices in order to equip children with relevant successive tips through changes in systems, beliefs, and structure within education facilities and communities.
A research process of resilience can prove difficult since it is a long-term and developmental process. This process is, significantly, affected by a positive intervention by education facilities, organizations, or individuals through the transition-to-school period. Positive interventions by the aforementioned parties are, usually, aimed at providing a counteractive strategy against risks and vulnerabilities. Achievement of resilience in children can only be evident in a long-term basis even though short-term indicators are also important. Concerned individuals should test children’s resilience through some short-term factors in order to determine their progress.
Development process in children is accompanied by various challenges including perceptions of educators, and adults in implementing resilience programs, and practices. For an effective resilient process, individual views and perception towards children need to be changed. The objective idea should be based on the strengths, rather than risks. It is important to focus on how to improve the child's performance and their adaptability apart from emphasizing on the obstacles and risks in the process.
Nurturing protective processes in order to facilitate success in children requires changes in beliefs, structures, and systems within the education facilities and community in general. Success in resilience requires a change in how we perceive children and their practices. Most educators feel that some students cannot perform academically due the perception that IQ is fixed and incontrovertible. As a result, they put less or no effort in improving academic performance of these children. It is difficult to change the expectation of these children with a negative attitude and the notion in teachers’ mind. It is, therefore, important to change the way of thinking in order to achieve resilience in the long-term.
According to Bronfenbrenners ecological systems theory, every complex environment layer represents particular effect on the child’s development process. The theory of ecological system has a complete implication on teaching practice. Bronfenbrenner suggests that initial relationship with children should begin with people who provide a sense love and caring. There are various processes through which resilience can be promoted among children.
- Reduction of negative results through altering children’s exposure to a particular risk
- Reduction of negative chain reaction after an exposure to risk
- Establish and maintain self-esteem and self-efficacy
- Trying to open up opportunities
A good example of how negative risk outcomes can be prevented is through sending children away from their environment to school. This is an extreme approach to reducing risks exposed to children. By contrast, it is not, utterly, the final decision for many families living in poor areas face challenges in bringing up their children. It is evident that children from poor families experience inconsistent parenting, and, therefore, affected by drug and abuse menace. In this situation, additional strategies and practices can be implemented in order to act as an incentive for these children. For instance, education facilities can provide free social services such as free breakfasts, lunch, and school-based health centers.
There are various negative events which occur in young peoples' lives that need to be prevented from the chain reaction. For instance, school dropouts, gang involvement; teen pregnancies are some of the incidences that require intervention to prevent adverse long-term effects among the concerned parties. As a result, there has been the establishment of some programs to cater for such children’s needs through the provision of support. Dropouts can be provided with part time jobs in order to keep them occupied. These practices are aimed at reducing negative chain reaction that could result from lack of education.
Self-esteem and self-efficacy are processes that tend to develop within children with time as they are exposed to various environmental and interactive areas. It is, therefore, not an aspect that can be learned in a class or taught through a series of lessons. Self-esteem and self-efficacy develop when one understands how to interact positively with peers and other people. Opening up of opportunities is another process of fostering resilience among children. There are myriad programs and institutions that offer various opportunities to children in the development of resilience and adaptability. According to research studies, students participating in community based programs presented a great opportunity and a chance of graduating from high school and high efforts in achieving future goals compared to their counterparts’ non-participants.
Parents and Staff Experience in Transition to School
Starting school for children is a major life transition period for parents and children. This is usually a time which presents itself with anxiety, uncertainty, and various challenges as families adapt to the new role and responsibility. Parents are, usually, concerned about their children starting school and their ability to cope up with the school environment. Parents may have heightened expectations about their children achievement and behavior in school. Parents may have various perceptions about school that lead to a lot of concern for their children’s safety and happiness in school. There is a need for children to have a positive transition to school. Many children and families experience fear, anxiety and confusion of the transition period. It is important for children to engage in various approaches that enable them to understand and manage their time throughout the transition period. Partnership between both parents and educators can also help in promoting efficiency during this period. A key factor in ensuring success in transition involves an active involvement of parents in the home through the encouragement of children. Educational facilities can also facilitate the positive relationship among families in the course of the transition process.
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