The knowledge of human development is very crucial in life. It prepares young adults to know how to become good parents and at the same time helps the parents in how to care for their children as they nature the children’s behavior and talents. The knowledge of human development helps an individual to properly understand himself and also aids in caring for the body requirements.
In my interview, the interviewed was a female by name Mary Mila. She was forty two years old, married, with two children. She was 78 kilograms in weight, five feet and seven inches tall. She had two children; a boy of 15 years old and a girl of 12. Mary was a hard working business lady with a shop in the city of London, England, where I conducted the interview. It was a very long and detailed interview that lasted for one hour. This interview was aimed at identifying: importance of the knowledge of human development to parents; roles of parents in the development of children; and Challenges facing parents in performing their roles towards the development of the children.
My specific interest was about child development with respect to friendship, interactions, individual development, interpersonal relationships, and the development theories and models. I considered the major developmental theories which include the theories of Erickson, Freud, Piaget, Kohlberg, Fowler, Selman and Kegan.
I was very keen in identifying the parent’s experience on the behaviors of the children within the first one year; between the 2nd and the 5th year; between the 6th and the 12th year; and from 13 years and above. I had a preset opinion that within the first one year, children lay foundation that guides their future social interactions. Between the ages 2 and 5, autonomy and dominance of egocentrism are common among children, while within the 6th and the 12th year, the children develop the ability to think, and the urge to be successful. At the youth age, children show various precursors of adult behaviors and attitudes. The major issues at this age include the identity formation, the possibility of abstract thought, and the community beliefs as a source of strength. The subsequent paragraphs below depict the interview. The questions are given in italics while the response follows.
How did you arrive at the decision to have children? How old were you by then? And what age do you recommend as fit for having children?
The decision to have a child was something we, I and the husband, keenly looked into and planned. We decided to have our firstborn when I was twenty seven while the husband was thirty. As long as an adult understands his/her roles as a parent and is prepared to be one, he/she can go ahead and become one. However, being a parent is a great responsibility that one must be fully prepared for. With other factors constant, a woman at twenty five can make a good mother.
How did your children develop socially between ages 0 – 1, 2 – 5, and 6 - 13? What were the social activities they engaged in? And of what importance was these stages in there future life? What were your contributions towards these developments?
At this stage, the children did not engage much in social activities. The major activity I witnessed was the body functions. Infants are not social creatures. However, this stage laid a foundation which guided their future social relationships. The children used to play in the presence of each other; however, they rarely played with each other. They always desired company. As a parent, I gave them the required company, provided for their needs, and ensured that they were as comfortable as they desired.
At the age of 2 – 5, they developed strong aspects of friendship as they could describe their friends with both physical and geographic characteristics. The boy used to play separately with boys as the girl also played with fellow girls. Their main focus was on the visible and concrete characteristics. A lot of egocentrism was remarkably noted at this stage. Within the friendship, the focus of the children was mainly on their own needs. They were not genuinely concerned about other’s needs. Their relationship was not on the basis of give and take, but rather, they preferred to take more than to give. Their friendship would quickly change depending on their needs. This is the stage that laid the foundation for the future creativity, the ability to dream, and the social skill of curiosity. They also understood the varying degrees of emotion at this stage. They had shared imagination, joint fantasy, boldness, and the richness of friendships as they made more and more friends. In most cases, they could be victimized by their perceived reality of their own imaginations. They used to experiment, both with behavior and action. They understood the concept of friendship to an extent that they developed triangles. I was a strict disciplinarian so, they always avoided me. They could not misbehave in my presence. They would always say, “Mom won’t allow us, so let’s ask dad.” As a result, they always wanted to impress daddy as they plaid me off. Similarly, they would put off one person as they spent time with another. They would also play out rivalries. As a parent, I did not witness aspects of self esteem in the children at this stage. Whatever the children did to their friends have profound effects their feelings. Their self esteem was quite dynamic and not stable at all.