How Can I Toilet Train My 3 Year Old Son The Psychology of Children

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The Psychology of Children

On the need to focus on childhood events together with the developmental theories for a comprehensive psychology of children

Child psychology is related to the social and personal development of children and a child goes through several stages before stepping into the adult world. The psychology of children has been studied from various perspectives including issues of nature and nurture and whether the child is a product of genes and heredity or a product of society and environment as well as different developmental stages of sensory discrimination and perception, emotional expression and learning through. language and cognitive development, development of intelligence and the socialization process. The study of childhood sexuality and sexual and moral development is also very important, especially from a psychoanalytic point of view.

Children are vulnerable and easily affected by all events in the immediate environment. Events that are only trivial or unimportant to adults can leave deep scars or memories in a child’s mind. A child’s mind is extremely impressionable and changeable and before the child reaches adolescence, certain very insignificant events can have great personal significance in a child’s life. So “childhood memories” and “childhood events” are major factors in determining adult personality. Some important factors that can affect a child’s later development and have possible long-term effects are:

1. Loss or gain of a friend or friends

2. Memorable physical/bodily sensations

3. Separation in the family or divorce of parents

4. Domestic abuse or violence

5. Sexual harassment or abuse

6. Learning experiences whether playing or studying

7. Personal experiences/events that evoked strong emotions of fear, joy, sadness, etc.

8. Accidents or illnesses experienced or observed

9. Death of family members, neighbors or close ones

10. Change of residence or relocation

11. Emotional relationships with friends, teachers or family members

12. Personal success or failure in school

13. Influence of films, stories, books or news

14. War, terrorism, conflicts, bombings, etc.

15. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, flood, famine etc.

The factors here are very general and each child experiences certain very specific events that affect him or her individually although there are certain very general theories in psychology that have been established through research studies and these theories have highlighted connections between success or failure in later life. and childhood events. Some of the most important theorists of child development are John Bowlby, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg and Lev Vygotsky. While Bowlby emphasized on childhood relationships, Piaget focused on cognitive development of the child through various stages and Freud wrote extensively about sexual development of children. Kohlberg studied moral development of children while Vygotsky analyzed the socialization process of children through social contextualism. All these theories about different aspects of child development only demonstrate the enormous complexity and the variable number of factors that tend to play a role in the psychological development of children. There are many dimensions to the psychology of children from social, emotional to cognitive, sexual and moral. Here I will provide a brief account of all these different theories and finally provide a comprehensive analysis of how these theories could be used along with the general factors listed above in the study of child psychology.

John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, developed the “attachment theory” in which he emphasized the importance of a mother or primary caregiver in a child’s life. He showed in his study that every baby should develop and maintain a warm and intimate relationship with the mother or surrogate mother and any maternal deprivation can lead to serious mental health problems in the child later in life. Bowlby’s theory is very true and a mother should develop a strong physical and emotional intimacy with the child by being physically close to the child at least until the child is 2 years old. Doctors around the world have recommended breastfeeding and an important part of that is the physical closeness between the child and the mother which is extremely necessary after the child is out of the mother’s womb. When the child is released from the mother’s womb, the first emotion is fear and the continued physical proximity of the mother instills trust and a sense of security in the child. Orphaned children or children who are separated from their mothers at birth require replacement or they may grow up as mentally ill or maladjusted individuals.

Freud on the other hand provided a complete psychosexual theory and emphasized on what many of us do not like to believe – the sexual pleasure of children. Freud overturned the concept of infantile innocence and suggested that we are born with our unrepressed basic instincts which are slowly tempered with social adaptation. Freud believed that one’s own pleasure seeks desires, that we are born with a focus on certain erogenous zones of the body and therefore there are different stages of psychosexual development from oral and anal to phallic, latent and genital stages. In psychosexual development, the child’s pleasure-seeking behavior changes from the mouth as in sucking and biting to the anus through toilet training and then finally to the genitals. Thus the child according to psychoanalysis receives complete sexual pleasure by sucking, biting, playing with genitals and releasing residues by defecating. I do not necessarily support Freud’s views on the sexual pleasure of children and the pleasure derived from bodily sensations could be explained in a different way as I will discuss in another article.

Jean Piaget, a French-Swiss philosopher established the theory of cognitive development in children and arranged four developmental stages – the sensorimotor period, the pre-operational stage, the concrete functional stage and the formal functional stage. The first stage is when the child develops spatial skills and comes to terms with the world through the senses during the first two years of life. The second stage is about developing and using concepts when children understand the meaning of things and this continues until the age of 7. From 7-11 years the child reaches a higher cognitive development through a concrete operational stage and can order and classify objects and can use logic to solve problems. The formal operational stage which starts around 12 years helps children to understand abstract thoughts, hidden meanings etc. Kohlberg provided a theory of moral development of children through six stages of pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional levels. These relate to concerns about punishment and self-interest, as well as an inner need for conformity and striving for social order, such as maintaining universal ethical principles. So moral development seems to move from belief in “what is right and what is wrong” and whether there is punishment for evil to what is universally ethical and acceptable social behavior. Another prominent psychologist Vygotsky highlighted the importance of socialization and interpersonal communication and child development according to this theory is seen as an internalization of social and cultural knowledge.

Of course, all these theories will have to be added and a complete or comprehensive theory that would provide insight into the child’s mind and behavior will have components from all these theories. In addition, childhood experiences and events that have been highlighted in psychoanalytic theories are also extremely important and not only from a gender point of view. All the general factors that I mentioned in the beginning of the essay should be considered as factors that underlie social, sexual, moral, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children. As learning experiences lead to cognitive development, personal emotional experiences lead to later emotional development and maturity. Sexual molestation, abuse or other types of bodily sensations in childhood affect later sexual development and divorce or separation in the family can affect moral development. Thus an individual who was molested as a child may either develop a fear of sexual activity or may show a complete lack of sexual restraint as an adult.

A child who has lived without a father can either become extremely irresponsible or can develop into an adult with a very strong sense of parental responsibility. Experiencing trauma in childhood due to death or accidents of family members or living in times of war, natural disasters have a profound effect on children and can leave a permanent feeling of insecurity or a need for attachment in the children that continues through adulthood and even old age or. on the other hand, these events can make a child isolated, schizophrenic or simply detached in later life. For a healthy life of children it is important not only to depend on psychological theories to understand how a child grows and perceives the world, but it is also important to focus on events or experiences of the child and use these together with the theories to complete. psychological understanding of children.

In contemporary child psychology the focus on events is mostly psychoanalytic and the impact of adverse events is considered particularly significant. However, it is important that all events, positive and negative, are considered and this should then be used to complement psychological theories. To understand the child, it is important to understand the child’s world and memories, so “event-based” children’s psychology should be balanced with “theory-based” children’s psychology.

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