Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Child Development: Years One to Three

Continuing the exploration of child development...

Years One to Three

According to Erikson, age one to three is the period of Autonomy versus Shame/Doubt. Children have opportunities for autonomous behavior - given their newly developing skills - yet can experience shame and doubt if unsuccessful or unsupported in their learning.

Physical/Motor Skills:
  • Brain development is about 75%
  • More advance gross motor skills are emerging - running, throwing, jumping, kicking, hopping, etc.
  • Fine motor skills are developing - building with blocks, scribbling, ability to manipulate buttons
Language/ Cognition:
  • Toddlers are beginning to construct and use sentences of a few words
  • Toddlers comprehend and are more able to express emotions verbally with feeling words
  • An awareness of action develops - thinking before acting; recognition of cause and effect
  • There is a need for reward, attention, and praise
Socialization/Sense of Self:
  • Parents/caregivers remain the central significant relationship
  • Parallel play with peers
  • Development of empathy, shame, embarrassment, and pride
  • Aggression appears
  •  More of an awareness of the self - self consciousness
  • Sense of self developing based on what toddler hears about him/herself (e.g., bad; funny)
At this stage of development, toddlers are experimenting with their newly developing skills and seeking the feedback of their parents/caregivers. How they are responded to can help instill a positive sense of self as well as empathy and regard for others.

Next time -- Years Three to Six: Initiative versus Guilt

Source: Growth and Developmental Tasks (author unknown)