Learning forms part of a child’s growth and development. A child aged between five and twelve years old learns only from his or her surroundings unlike teens and adults who learn from their experiences too. The child’s surrounding is made up of parents, siblings, friends and caretakers, furniture, television, computers, radio, toys, reading materials, and other components.
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Those components play a major role in both physical and intellectual growth of a child. However, parents, siblings, friends, and other caretakers should watch over the child while interacting with objects that are in the surroundings in a bid to keep the child away from anything that could be harmful. Looking into the case study, the child’s learning skills and development rate regarding physical characteristics were normal.
The child was exposed to the learning environment at a good age of age six months, at which he interacted with toys that helped his mental growth through imagination and creativity. In addition, his interest to engage in a variety of sports at age seven is a clear evidence of a healthy growth of a child. However, there are different ways that could enhance quick growth and development of a child of the same age.
Five ways that enhance the child’s learning skills
Spending more time with the child
Good parenting is the most essential element for growth and development of a child and it is mostly exhibited by the closeness of a parent or caregiver to the child. A child needs the attention of a caregiver at all time, whether the caregiver present physically or emotionally. However, caregivers should spend some time with the child because the child needs to be guided in almost every activity during the childhood stage.
A caregiver who spends more time with the child is capable of ensuring that the child’s aspects of social growth and development are up to the required standards in accordance to the culture and style of parenting that the child is exposed to in the process (Lerner & Alberts, 2007). Therefore, it is recommendable for teachers and parents to keep a close eye to children aged between five and twelve years.
Children falling into this bracket are believed to be capable of understanding the events of the world through logical thinking, which implies that a child is capable of making self-judgments on things and events that are in the surroundings.
Piaget developed this general argument, but some children get into this stage earlier than others and in some cases, others take a longer time to leave this stage as well (Lerner & Alberts, 2007). Hence, it is important for parents and caregivers to assist their children by ensuring that their surroundings are conducive for growth and development.
Closeness to a child aged between five and twelve has various advantages to the growth and development of that child. The most notable caregivers to the children who fall into this age group are teachers, parents, siblings, friends, and other caregivers, all of whom have significant influence to the child’s growth and development process.
The advantages of such caregivers include partaking of child’s gender role, character and personality development, health, imitation of the child’s role models and establishment of interests and hobbies among others.
Beginning with the first advantage of the partaking of child’s gender roles, behaviorists note that a child begins the partaking of gender roles at the age of four (Berk, 2001). At this age, a child begins to recognize the differences in gender roles, and caregivers are of great help to a child during this stage. The child also associates him/herself with things that are associated with his or her gender.
For instance, boys like car toys, balls, and other objects that are manlike while girls like dolls and other toys associated with females. In addition, when the children are together, they play imaginative role games whereby a boy would pretend to be a bus driver while a girl pretends to be a cook.
Caregivers play a major role in ensuring that children have less or no struggles in their partaking of gender roles. Therefore, caregivers should spend as much time as possible with the kids as they grow.
From the interview, the child has partaken in his gender roles at a much young age of two when he begins to play with toys, but the process continues until the age of twelve. However, the most sensitive years of gender realization are the ages of four to seven when a child starts going to school.
Caregivers need to spend much time with the child to help him in learning the necessary skills. Parents also need to teach him how to deal with the opposite gender in order to make him understand the sensitivity of girls to some issues like aggression and insults. This aspect would play a major role in helping him to handle girls with the appropriate attitude.
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Second, a caregiver spending much time with the boy would help him in building of character and personality development. This age is the most significant for the human life concerning the character and personality development. The child is now capable of communicating his feelings and attitudes and caregivers can as well see his strengths and weaknesses.
This child has a good character in the sense that he is capable of making verbal communication regarding his anger and other feelings. The parents would play a major role in ensuring that that character is retained to adulthood by spending much time with him in order to observe his behaviors with regard to attitude management when in different situations.
More also, the stage is necessary for personality development and caregivers play a major role in the development of personality at this stage. A child tends to imitate and behave just like the adults in his surroundings.
He perceives some behaviors of the persons that he likes as heroism and tends to imitate such behaviors in a bid to be like them when he grows up. Caregivers need to stay near to the children and treat them carefully to ease this task of personality development.
After character and personality development, a child is capable of selecting people that he likes in accordance to their characters. Interestingly, the boy in this case study feels much welcome when associating with people who share the same character with him. This aspect implies that a child is now capable of selecting a role model that he will try to emulate in life.
From age ten, the child is capable of knowing the kind of future that would best suit him and especially the same as one led by his role model or the person that he admires most. In addition, according to behaviorists, the child keeps on talking about the people he or she likes (Berk, 2010).
In the case study, the boy needs attention of a caregiver to guide him on the things that would be done to enable him attain the kind of life that he admires to lead in the future. Moreover, a child is now at the stage where interests and hobbies start to dominate his personality.
Having been well equipped with personality and ability to make different responses in accordance to anger and happiness, the child is now capable of communicating his likes and dislikes to the people who surrounds him. However, parents or other persons close to the child can alter his interests and hobbies, and thus it is very important for them to be near the child as he develops his interests and hobbies.
Interestingly, it is easy to alter the child’s interests and hobbies, long before they are fully established in terms of the characters and personality that he has developed. For instance, a parent can let a child know that to become an engineer, one needs to be good in studying, and thus if the child wants to be an engineer, he would spend much of his time on books.
Thirdly, it is very important to spend a long time with the child aged between five and twelve in order to observe his or her health progress.
A child’s health is a greater matter of concern to the caregiver than to the child himself, which occurs mainly on eating habits whereby a child would care more about the delicious junk foods than the healthy ones. Therefore, it is important for caregivers to spend much time with the child in order to control his habits regarding the effects of some habits on the child’s health.
Practicing authoritative parenting
Authoritative parenting is very essential for growth and development of a child who has attained the age of learning. According to Berk (2007), an authoritative parent demands good behaviors from a child, but s/he does not apply physical force except in situations where immediate discipline is required.
Authoritative parenting requires a parent to issue guidance to the child by using a language that a child would feel humiliated, but the child understands that the parent expects nothing less than asked for. Through authoritative parenting, a child’s learning skills would be enhanced since he would be required to take time to study.
However, with the caregiver spending much time with him, he will learn more as compared to what he would learn when other form of parenting is applied.
For the case of enhancing his ability to learn mathematics, the caregiver would show the child how to solve mathematical problems and through authoritative parenting, give some assignments for him to solve on his own. Assignments would help boost the boy’s confidence and self-reliance while reading and consequently increase his overall academic performance.
According to the Piaget’s theory, a child aged between five and twelve years is capable of solving problems through logical thinking (Berk, 2010). Hence, a prudent authoritative parent would enhance the ability of a child to solve mathematical problems by issuing problems that require logical thinking to the child as assignments. In addition, authoritative parenting is very crucial for enhancing self-confidence in the child.
As a result, it would be necessary for enhancing his talents by issuing objects that would be of benefit to his talents. For instance, it would be necessary to provide the child with musical instruments such as the guitar and violin if the child has great interest in playing musical instruments. However, in this case, it would be prudent for the parent to provide the child with balls for playing soccer in a bid to enhance his skills in the game.
Avoiding child maltreatment
Importantly, the parent should avoid child maltreatment. The boy seems to have developed well to a level of knowing what is good or bad for him through good parental care. At his age, he is still sensitive to the kind of treatment that others would accord him due to his dependence on others.
Maltreatment will most probably come from demanding too much than he can offer like in academics and punishment due to failure on some aspects. Such an action would demoralize him through the loss of his self-esteem.
In addition, he would be defiant when acting in accordance with what is expected of him and that would make him develop hatred towards some people who mistreats him. Hence, it would be necessary to improve the kind of parenting style that he has been used to and change it to an authoritative style that would enhance his performance as per the parents’ expectations.
According to the Erikson’s theory of initiative versus guilt, a child aged between five and twelve years undergoes numerous psychological conflicts in the early childhood (Berk, 2007). This conflict comes from the psychological and developmental imbalances that if ignored could result in a child losing self-esteem in adulthood.
Symptoms of such imbalances include fear, unsocial characters, and withdrawals. Those symptoms are noticeable to a parent or the child’s caregiver and the best method of resolving the problem is engaging the child into play for playing would boost health and development of social skills. At the same time, the parent is supposed to treat the child carefully.
Taking him out to different places
Social places enhance the character and personality growth and development of a child. The parent should take the child out to different places to learn different things of importance to his life. An average child of age twelve has the ability to socialize with other children of different backgrounds, and through the authoritative parenting, the child is capable of establishing the best peer that suits him.
For academic purposes, an authoritative parent would take the child out to the academic environments such as the public libraries. In such places, the child is exposed to learning materials and through his ability to learn through logical thinking, he learns the studying behaviors of academicians from the people studying in the library.
This aspect would be of great help to the child in teaching him how to study and emulate the study behaviors of the people he sees in the library. Consequently, the child would also develop interest in studying and spending less time in things that do not add value to his studies.
In matters concerning games, social places offer the best opportunities for a child to be exposed to the other children. Playing enhances the child’s development of the social and playing skills. Playing enables the child to communicate with other children freely, where he can express his fears and attitudes freely while playing with other children.
For instance, a child may show some signs of withdrawals, which imply that the he has a bad attitude or feelings towards some children or weakness in social skills. Hence, offering a child an opportunity to play with others in social places enables him to exhibit his strengths and weakness in terms of social skills.
In addition, it is necessary to take the child out to places where he can get the opportunity to see or interact with the persons that he admires. At twelve years of age, a child has a mental image of a person he aspires to become in the future.
Behaviorist argues that an average child sees him/herself in another person’s image, which in most cases is the person who is his/her role model (Berk, 2001). Therefore, offering a child an opportunity to meet the person who serves as his role model would motivate him in his life and work hard in order to get to the level of his inspiration.
Encourage playing, reading, and giving rewards
It would be very necessary to encourage the child to play. Conventionally, children love playing even in the absence of other children in the surrounding. However, it is necessary to encourage a child to play because natural playing does not go beyond the age of ten for many children.
When a child is not encouraged to play, s/he feels lonely and in most cases suffers from involuntary withdrawals that if not resolved at early stages may render into lowering of self-esteem when a child is about to become an adolescent.
Hence, a child should be encouraged to play in an effort to combat the adverse effects of psychological and hormonal developments of the child. He could be encouraged through the provision of musical instruments, balls, bicycles, and other objects necessary for children games (Berk, 2007). In addition, it is necessary for the parent to encourage the child to read via serious interventions.
A child develops study laziness very quickly and thus the parent is supposed to keep a close eye on the child’s reading habits. The best way to encourage the child to read is by picking up his book and reading it loudly in an effort to make him listen and understand. This move will also make him understand that the parents are learned and thus he will be motivated to read more materials.
Lastly, it is very necessary to give rewards to the child for work well done. Rewarding the boy will increase his motivation to do well, which makes him more encouraged to do things in a better way for the sake of another rewarding and recognition.
It is very important to appreciate the effort made by a child in sports, studies, family chores, and other activities. This appreciation enables personality development into a hard working person.
A child aged between five and twelve years is at a very crucial stage for personal development. Caregivers like parents, teachers, and siblings among others are expected to play major roles in the growth of a child.
The child is at the midst of developing into a courageous person if motivated through authoritative parenting or into a fearful person if forceful parenting is applied. An authoritative parent imposes reasonable demands on the child, which allows the child to develop into a responsible person in the future.
Berk, L. (2001). Awakening children’s minds: how parents and teachers can make a difference. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Berk, L. (2007). Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Berk, L. (2010). Infants, children, and adolescents. New York, NY: Pearson Education, Limited.
Lerner, J., & Alberts. E. (2007).Current directions in developmental psychology. New York, NY: Allyn & Bacon.