Psychology of Early Childhood Development – Definition and Scope
The development and growth of a child have several important times that cannot be missed. An important period in the development of a child is when he is still an early age, that is, when he is born until he reaches his toddler age.
These times are often referred to as the golden age, namely the times when a child is absorbing everything that is in his environment and that is around him, and all that he absorbs will affect the child’s development mentally and personally.
Some say that the golden age of children is from the age of 0 – 5 years but there are also those who state that the golden age of children’s growth is from the age of 0-8 years. Early age is the time for a child to experience cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. Watching a child experience motoric, cognitive, emotional, language and social development is an amazing thing for parents or caregivers.
About Developmental Psychology
Witnessing a child experiencing rapid development often makes parents amazed and overwhelmed, even unable to follow in detail the child’s development. The study of human development is a material that is rich and varied.
Even though everyone has their own experience regarding its development, it is sometimes difficult to truly understand how exactly humans grow, change and learn. Talking about early childhood psychology, also can not be separated from the study of cognitive, affective and psychomotor needed in educational psychology that parents and teachers need to know.
Developmental psychology is part of the branches of psychology in the form of a study carried out to understand and explain how humans grow and change along with their lifelines. The researchers explored various kinds of things that can influence, including how genetic makeup can affect children’s development as well as experience in this matter.
Included in the psychology of early childhood development are physical, cognitive, language, moral and socio-emotional development. While children’s psychology discusses child development more specifically.
The scope of Early Childhood Development
There are several scopes of psychology for early childhood development, including:
A. Physical Development of Early Childhood
As the child grows older, parents usually wait enthusiastically about what the child will show, such as the ability to sit, roll over, or lie on his stomach and so on.
Every progress shown by children is part of physical development. The child development process usually occurs sequentially, so usually, one step of progress will take place before the other.
For example, in general, a child will learn to crawl first before he can learn to walk. However, the level of achievement of this development will vary for each child. It is possible for some children to walk before their peers, while others need more time to be able to walk. There are two types of physical development in early childhood:
a. Motor Development
In line with a child’s growth, his motor skills will also mature. Children will become more able to carry out more complex movements. Sometimes, the child’s growth rate will be a concern for parents.
Usually, parents worry about whether the child is able to show progress in accordance with the stages that he is supposed to go through. Normally, almost all children will be able to develop according to the usual stages, unless indeed there are signs that show otherwise. Two types of child motor development are:
b. Physical growth
In children, physical development follows a certain pattern:
- Large muscles develop before smaller muscles. Muscles in the center of the body, arms, and legs develop first before the muscles located on the fingers and hands. Children learn to master activities that use gross motor skills before they can master movements that use fine motor functions.
- The middle part of the body develops before other areas. Muscles – muscles that are located in the middle of the body become stronger and develop earlier than the muscles in the legs and arms.
- Progress from top to bottom and vice versa. This is why a baby first learns to lift his head before he can learn to walk, because muscle development in children starts from the head first, then to the feet.
B. Cognitive Development of Early Childhood
The next stage in the psychology of early childhood development is cognitive development. Early age is not only time for physical development, but also time for children to develop cognitive abilities. Included in cognitive development are memory, problem-solving, thinking ability, and reasoning that will arise during childhood and develop. There are several stages of children’s cognitive development, namely:
- Sensorimotor stage
This stage is in the period for children aged 0-2 years, when children’s knowledge of their world and environment is still limited through the reception of senses and their movements. Children’s behavior is limited to simple motor responses based on sensory stimuli. For example, reflexes, developing initial ways and habits, reproducing various events that interest him, etc.
- Pre Operational Stage
This stage is at the age of children 2-6 years when children have started learning to use language. At this time the child does not understand logic, has not been able to manipulate information mentally and has not been able to take other people’s point of view about a problem.
- Operational Concrete Stage
A stage when a child is 7 -11 years old when he has begun to understand rational thinking. Children can do tasks such as composting, dividing, folding, separating, combining, and line up. Although they have begun to think logically, children still have difficulty thinking abstractly.
- Formal Operational Stage
The period that is at the age of the child enters 12 years into adulthood. Children have begun to be able to think hypothetically, which is to use the ability of hypotheses in a relevant way to solve various problems. Children also have been able to accommodate various things that are abstract in nature, such as mathematics and others. At this stage, there is also a study of adolescent psychology.
C. Language Development for Early Childhood
There seems to be nothing more amazing than a parent than watching his baby develop from being able to say only one – two words to a complete sentence in a short time. Stage of language development in children, namely:
Pre Lingual. This stage occurs when children are 0-1 years old. At this stage, the child communicates by babbling to his parents or the closest person. Children receive passive stimulus from the outside but will be able to show different responses to each person. For example, a child will smile at his father or mother, but can also cry when approached by someone he doesn’t know.
D. Socio-Emotional Development of Early Childhood
Children’s social and emotional development is a very important stage for children. This stage also intersects with social psychology studies. This development will also be influenced by the closeness or interaction of children with their parents, thus determining children’s independence and the formation of positive children’s character later. Emotional intelligence in psychology is important to learn. If the child develops his socio-emotional abilities well, he will also have interpersonal intelligence and that makes it easy to blend in with the community.
Children’s social interaction covers families, homes, schools, and communities. Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson who put forward the psychosocial theory Erikson argues that at every stage of his life, humans will always experience different conflicts. The environment and experience will determine whether someone will develop positive or negative characters as a result of his experience with these conflicts.
Moral Development of Early Childhood
When studying personality psychology or personality psychology theory, it will be found that children can develop to have a variety of personalities, one of which is an ambivert personality. Everything is based on moral values that they learned from childhood.
Morally, children will only understand that the prohibitions or punishments they receive are caused because what they do can make others or themselves in trouble. Early childhood still has rules to send
Morally, children will only understand that the prohibitions or punishments they receive are caused because what they do can make others or themselves in trouble. Early childhood still has its own rules and does not understand what it is doing is right or wrong.
Most new people can learn the real moral value in middle age because studying good behavior is one part of the task of developing early childhood psychology.
It is very important for parents and teachers to understand the development of child psychology, especially from an early age, because in this golden age children will begin to be sensitive to various stimuli they receive and will grow different levels of sensitivity in line with their growth.
There are several types of human personality, all of which can be produced from character building at an early age. His influence on the child’s life will be very large, and cannot be repeated for the second time. That’s why it is highly recommended that parents or teachers can be more critical of each stage of child development.child health, Child nutrition, child psychology, Education kid, Guided Lessons, kid sports