Child psychology is a vast topic and studies the development of a child from the womb of its mother. There is a considerable impact of the events that happens during this period on the development and growth of a child. This makes it an important study for educators before they begin dealing with children. A good understanding of child psychology will help educators identifies behavioural issues or other learning issues and help children overcome them.
Educators need to be aware of the physical, cognitive and emotional development in a child. Ignorance to any of these aspects can lead to an incomplete development in a child. Each of these aspects has a great impact on the overall development of a child and hence educators should be aware of them.
Physical development is the development of the child’s body. An educator needs to look out for the growth in a child comparing it to the benchmark that is set for physical development. Keeping a vigil on the physical growth will help identify any delays in development and will help address them at an early stage.
Cognitive development is the process of acquiring knowledge through thought, experience and reasoning. Learning is constant, it is never ending and hence it plays a crucial role in the overall development of a child. Cognitive development comprises of memory, observing and understanding things around, imagination, making decisions, dealing with a problem, learning a language, etc. The environment around has a major influence on these aspects of a child’s development. Educators need to carefully study this aspect to create an environment that will nurture a child’s cognitive development. Margaret Mead rightly said, ‘Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.’ This will lead the way to innovation in the days to come.
Emotional development looks at the emotions that a child feels, understands and expresses. A child will experience emotions differently at different age groups. Their expression and understanding towards these emotions will also vary. The basic emotions of happiness, sadness, anger will be seen at an early stage in their lives, keeping a watch on how strongly these emotions are expressed will help in understanding the child. More complicated emotions pride, jealousy, confidence will emerge as the child grows. Educators need to be sensitive towards a child’s emotional development and find various ways to help them understand their emotions. These emotions can have an impact of the social development of the child as well. Social development is the ability to connect well with the people around them. Building early relations can have a huge impact on their social skills. Friendship, managing conflicts, respecting elders are some examples of social development.
Educators who spend a quality amount of time in understanding or studying child psychology will be able to have a positively lasting impression on the life of a child. This in turn will help raise individuals who will contribute to the well-being of the society in a different and creative way.