Newborn infants do not seem to experience fear or have preferences for contact with any specific people. In the first few months they only experience happiness, sadness, and anger. A baby’s first smile usually occurs between 6 and 10 weeks. It is called a ‘social smile’ because it usually occurs during social interactions. By about 8–12 months, they go through a fairly rapid change and become fearful of perceived threats; they also begin to prefer familiar people and show anxiety and distress when separated from them or approached by strangers.
Separation anxiety is a typical stage of development to an extent. Kicking, screaming, and throwing temper tantrums are perfectly typical symptoms for separation anxiety. Depending on the level of intensity, one may determine whether or not a child has separation anxiety disorder. This is when a child constantly refuses to separate from the parent, but in an intense manner. This can be given special treatment but the parent usually cannot do anything about the situation.
The capacity for empathy and the understanding of social rules begin in the preschool period and continue to develop into adulthood. Middle childhood is characterized by friendships with age-mates, and adolescence by emotions connected with sexuality and the beginnings of romantic love. Anger seems most intense during the toddler and early preschool period and during adolescence.
Genetic factors appear to regulate some social-emotional developments that occur at predictable ages, such as fearfulness, and attachment to familiar people. Experience plays a role in determining which people are familiar, which social rules are obeyed, and how anger is expressed.
Parenting practices have been shown to predict children's emotional intelligence. The objective is to study the time mothers and children spent together in joint activity, the types of activities that they develop when they are together, and the relation that those activities have with the children's trait emotional intelligence. The amount of time mothers spent with their children and the quality of their interactions are important in terms of children's trait emotional intelligence, not only because those times of joint activity reflect a more positive parenting, but because they are likely to promote modeling, reinforcement, shared attention, and social cooperation.
Population differences may occur in older children, if, for example they have learned that it is appropriate for boys to express emotion or behave differently from girls, or if customs learned by children of one ethnic group are different from those learned in another. Social and emotional differences between boys and girls of a given age may also be associated with differences in the timing of puberty characteristic of the two sexes.
Language And Communication
The four components of language development include:
Children’s development of language also includes semantics which is the attachment of meaning to words. This happens in three stages. First, each word means an entire sentence. For example, a young child may say “mama” but the child may mean “Here is Mama”, “Where is Mama?”, or “I see Mama.” In the second stage, words have meaning but do not have complete definitions. This stage occurs around age two or three. Third, around age seven or eight, words have adult-like definitions and their meanings are more complete.
A child learns the syntax of their language when they are able to join words together into sentences and understand multiple-word sentences said by other people. There appear to be six major stages in which a child’s acquisition of syntax develops. First, is the use of sentence-like words in which the child communicates using one word with additional vocal and bodily cues. This stage usually occurs between 12 and 18 months of age. Second, between 18 months to two years, there is the modification stage where children communicate relationships by modifying a topic word. The third stage, between two and three years old, involves the child using complete subject-predicate structures to communicate relationships. Fourth, children make changes on basic sentence structure that enables them to communicate more complex relationships. This stage occurs between the ages of two and a half years to four years. The fifth stage of categorization involves children aged three and a half to seven years refining their sentences with more purposeful word choice that reflects their complex system of categorizing word types. Finally, children use structures of language that involve more complicate syntactic relationships between the ages of five years old to ten years old.
Delays in language is the most frequent type of developmental delay. According to demographics 1 out of 5 children will learn to talk or use words later than other children their age. Speech/language delay is three to four times more common in boys than in girls. Some children will also display behavioral problems due to their frustration of not being able to express what they want or need.
Simple speech delays are usually temporary. Most cases are solved on their own or with a little extra attribution from the family. It’s the parent’s duty to encourage their baby to talk to them with gestures or sounds and for them to spend a great amount of time playing with, reading to, and communicating with their baby. In certain circumstances, parents will have to seek professional help, such as a speech therapist.
It is important to take into considerations that sometimes delays can be a warning sign of more serious conditions that could include auditory processing disorders, hearing loss, developmental verbal dyspraxia, developmental delay in other areas, or even an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Source: Aspects Of Child Development