My name is Jack, and I am 19 years old. Ever since my early childhood years, I have developed an interest in psychology and how the brain operates. Because of this interest, I decided to research the development of the brain throughout life.
Here are some key points that were found by researchers on how child development changes through life:
1. The brain goes through a large amount of development during the first three years of life. A child’s personality and abilities are formed from about birth to the age of three because this is when the most neuron growth occurs. This can be seen as a critical period for development, because if a certain skill or ability does not get developed during this time, it will be difficult to learn it later on in life. For example, children who grow up without language skills have trouble learning them after the age of five.
2. Children significantly develop their ideas of right and wrong around ages two-five as they develop more abstract reasoning abilities such as perspective taking and moral judgment. Their senses quickly become more mature as they gain control over their muscles and bodily functions. Lastly, children between the ages of three and five become more independent by working on tasks for longer periods of time.
3. The brain continues to grow as a person becomes an adult. There is continued neuron development throughout life, but the rate at which these neurons are produced slows down. Memory does not just depend on neurons; it depends on how those neurons are organized in different regions of the brain. Different types of memory include sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory (Nyberg, 2010).
Long-term memories involve production of proteins after learning occurs (which can be seen through neuroimaging techniques), this process takes about 48 hours. Lastly, brain cells develop connections with other nearby cells called synapses; adults have about 15,000 synapses per brain cell, while children have up to 100,000 (Nyberg, 2010).
4. How the environment effects the developing child is really interesting to study. Children who are exposed to loving and caring environments typically develop well in life because they feel secure with their surroundings. However, children who face adverse childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect usually develop problems later on in life with attention deficits and hyperactivity (Dube et al., 2001).
The way that people handle these stressful situations stems from how they were raised by their parents; if a child grows up seeing others deal with stress in positive ways, then they tend to use those same coping skills when they encounter situations. A child’s behavior can also be affected by their peers; when children are raised in a positive environment surrounded by supportive friends, they typically develop positively.
When I was a kid, growing up on a farm out in the outskirts of a small town wasn’t as easy as it would seem. Even though there were plenty of trees to climb and animals to tend to, my favorite part of the day was when my father got home from work. Any time he’d arrive back at our house I’d greet him with hugs and kisses that sometimes ended with tickles. My dad worked long hours each day in order to provide for us, his family.
The only thing he ever made sure to leave the house without was being unprepared for anything that needed taken care of around the homestead or cash in his wallet if he’d be doing any shopping throughout the day. He always reminded me why money is important. It’s because of money that we have the food to eat, the clothes on our backs, and a roof above our heads. Money is important because it can buy things people can’t afford otherwise. If my father didn’t have enough money I wouldn’t have books to read or new shoes whenever I needed some.
My favorite time was when my dad came home from work on Friday nights. We’d always go into town to play miniature golf with whichever one of my friends could come with us on those days until dark so they could see all the lights on the Ferris wheel light up before its first spin of the night which was followed by finding somewhere warm for dinner and finally ending back at home where we would just talk until we all fell asleep. I loved those nights with my family and friends.
Now that I’m older, I think about the dreams I have of owning a house like the one we used to live in where it is big enough for me and my wife and kids and finally having a job that is stable and has great benefits; even though we’ll still be working hard every day to make sure we can put food on our table and clothes on our backs. I’m grateful for the life my parents provided for me as a child, now as an adult, my goal is to provide them with one as great as they gave me when they were younger.