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Child Development

             As children grow older they go through a process labeled as child development. Child development is defined as the discipline devoted to the understanding of all aspects of human development from birth to adolescence. Child development is more or less a new field of study and that is because of the viewpoints of children that were predominant before. For instance, historical perspectives influenced the view of children as miniature adults and burdens. The perspective of them as miniature adults were present more so in the middle ages when children were treated like adults, such as in their style of dress, their responsibility of work and sometimes even marriage and monarchy. The other perspective was of children being burdens instead of blessings. They were considered burdens because before modern day contraceptives, many children were unplanned for and unwanted, they only represented another mouth to feed and back to clothe. As times progressed though the view began to change thanks to psychologists and new laws that protected the welfare of children. Also, an influence on the field of child development was philosophies of the moral nature and development of children. Three major philosophies were original sin, the view of children being born full of sin and needing guidance to salvation from their parents, tabula rasa developed by John Locke, which viewed children as blank slates needing to be molded by their parents but treated with kindness and love, and lastly the philosophy of noble savages stated by Jean Jacques Rousseau said that children were gifted with the concept of wrong and right and didn’t need the interference of parents. Rousseau was one of the first to place emphasis on the idea of maturation, which is the unfolding of the genetically determined patterns of growth and development. Child development involves different areas of development that are genetically determined, such as physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.

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