Child’s child who has little love and support

Child’s development may not follow the expected pattern for a large number of factors:
• Physical and learning disabilities: children with a learning disability may not be able to hold their attention and focus for an extended period of time. Disabilities can be linked to genetic disorders or can due to poor diet and general health status. A child or a young person with a physical disability may include problems with functional, gross and fine motor skills. They may suffer a hearing or visual impairment which may impact on their ability to walk, play or learn. These problems may affect their self-confidence as well as challenge social skills. Early support might help to reduce the effects of the disability.
• Emotional: children have many positive and negative emotions such as fear, anger, frustration, fatigue, happiness, low self-esteem, etc. How a child or young person feels emotionally is an influential factor in their cognitive and social/emotional development. A child who has little love and support from primary carers or is subjected to physical or psychological abuse at home, may suffer from low confidence and self-esteem. Also, children who witness domestic violence are more likely to have behavioural problems which could have a disruptive impact on their development. These emotional factors can be expressed in numerous ways: for example, by bed wetting or having problems at school. Older children symptoms may include vandalism, substances misuse and often eating disorders. They may also try to block out the abuse that they are witnessing or blame themselves for what is happening. These disrupting conducts will negatively influence their development, which can ultimately not follow the expected pattern.
• Family: child’s learning begins within the family. The initial interaction with parents has a very high impact on development and children’s learning abilities. In psychology today, are described four major recognised parenting styles: authoritative, neglectful, permissive, and authoritarian. Each one carries substantially distinctive characteristics and cause different reactions in the children which they are used on. Generally, authoritative parenting is the most supportive of guidance, self-confidence and discipline, creating the healthiest environment for a growing child. Neglectful parenting is one of the most harmful styles of parenting that can be used on a child. Children of neglectful parents are emotionally immature and often have antisocial traits. Permissive parenting, also known as indulgent parenting is another potentially harmful style of parenting. These parents are responsive but not demanding, they tend to be lenient while trying to avoid confrontation. Authoritarian parenting is based on rigid control and is characterised by parents who are demanding but not at all responsive.
• Environment: the environment in which a child is brought up may affect his development and inhibits learning processes. A child living in an area of high unemployment and crime rate may indeed not have the same opportunities as a child living in a rich and affluent area. A child who is able to attend social groups and has access to materials and opportunities for learning, will follow the expected development’ pattern. A child who is living with a single parent on a low income may not have as much opportunities as a child who has parents earning a high income. Also, a child living in poverty and deprivation may be living in a home which is not well maintained, causing health problems such as bronchitis or asthma. Socio-economic environment issues will negatively affect children’s social and intellectual development.
• Cultural background and language barriers: the cultural differences of a family will have a substantial impact on the way a child learns. If a child or a young person speaks a different language at home from the one being taught at school, he/she could find learning more challenging. For example, a child who has moved from a different country and who does not speak English will face many difficult challenges. In fact, it will be incredibly hard for him to communicate with his neighbors, classmates and teachers; this will be very frustrating for the child and it will affect his development. Moreover, because of his different family background, the child may have different values, behaviours, views and ways to interact; this can inhibit his relationships and adversely affect the child’s development overall.
• Gender: stereotyping affects and inhibits a child’s learning for both genders. This objectionable stereotyping exists in nature (what we all have at birth, our genetic “make-up”) and exists also in the influence of our environment, from the world around us. Visiting a toy shops or large stores we’ll be able to see aisles labelled ‘girls toys’ and others labelled ‘boys’ toys’. The girls’ ones are filled with Barbie, fairy outfits, cute animals and dolls. Boys’ aisles instead are packed with trucks, tool sets, constructions, dinosaurs and super hero costumes. This sends out a message of what should be “appropriate” to buy for boys and girls, and what boys and girls “should’ like”. It clearly gives a negative message: in fact, a boy who goes to play with a doll might be told by an older child or even by an adult that a doll is a girl’s toy. In order to avoid gender stereotyping, it is important to show always positive images of males and females non-traditional roles with a variety of toys; this will ensure that children won’t feel restricted by traditional gender roles from a young age. Gender can affect a child’s learning and play, but it’s our own gender bias that can have the biggest influence on children.


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