Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Reflection Essay on Child Development

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Child Development People have always thought that children at birth do not have any skills or knowledge. As infants, they are not yet expected to have feelings, the power to reason out, or the capability to speak. Most people have thought of infants as empty bottles that have yet to be filled and make them useful in society. It is really surprising to note that at birth, children are already born with innate capabilities like being able to sing, write poems and stories, paint, draw, or perhaps make objects out of given materials.

All that is needed is the right environment to bring out and nurture the child’s capabilities. The chapter on child development mentioned the fact that at birth, infants already have a preference for sweet and salty foods. I do not think this statement is applicable to all infants and that a further study on this matter should be conducted. This is because there are infants who are able to take in pure and unsweetened water and not complain at all. This chapter of the book also mentioned the infant’s dependence and closeness to his or her caregiver.

But is it the nourishment that comes from the caregiver or the feel that she gives to the infant that bind the two to each other? To answer this question, Psychologists Harry and Margaret Harlow conducted an experiment which made use of infant monkeys who have been separated from birth and two artificial surrogate mothers which were actually dressed up wire figures—one provided milk through an artificial nipple and the other wrapped with thick cloth.

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The Harlows noticed that the infant monkeys spent more time with the clothed figures and less time with the ones that provided them nourishment. The results of the experiment proposes the idea that what binds babies to their mothers or caregivers is not necessarily the nourishment but the feel of being with their caregivers. The results of the experiment would have been more valid had the Harlows made comparisons between reaction of the infant monkeys and human infants to the set up.

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