Life is a phase that is always changing for the better of, the worse. It all depends on what one aims at and the environment in which a person is brought up. According to Jean Piaget's cognitive development theory, children undergo four development phases. He further alleges that children are like little scientists and they explore things around them so that they make sense of the world around them. These four stages are; the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational and the formal operational stage.
These four stages contribute to the overall development process which entails four major processes. You find that for sensorimotor development stage a child behaves different from the way he behaves in the formal operational stage. Based on this theory's development stages, we consider the social, physical, cognitive and moral development in detail. We look at these developments under each stage since as children develop they tend to change as they advance from time to time. This creates a consistent development structure as described in next paragraphs. Therefore the study takes into consideration how a child develops in his area of birth, how socially they change, how they get to know things and how they change morally.
I am Ainsley Von Rodger, a twenty-year-old single American Seventh-day Adventist Christian male. I was born on December 31, 1996, in a Christian hospital in New York. I was born to Rahab and Caleb Rodger, both of American descent. My father's primary occupation was preaching while my mother was a housewife who took care of her children as my dad was out there ministering. My parents have been in a marriage for close to thirty years and together they have six children, and I am a last born of the family.
I have two blood brothers, a sister, and two adopted brothers. I am a last born of my family. My siblings age ranges between twenty-five years, twenty-seven and twenty-nine. Being the last born, I spent most of the time alone because my siblings were in school when I was conceived. My eldest siblings have both been married, and they have been blessed with children. The youngest sister still lives with us as she is still in school for her tertiary education together with my adopted brothers.
My father is a Native American whereas my mother is a Latin American. My grandfather on the parents side was an American whereas my grandmother was a Germany American. On my mom's side, my grandfather was a Latin, and my grandmother was of the Indian origin. Despite the fact that my grandfather and father were biracial, they seemed not to know much from their own mother's backgrounds. As illustrated my experience traverses three continents yet am only accustomed to the cultures of the Americans.
I was raised up by caring and very strict parents because they subscribed to religious matters. My father being an evangelist never wanted us to live a life that was contradictory to what he taught other people, and that prompted him to try every new idea of evangelism on us. I remember at the age of three years when he asked us to practice a song that we were to present during a church service where he had been invited to preach. This was the very first time that I had to stand before a large gathering. I continued in this part without necessarily knowing what I was doing. Through this period, I was the best pretender for I did things just to please my parents. When I joined, the O levels of education is when I started encountering with life in a different way.]
In high school, I was still the usual pretender, but that did not last long. I found myself in groups that were doing the very things that my dad warned me of. I continued with these groups while concealing my actions when in school. I stayed in these cheeky things for two years, and after that, some incident happened that changed my life. We were caught stealing from the kitchen food that was meant for the teachers. The teacher on duty decided to give us the simplest punishment yet the hardest to implement. We were asked to eat food that was meant for all the teachers or risk being expelled. My three friends were happy at the punishment, and I was not. We tried to plead for a different sentence, but our efforts were futile. The teacher on duty decided to go and attend to some other things as he promised to come later to see our progress. All the teacher did be to go round the dining hall then came back, and he found my friends happily eating whereas I was standing next to them worried. I was forgiven as the other students were asked to go home and ask their parents to accompany them back to school. Since then I understood that religion is not an opium of the poor but a medium that enables people to live peacefully.
My family's socioeconomic status has had its shares of fluctuations. When I was age five, my mother used to own a shop which kept her busy, and it was the source through which my siblings school fees was realized. As my mom continued with the store, she managed to save enough to open a mini-supermarket. This mini-supermarket did not last long as competitors ganged against my mother. They not only stole all the stock but they also made away with desktops that were used in the business. This demoralized my mom, and that is how she stopped business. On the other hand, my father is paid by an organization that supports their ministry called Amazing Facts (This group is particular on the use of the Bible as the origin of all Christian doctrines). His salary has been used mainly to support the family after my mother withdrew from business. Currently, my eldest sibling who is an engineer arranged for the family to have a new residential home. This is where we are living now, and life has not been better than this.
At birth, my weight was found to be 3 kilograms, and I measured 18 inches long. My elder siblings usually described me as an average baby, on the other hand, my mother thought that I was the little reason why there were no complications during my delivery. I grew up inconsistently as at some point I was skinny and other times they somewhat referred to me as fatty. Between my first few days on earth to age three I was underweight. Age four to age eight I was fairly massive but short compared to my age-mates. During this time I became active in sporting activities, and my eating habits changed. I particularly enjoyed playing football in nearly all positions. My friends referred to me as mister football.'
There are few things which occurred that changed how people viewed me and how my body structure changed since I was age four as it was when my mother's business was flourishing. This time I used to eat a lot from her shop without her knowledge. Since I never used to eat,' this was an opportunity for me to make up for the few times that I was hungry. I was addicted to sweets and the more I ate them, the more my desire to eat increased. No sooner than later my appetite started worrying my mother as I started eating a lot. This prompted my mom to restrict me from going to her shop. It has been proved that high-fat foods contribute to childhood obesity (Berk, 2010). The food that was cooked in the house I can say was not the sweetest of the foods, but it was the healthiest, and since it was not nice, I retreated to eating refined foods which were mostly found in the shop.
Considering that I was an active child, it helped a lot in deciding my body size. Was I to be a dull child, I would have been obese. Again both my parents were of average body sizes, I took after their body sizes. I adapted to our family way of eating habits which were restricted to eating at specific times of the day and in any case if you failed to then you had to wait until the next meal which was at least five hours away. The argument behind this kind of eating was that when meals are spaced, they allow the stomach to rest once digestion of the food in it is over, (WHO, 2015). Out of this resting, the stomach would not contract any disease quickly. Again, this rest enables the stomach to be ready to digest incoming food and lastly spiritually an individual who can control his/her appetite can exercise other forms of control when the need arises.
I maintained an average body size after the scenario in which I found myself in secondary school reason being that I began to consider the teachings of my parents. It was not easy to stop eating anyhow; it was almost impossible to give up on some cherished habits, but I had to drop them. I realized that I was developing abnormally when I got to form one and this required me to accept the new developments. I was smallest of my classmates when I was joining form one. As an adolescent, when I was finishing my fourth grade I was among the tallest students in our class. I was appointed to be a perfect in form four out of my exemplary character and outstanding performance. My schoolmates did respect me form commanding voice and physical size.
In my process of getting acquainted with things, I was a slow learner. To be specific, I spent my first one and half years learning how to walk. Speaking came much later when I was age three. This slow transition process was followed by me being active in whatever new thing that I learned. I remember my mother canning me for not wanting to keep quiet after I learned to sing a hymn called amazing grace. Research that was carried out regarding language development showed that the degree of which caregivers speak to children determines the childrents development (Berk, 2010).
Although I was a slow learner, there were times I beat all the odds and performed otherwise. For instance, when I as in class three, I was honored to be the best student overall in the school for the extemporary performance at the expense of one subject. I could recite poems calculate scientific questions with a lot of ease after intense studying. At some point, Piaget's development stages were used to help me develop in areas where I had some difficulty. In my sensorimotor stage, my teachers supplied me with pictures and toys to help me assist in stabilizing my learning process. My siblings tell stories of the many books and toys that were bought for me at this particular stage and that I never imitated someone safe for my mother. My elder siblings together with my adopted brothers played a significant role in helping me to know how to write.
In the preoperational stage, I had a sophisticated real-world symbolization to make some of my plays interesting. This was by substituting real objects for representative objects like stacking sticks together assuming that it was a house. There were times I spent playing hide and seek all the day. This was preceded socio-dramatic play where I played a role of the father among my peers as they took other positions. I remember I used to entice my siblings into playing with me when they did not want to. Sometimes my mother tells me that whenever my siblings were not around, I could cry requesting her to play with me. It was through the games that I began to understand language. This stage prompted me to delve into wanting to know more about alphabets and thus start to read simple books around the age of six. My parents always encouraged me in the effort that I was putting on. Therefore, they encouraged me to continue learning. I remember writing number eight was a particular problem but thanks to my eldest brother who consistently helped me whenever I wrote it in a parallel manner instead of in a vertical manner.
In the third stage of Piaget's cognitive development, I found some challenges such as having a deeper conversation and sometimes reversing some words. In all other concepts, things were well but for mathematics; there was a problem. This was evident when I scored four percent in a math paper and other children laughed at me. Although I scored that low and other pupil shouted at me that did not deter me from being the best. I did soldier on focusing on improving on mathematics as a subject. In this path, I lost interest in other topics as I was spending lots of time on my weakest line of operation. It was when I was in seventh grade that I learned how to balance my scores, and since then learning has never been fun enough.
My peer friends steered me to where I am now as per my academic radar. Although my peers and I have climbed the academic radar, I am the only one who ended up in a medical school. It is the support of my mother that propelled me up to where I am, and my peers too played their role as we challenged each other to pursue greater things. Am still on the path to learning and development is inevitable in my course to become a neurosurgeon. I am now in the process of understanding why I do some things in a certain way at the same time trying to change how I do things. My thought process is also getting revitalized as time goes by thus helping me not to settle on what people say or write but to carefully research on some issues to get to the deep end of it. Now I study to understand unlike when I used to examine to write exams.
Social personality development
Through the interactions with my parents, I have come to be the person I am today. They treated me with the respect that I sometimes think I never deserved. My siblings often do express that I was tbossy.' These were traits that I beheld in my childhood, but now my personality has changed since children and now I am a team player. I attribute much of my behaviors to the family in which I grew up and the environment in which I was brought up. This environment encouraged me to be a keen observer and to give ear to every concern that I come across.
Emotionally am a stable and active which has not been easy to realize. At some point, I mistrusted my siblings out of our relationship, on the other hand, my parents created a trusted environment in my life. I was also encouraged to do things in the perspective of which I saw things. This helped boost my confidence. However, other times they restricted me from doing things or going to some other places that did not reveal the quality of life they wanted me to have. I haven't outgrown this stage yet as sometimes I consult my mother on some decisions. This characteristic of dependency in this juncture concurs with research that suggests that once parents are over and under controlling; their children develop a tendency to doubt their ability to make competent decisions (Berk, 2010).
Through engaging in many play activities, I got a chance to try out new skills. My parents insisted on exercising as one way of being healthy but then they always cautioned when they sensed that I was going overboard. It was during my third grade that my performances were destitute prompting me to keep playing. I never used to talk to people, and usually, after playing, I could go hiding. My mother started to encourage always reminding me that I can also do it. This phase did help me a lot as it enabled me to understand my identity. Sometimes in our generation, we are pressured to do things to be at par with other age-mates, but I am still put. In this generation, people put a lot of expectations on individuals who have attained the age of twenty. Some of my age-mates are living their dreams while am still in school and still life goes on.
My morals have been shaped primarily by my interactions and the relationships with my parents, my peers and the environment in which I grew up. Temperament and experiences help individuals develop a character (Rothbart, 2007). In my childhood years, my parents were concerned with doing right regarding religious morality. Whenever I did something that was morally impure, both my parents took turns to explain to me as to why it was wrong. My parents never hesitated to correct me whenever they saw that my morals were in compromise. Sometimes as I was playing, my siblings could help in shaping my behavior. Religious morality was something that was out of the question.
There are few gaps in my middle and childhood in moral development. Amongst my peers, I was considered to know it all for I would not keep silent when something was amiss. I also desired to be accepted by my peers who necessarily did not heed to the teachings of my parents. This was the time that I grappled with social and religious morality. It was this time that my mother insisted on obedience to her rules as long as one lived in her house. In my emergence to adulthood, peer associations still influence my morality development. Now, I view morality as flexible and changing and instead on being egocentric in perception I now see it from the position other people.
My life has seen the good and the bad that one can be confronted with in life. All hurdles helped shape the person I am today. I may not have reached where I desire to be but am growing daily to realize my potential. Much is as a result of the efforts of my parents. I cannot deny that even the subtle and overt aspects of my family of origin and culture played a significant role in my development. Through this exploration, I have realized some reoccurring themes that am yet to resolve. I have begun to understand how nature and nurturing are playing out in my life. Sometimes the thought of getting myself in a less caring family, or were not my parent not concerned with the kind of life I lived I do not know how my life could be. Out of their unmatched efforts, I desire to grow and keep developing to a better person.
Berk L.E. (2010), Development through the lifespan -fourth edition, Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Rothbart M.K. (2007), Temperament, development, and personality: current directions of psychological Science.
Piaget J. (1983). Piaget's theory;In P. Mussen (ed). Handbook of Child Psychology 4th edition. Vol. 1. New York: Wiley.
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