Life transitions are their related human relationships have always been under focus for nursing research. The reason is that there is a wide scope for finding new methods by which nurses can integrate elements of human relationships in their care delivery (Feldman, 2016). As highlighted by the authors, each stage of life span is to be analysed on the basis of its set of milestones to come up with appropriate care delivery. The different theories of human development are crucial in this regard. The essay written in here discusses the social and cognitive developmental milestones of the three-year-old child Jack who is enrolled in day care unit for twice a week for five hours. The works of theorists Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson are the basis of this essay. The importance of understanding life stages for a nurse is also highlighted in the paper.
The first theory of human development that is considered in this discussion is the theory of cognitive development that had been put forward by the famous psychologist Jean Piaget. Through this theory, Piaget aimed at analysing the development of human intelligence (Jehan & Butt, 2015). The theory, also known as development stage theory goes on to explain how humans develop their knowledge and apply them for the carrying out regular activities. Kail (2015) highlight that a child of three years falls under Preoperational Stage that revolves around children of age between two and seven years. In this stage, a child is starting to develop cognitive skills and language skills develop properly at this stage only. A child is seen to demonstrate the ability to speak in complete sentences, thereby expressing his feelings and thoughts to a better degree. Language development is perhaps the most distinct feature of this stage. At this conject of life span, a chid is capable of symbolising things as they tend to be more mature. The authors further highlight that a child who is more than two years old can create an identity for himself and engage in a make-belief action. Caution is to be taken while dealign with the child and helping him to understand the differences between his caregiver and those who are not as a chid might become egocentric and not respond desirably to all individuals.
Concerning the present case study, the concern that comes into the light is that Jack has not been able to achieve adequate language development as per the milestone mentioned in the Preoperational Stage. This is evident from the fact that Jack speaks in sentences that have two to three words and no longer than that. He is also found to be babbling most of the time, indicating that he wants to express himself but is not able to do so due to certain constraints. The other factor that might be related to babbling is growing egocentric nature. The child might be suffering from feelings of rejection and loneliness, in the absence of his mother, Vanessa.
The second theory of human development that is considered in this discussion is the theory of social development that had been put forward by the famous psychologist Erik Erikson. As per this theory, the lifespan of an individual is divided into eight stages, of which the stage involving children aged between two and four years is concerned about the high calibre of will. At this stage, the power to socialise is strong, and an enhanced sense of imagination puts the child in a position to understand and perceive the surrounding environment. A child’s social and emotional development includes an emerging awareness of self and others (Shapiro & Margolin, 2014). As opined by Sigelman and Rider (2014) a child at this age is capable of controlling his eliminative function and other similar motor abilities. The only criteria for this development is a strong care support from parents, especially mother. In the continual presence of the mother, children gain their own autonomy. Learning is continual if support is also continual and not hampered by physical separation. A child would be ready to explore the world if there is a foundation of encouragement from the mother since a child perceives the mother to be the prime source of care.
In relation to the present case study, it is seen that Jac, though has attained the age of three years, has still not in a position to showcase appropriate toileting skills, unlike others. The fact of the case is that Vanessa, Jack’s mother, puts him into day care for two days in a week, creating physical separation from him. The impact of this has been constraints in the development of toileting skils for Jack. The death of support and encouragement from his mother has limited the development of this social skill. Jack has not become self-sufficient in the absence of his mother and is not confident about demonstrating the skills his mother had been trying to teach him at home. Chances are high that Jack is lacking social skills to communicate with the nurse at the care unit and therefore the care received at the unit is of less significance pertaining to his development.
The interrelationship between cognitive and social development has been much studied in the literature. A child’s experiences when he is between thee age of two and five years effects profoundly his actions in a consequent manner. The manner in which children respond to the environment, and the ability and eagerness to form trusted relationships are driven by both social and cognitive development. Cognitive development and social development are interlinked, with each impacting different actions of the child. As language skills develop and the child is better able to express himself, he is able to demonstrate his social skills in a better manner. In addition, if a child has learnt to think in a complex manner, he might be altering the social skills he had learnt (Bremner, 2017).
Olds (2016) threw light upon the importance of a nurse to understand human relationships and life transitions. While caring for a child, it is imperative that the nurse has complete knowledge of the transition phase the child is in. The age of 2-6 years has been indicated to be crucial for a child’s development as major changes in physical, social and cognitive abilities are witnessed at this stage. for a nurse to care for a child at this age group the essence of safe care delivery lies in his ability to allow the life transition theories guide the nursing practice. In a fast-paced day care unit, the goal of care would be to provide personalised care, and this is possible only when there is an increased understanding of the benchmark that the child had to attain. As human relationships are of prime importance in every child’s life, a nurse must explore the perception of the child about such relationships in order to care for him.
The above essay draws the attention of the readers onto the role of nurses in caring for children who aim to achieve certain cognitive and social milestones according to their age. Human development is explained through a number of theories, of which the theory of the social development of Erikson and theory cognitive development of Piaget are of prime importance. For a nurse to deliver optimal quality care for the child, it is imperative that these theories are understood adequately.
Bremner, J. G. (2017). An introduction to developmental psychology. John Wiley & Sons.
Feldman, R. S. (2016). Development across the life span. Pearson.
Jehan, S., & Butt, M. N. (2015). Attainment of conservation ability among primary school children in the light of Piaget’s cognitive theory. VFAST Transactions on Education and Social Sciences, 5(1).
Kail, R. V. (2015). Children and their development. Pearson Higher Ed.
Olds, D. (2016). Building evidence to improve maternal and child health. The Lancet, 387(10014), 105-107.
Shapiro, L. A. S., & Margolin, G. (2014). Growing up wired: Social networking sites and adolescent psychosocial development. Clinical child and family psychology review, 17(1), 1-18.
Sigelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2014). Life-span human development. Cengage Learning.