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Child Development & Personal Example

Because everyone shares a limited number of general patterns of development the study of child development inevitably makes the reader recall various examples from his own life, from siblings and friends, and from children he knows as an adult. But the most striking thing about the study of development is how often it illuminates matters that puzzled the student or calls attention to, and explains, things the student had never questioned. The greatest number of interesting examples of development phenomena that occurred to me during the reading involved my seven-year-old nephew Ray. Ray is now seven years old. He and his parents Tony and Barbara, live near me and I have seen him at least once a week--usually more frequently--since he was born. Tony and Barbara have always struck me as extremely calm, level-headed parents who give the impression that they always know exactly what they are doing with Ray.

Ray is an only child but his neighborhood now has a large number of children within two years of his age and he never seems to lack friends. Barbara was at home with him until he started kindergarten. Since then she has worked weekday mornings in her father's store. She, or Tony, always picks Ray up from school or walks home with him. They have also left him with baby-sitters at least one evening a week since he was about two years old. Ray has always been a very friendly child--happy to see almost anyone--and he has always gotten along well with other children.

One of the most interesting sections of the text deals with influences on gender development. It had never occurred to me how extensively Tony and Barbara addressed Ray as a boy. Leaving aside the usual "good boy, Ray" and similar remarks (although they undoubtedly have an influence on self-awareness), they have always emphasized Ray's involvement in boyish things. I do not think for example, that I have seen Tony read to him since he was about two. When Ra...

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Child Development & Personal Example. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:56, June 02, 2020, from