Early childhood development is the stage of development where children grow from an emotional, physical, and social perspective into the adult personality and future character. The aim of this paper is to review the literature on how perception of childhood has changed over generations, explore childhood representation, and the impact of parents who work for long hours on the achievement of their children. The information is useful in nurturing the children from all aspects and ensuring that teachers and parents are capable of understanding their role in achieving child development goals.
In early days, childhood was perceived as a perilous stage in life. However, in the 18th century, more focus was put into childhood. The importance on childhood changed the perception from perilous stage to a moment of freedom and innocence (Reynolds, 2014, p.1). It included other positive perceptions such as creativity, malleability, and emotions, which should be incorporated in raising a child. The 21st Century views children as investments who should be competent as a way of preparing them for their adult lives (Morrow, 2011, pp.4). The early competence in children is measured by their academic attainment and excellence.
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The representation of childhood has also changed with generations. Children were first represented as ordinary beings. However, the representation changed through a portrayal, which changed the place of children in the society. Parents started showing more attachment to their children by making them more central in their lives and are represented positively by being considered the individuals who the future of a nation depends. Therefore, the representation made the children begin receiving special attention on education, health, love, recognition, security and praise.
The involvement of parents in the development and achievement of their children is affected by the careers or jobs of their parents. There is a strong relationship between the academic performance of a child and the amount of interaction with the parents (Topor et al. 2011, p.1). The achievement of a child depends on the cognitive abilities developed during the first months of a child’s life. Therefore, long hours of work by mothers may hinder development. Other studies have revealed that the achievement of a child does not necessarily depend on maternal employment with the findings showing that there is an increasing number of mothers with young kids who are actively employed (Horisch, 2016, p.1). The studies have rather suggested that parents should concentrate on having quality time with children instead of quantity. The studies also suggested that the working behavior of fathers do not have an effect on the achievement of children.
- Reynolds K., 2014.Perceptions of Childhood, Retrieved 4 Feb. 2018 from https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/perceptions-of-childhood
- Morrow V, 2011. Understanding Children and Childhood, Retrieved 4 Feb. 2018 from https://epubs.scu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=ccyp_pubs
- Topor D.R., Keane S.P., Shelton T.L. & Calkins S.D, 2011.Parent Involvement and Student Academic Performance: A Multiple Mediational Analysis, NCBI, Bethesda
- Horisch H.S, 2016.Parental Employment and Children’s Academic Achievement, IZA, Bonn