The study of the psychological processes of children, and specifically, how these processes differ from those of adults, how they develop from birth to the end of adolescence, and how and why they differ from one child to the next, is a specialised branch of psychology known as child psychology. Child psychologists work with children and adolescents to diagnose and help resolve issues causing emotional or behavioural problems, such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, anxiety and depression. They also evaluate children for developmental delays, signs of autism spectrum disorder and other problems that affect development.
5 areas of child psychology…and what they teach us
The study of child development is often divided into three broad areas: physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. Physical development, which generally occurs in a relatively stable, predictable sequence, refers to physical body changes and includes the acquisition of certain skills, such as gross-motor and fine-motor coordination. Cognitive or intellectual development, meanwhile, refers to the processes children use to gain knowledge and includes language, thought, reasoning, and imagination. Because social and emotional development are so interrelated, these two areas are often grouped together. Learning to relate to others is part of a child’s social development, while emotional development involves feelings and the expression of feelings. Trust, fear, confidence, pride, friendship, and humour are all part of one’s social-emotional development.
While they may be divided into categories for the sake of easier understanding, the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional areas of a child’s development are all inextricably linked. Development in one area can strongly influence that in another. For instance, writing words requires both fine-motor skills and cognitive language skills. And, just as research has made known the different areas of development, it also shows that development follows key patterns, or principles. Understanding these principles has had an enormous influence on how we care for, treat and educate children today.
Developmental milestones are an important way for psychologists to measure a child’s progress in several important developmental areas. Essentially, they act as checkpoints in a child’s development to determine what the average child is able to do at a particular age. Knowing the milestones for different ages helps the psychologist understand normal child development and also aids in identifying potential problems with delayed development. For example, a child who is 12 months old can typically stand and support his or her weight by holding onto something. Some children at this age can even walk. If a child reaches 18 months of age but still cannot walk, it might indicate a problem that needs further investigation.
Child psychologists look at four main categories of milestones, which loosely follow the main developmental areas discussed above. First, there are physical milestones, which pertain to the development of both the gross and fine motor skills. Second, there are cognitive or mental milestones, which refer to the child’s developmental aptitude for thinking, learning, and solving problems. Third, there are social and emotional milestones, which pertain to the child’s ability to express emotion and respond to social interaction. And, finally, there are communication and language milestones, which involve the child’s developing verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
All children can be naughty, defiant and impulsive from time to time. Conflicts between parents and children are also inevitable as the latter struggle, from the “terrible twos” through adolescence, to assert their independence and develop their own identities. These behaviours are a normal part of the growing-up process. However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age. In fact, behavioural disorders are the most common reason that parents seek the help of child psychologists.
In some cases, these behavioural issues are temporary problems due largely to stressful situations, such as the birth of a sibling, a divorce, or a death in the family. Other cases involve a pattern of sustained hostile, aggressive, or disruptive behaviours that are not appropriate for the child’s age. The most typical disruptive behaviour disorders include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These three behavioural disorders share some common symptoms, and can be further exacerbated by emotional problems and mood disorders. Child psychology involves looking at all possible roots to these behavioural issues, including brain disorders, genetics, diet, family dynamics and stress, and then treating them accordingly.
Emotional development involves learning what feelings and emotions are, understanding how and why they happen, recognising one’s own feelings and those of others, and developing effective ways of managing them. This complex process begins in infancy and continues into adulthood. The ﬁrst emotions that can be recognised in babies include joy, anger, sadness and fear. Later, as children begin to develop a sense of self, more complex emotions like shyness, surprise, elation, embarrassment, shame, guilt, pride and empathy emerge. The things that provoke emotional responses also change, as do the strategies used to manage them.
Learning to regulate emotions is more difﬁcult for some children than for others. This may be due to their particular emotional temperament – some children simply feel emotions more intensely and easily, are more emotionally reactive and ﬁnd it harder to calm down. Emotionally reactive children also tend to get anxious more quickly and easily than other children. It is the work of the child psychologist, then, to identify the reasons the child is having difficulty expressing or regulating his or her emotions and to develop strategies to help him or her learn to accept feelings and understand the links between feelings and behaviour.
Closely related to emotional development is social development. Stated simply, socialisation involves acquiring the values, knowledge and skills that enable children to relate to others effectively and to contribute in positive ways to family, school and the community. Although the process begins shortly after birth and continues into adulthood, the age of early childhood is a crucial period for socialisation.
One of the first and most important relationships children experience is with their parents or primary caregivers and the quality of this relationship has a significant effect on later social development. In peer relationships, children learn how to initiate and maintain social interactions with other children, acquiring skills for managing conflict, such as turn-taking, compromise, and bargaining. Play also involves the mutual, sometimes complex, coordination of goals, actions, and understanding. Through these experiences, children develop friendships that provide additional sources of security and support to those provided by their parents.
Factors that can contribute to an inability to develop age-appropriate social skills include everything from the amount of love and affection the child receives to the socio-economic status of the family. Children who fail to properly socialise have difficulty creating and maintaining satisfying relationships with others – a limitation many carry into adulthood. Areas a psychologist will attempt to address when working with such children include curbing hostile or aggressive impulses and, instead, learning to self-express in socially appropriate ways; engaging in socially constructive actions (such as helping, caring and sharing with others) and developing a healthy sense of self.
Collected: SACAP (South African College for Applied Psychology)
Understanding the Rise of Divroce Rate in Bangladesh
- 1 divorce in every 1 hour in Dhaka
- 50,000 divorce applications filed in Dhaka (N&S) City Corporations in the past 6 years
- 2,532 divorce applications filed in Chittagong City Corporation in six months, from January-July of 2018.
- 70% divorce applications coming from women side, 30% from men side
- Women empowerment by education, jobs, career & economic independence accelerated divorce rate
- Women's contribtuion in labor force in 1974 is 4%, it was found 35.6% in 2016
- Common reasons for divorce from wife's side includes husband's extramarital affair, facebook addition, dowry etc. From husband's side reasons include wife's disobedience of husband, unIslamic lifestyle, infertality etc.
1 divorce takes place in every 1 hour in Dhaka. This was one of the startling findings in an exclusive report published by Prothom Alo recently. The report states that in the last seven years, the divorce rate application has increased by a massive 34 percent throughout the country according to data compiled by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). “At least 50,000 divorce applications were filed in Dhaka North and South City Corporations in the past six years, which means on average one divorce application was filed every hour,” the report reads. In Chittagong City Corporation, already 2,532 applications have been filed during January-July of this year.
For the inquisitive mind, these findings could provide for a very interesting case study. Does this trend signal that a major societal change is under way? Is it a manifestation of attitudinal or behavioural changes towards marriage? If so, does this shift in attitude have a relationship with something much bigger? Could the changing socioeconomic structure of Bangladeshi society have a role in all this?
The answer to the first two questions will vary depending on who you ask. I have come across some who see it as an indicator of female empowerment. Then there are those who believe that this trend demonstrates the eroding sanctity of the institution of marriage as a whole (which, I believe, could be true to an extent but it's harder to “prove” this claim).
Going back to BBS' findings, in Chittagong City Corporation and the two city corporations of Dhaka, the majority of applications being filed were by women. While the most common reason for divorce has been found to be marital conflict, what's more intriguing are the differences in reasons cited by men and women for seeking a divorce. For women, the most common reasons were their husband's suspicious nature, extramarital relations, dowry, husband never returning home after going overseas, drug addiction, Facebook addiction, impotence, and personality clash, among others. On the other hand, the most common reasons cited by men were wives not leading lives according to Islamic rules, bad temper, indifference towards the family, disobeying their husband and infertility.
A cursory glance at the most common reasons cited by women lends some legitimacy to the claim that the rising trend of divorce, as more and more women are initiating divorce and seeking a way out of their marriage, is an indicator of empowerment. Today, women are less willing to remain in an unhappy marriage where the husband is constantly suspicious of the wife, is having an affair, or is physically torturing or mentally abusing the wife for dowry.
The taboos against divorce are still intact in many parts of the country, particularly in rural areas, where a divorced woman is associated with disgrace and shame. But it could be argued that the prejudices attached to divorcees are withering away, albeit gradually, in places like Dhaka where modernisation is giving way to people shedding their conservative attitudes. This shift in attitudes is likely part of a broader societal change brought about by an increased number of women attaining higher education and their absorption into the labour force. As a woman's decision-making role in the private sphere has begun to be recognised, so too has her right to end a marriage. The combination of a growing societal acceptance of divorce and women's realisation of their own rights has a big role to play.
Women's economic independence stands as one of the most crucial factors—not just in Bangladesh but around the world where we see similar trends in divorce. Women's participation rate in the labour force in Bangladesh has increased by eight times in the last four decades—from four percent in 1974 to 35.6 percent in 2016. It is true that much of Bangladeshi women's increased freedom in their personal lives today has to do with their financial independence: less dependence on the spouse for money means there's less of a need to remain tied to an abusive marriage.
In a paper titled “The Connection between the Family Cycle and Divorce Rates: An Analysis Based on European Data” published in 1974, the author looks at how industrialisation, urbanisation and rise in educational levels affect phases of the family cycle. The findings of the study, gleaned from data of European countries, hold a lot of relevance for industrialising countries even today where family cycles and roles of men and women are undergoing transformation. One of the findings is related to women's increased participation in the labour force which, as the author interestingly and astutely puts it, is due to the “professionalisation” of many tasks leading to a “separation of the private and the occupational spheres…Through more and more tasks being taken away from the family and professionalised, the area of women's tasks within the family has become considerably restricted. It thus becomes possible that the woman, deprived of her formerly abundant tasks, leaves the intrafamily sphere and goes out to work.” Women's absorption into the labour force combined with a rise in life expectancy and decrease in the number of children was found to have a positive relationship with divorce rates.
However, a word of caution is necessary—and let's not jump to generalised conclusions. The above BBS data—which gives us a glimpse into marriage and divorce scenarios in urban and rural areas—does not give nearly enough information needed to analyse, for example, region-wise trends: what proportion of divorces taking place in urban and rural areas are due to marital conflict, torture, etc. Could it be that more urban women are filing for divorce on grounds of marital conflict while in far-flung rural areas more women are divorcing their husband alleging torture or physical violence or due to abandonment by their husband? An analysis that looks at the socioeconomic status and the reasons for divorce of individual couples could shed much light on the contrasting views men and women from different strata of society have on divorce. Given the frequency with which we are bombarded by headlines of women being tortured or killed for dowry—violence against women being so deeply embedded in society—especially in rural pockets of the country, we would perhaps be surprised to find the number of women filing for divorce on grounds of physical violence despite being financially dependent on their spouse.
Furthermore, the prevalence of child marriage in Bangladesh presents an unfortunate paradox: on one hand, girls as young as 15 (and even younger) are being forced into marriage while, on the other, more women are seemingly choosing to leave their marriage of their own volition. Just a thought: could there be women filing for divorce (included in BBS' statistics) who were victims of child marriage? In that case, isn't it true that divorce, for a woman who was coerced into marriage at an early age, represents a symbol of liberation as she is the one who took the decision to leave the marriage?
The way we look at and talk about divorce should be nuanced. True, age-old notions about divorce are slowly being shed. And women's higher decision-making power derived from their economic freedom is a major reason. But let's also start talking about the ways in which divorce can be prevented. A rising trend in divorce also means that there are increasing disruptions in familial harmony— a painful experience and a source of severe trauma for children that can have lifelong effects. Existing awareness campaigns such as those against violence against women and dowry—two big reasons behind women seeking a divorce in Bangladesh—could take on these findings to drive home their message. Extensive research that takes into account the social complexities of Bangladesh and resulting disaggregated data could also prove to be very useful in understanding the deeper causes behind the rise in divorce and the ways to prevent it.
The Daily Star Written by Nahela Nowshin, a member of the editorial team at The Daily Start
Date: September 03 2018
10 Secrets of Maintaining Happy Family Life
Everybody want a peaceful and happier life. Having a peaceful life is highly connected with being grateful to your Creator, He is the owner of happiness. Research shows that there are 10 mindset that help you maintain a tranquile mind, happy family life & a balance work life.
1. Don't Compare Your Life with Others:
Comparing own life with others is often a source of disappointment. May be I am seeing other’s big house, nice car or a big salary but I am not seeing their problems, frustrations & complexities of life. So in back of our mind we expect other's shining outer part and get dipressed. If we would have known their problems, frustrations & complexities of life, then we wouldn’t desire their life for us. Have a grateful heart & look on what Allah has given us. A grateful heart is always a happy heart.
2. Absorb Your Anger:
Whenever we get angry, stop your mouth & dont speak up. Let 10-20 seconds pass by and then respond. Our enemy is Iblees, satan, it takes the advantage of pumping us to get more angry by reminding other bad experiences. Beware of Satan's trap & absorb anger for the sake of your Creator.
3. Learn to Forgive Others:
Forgiveness is such a quality that helps maintain good health. Forgive people not because they deserve it, but because you deserve peace. Forgive people from heart to make your Creator happy. He will reward you good health & happiness instantly.
4. Make Genuine Efforts to be Happy:
Can someone get a PhD degree without an effort? NEVER! Similarly if we don't make true effort for happiness we can never be happy people. Happiness doesn't come for free. It requires attention to your spouse, kids and other family members. Push yourself to change your routine to add some good changes & give up some bad habits. Your simple efforts is the start of your journey toward the a happy life.
5. Develop Link with Owner of Happiness (Creator):
Your most important relationship is with your Creator, The Almight Allah. Mend it,nurture it, take good care of it & don't let anything come in between. When you please The Woner of happiness, He will pour happiness in your heart. Negative social & peer pressure is sometimes the killing item for the relationship with your Maker. Be steadfast in pleasing your Creator, He will bring everything under your feet.
6. Don't Get Trapped by Materialism:
Dont get trapped by the poisonous dialog like "I live once, so have maximum fun", or "You only live once (Yolo)". This are cracking concept glamorized by our enemy Shaitain. Media & showbiz world play pivotal role in brainwashing people's mind. Those who follow this concept are surely in misguidance. The truth is, "We live twice, here & hear after". Materialism will always push you to desire more than your affordibility that will make you unhappy all the time.
7. Don't Lose Hope on Your Maker Allah:
When we are pressurized, blocked and upset with this world, only Allah is there to lighten our loads. Have a try to build one2one relationship with Allah, internally you will feel very cool & confident. Allah is all the time waiting to have special relationship with us.
8. Don't Fall into Trapping Dialogues:
We often hear a wrong statement, "seeing is believing". It is a trapping dialogue of Shaitan & secularists in order to promote disbelief on what Allah has informed us through His blessed Prophets. Seeing is not believing, seeing is admitting. Agreeing on unseen is called believing. Did we see our parents getting married? Then how do we believe they are husband-wife? Did I see me taking birth from my mother's womb? Then how do I believe she is my mother? Allah has created us and we MUST return to Him and be accountable for what we are doing now. Yes we did not see Allah making us, but we agree on this news of Prophets. This is called believing. May Allah safeguard us from falling into the traps of Shaitan and secularism
9. Identify Source of Your Mental Peace:
Allah has made us with soil (body) and Ruuh (soul). Body is from earth and Soul is from Arsh e Ajeem. Shaitan traps us to satisfy Souls with materials that is comfortable for body. Souls get satisfied only by obedience of Allah and his prophet (pbuh)... No other way!
10. Always Depend on Allah:
The Almighty Allah knows all about our hearts. The beauty of one2one relation with Allah is so sweet that even we no need to say, O Allah help me". Allah deserves the most dedicated love in our life....
These are some of the tips and lessons that we can use to improve our life for both here and hereafter. May Allah grant us understanding. May he make us from those who are His blessed and liked persons. Ameen