The Developing World of the Child

The Developing World of the Child

The Developing World of the Child

The Developing World of the Child

Synopsis

The Developing World of the Child is centred on the experiences of children. Informed by the latest child development theory and featuring contributions from a wide range of disciplines, it builds vital bridges between the understanding of child development and the ways practitioners work with children and their families.

Excerpt

Books about children reflect the time and context in which they are written. This is especially so with books on children’s development which set out to explore the different influences on their growing up. Mercifully, we have travelled some distance from the time when the prevailing view was that children were inherently sinful by nature and required regular beating to civilise them, as advocated by Lewis Carroll’s Duchess in Alice in Wonderland:

Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.

Our book has been commissioned at a time when a number of powerful themes have come together in the public policy arena. Current government policy, now enshrined in the Children Act 2004, has for the first time been explicitly committed to children and young people achieving their full potential, ensuring their well-being is improved through the co-operation of the agencies with responsibility for them.

At the same time, another strand of national and international policy has been a commitment to children and young people’s involvement and participation in the development of policies and services affecting them. It acknowledges children as active agents in their own lives and accepts the challenge of translating the rhetoric of children’s rights into reality. Accompanying these themes has been a shift from focusing exclusively on parental responsibilities and competence in parents’ relationships with their children to a more broadly based understanding of the impact of community and environment on children and their caregivers. Adopting such an ecological approach accepts there is a complex interplay of diverse factors which influence children’s development. Parents bringing up . . .

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