Section I (Development)
The selected child is a boy of 5 years. At this age, his physical development has made great progress and appears to be where it is expected of him. The boy can jump, hop and run around. Adult teeth have also started showing and his body coordination is fairly well. He can be able to coordinate his legs and arms for his body to work together. The boy can also dress and differentiate different body parts. Regarding social-emotional development, he can enjoy a bit of responsibility and can discern between good and bad behavior. The boy is also able to relate well with a few of his friends, enjoys spending time with them and on some occasions wants to please them. Regarding cognitive development, the boy can count from one to ten, knows colors and communicates coherently. He also is able to draw a few shapes.
Section II (Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory)
According to the Bronfenbrenner theory of ecological systems, the microsystem is the immediate and smallest system of development within which the child lives. This layer is most composed of school, home and peer group environments. In this case, Diego is in a family of three with him being the first and only child. His parents are of Hispanic descent and the family resides within a community dominated by Hispanic Americans. Being the only child, Diego receives much attention from the parents especially the mother. Such supportive interactions have positively impacted Diego’s development evidently through his love for interaction with people. At school level, teachers are also very supportive with a huge focus on ensuring discipline. This has led to Mark’s excellent behavior even in the presence of his peers.
The mesosystems level involves interactions between different microsystems. In our case, Diego’s parents are staunch Christians and are heavily involved in church activities. This has seen Diego want to take part in home activities that involve church members. Additionally, the parents’ involvement in Church has seen the kid make a few friends from church who occasionally visit with their parents. The interactions have positively influenced Diego’s cognitive development as he has learned good behavior from his Sunday school teacher and nursery school teacher. An atmosphere of like-mindedness between Diego and his parents can be felt as a result of the parents’ interactions.
The exosystem involves the larger social system in which the child is not directly involved but still affects his development. Parental income plays a great role in Diego’s development though indirectly. The parents’ average income means they are not able to provide for all of Diego’s needs that would possibly have sped up his development. An example is Diego’s love for equipment such as drawing books, paintings, crayons and colors that get worn out quickly. The parents cannot afford to frequently buy for him this equipment thus limiting the child’s potential cognitive growth. This also extends to the larger neighborhood with families such as Diego’s.
The macro system takes up the larger society that is of influence to the child’s development. In the case of Diego, he is in a Christian family and thus Christian values have and will continue to shape his character. Evidently, he can sing a few Christian songs that teach him about the religion. This layer or approach to societal patterns has and will continue to affect his social-emotional development. For example he has already been trained on the kind of friends to interact with both in school and in the neighborhood. Christian values have been instilled in him and will most likely shape his behavior and development.
Section III (Overall Strengths)
From my analysis, the biggest strength in the family is a small family that allows for more parental attention. Being the only child, Diego receives a lot of care and attention from his parents which has consequently helped improve his self-esteem. The love, unity and harmony among the parents also means that he has people to look up to and learn from as he grows up. With the advantage of being the only child at least for now, Diego will most likely grow up feeling loved. Additionally, the family’s commitment to Christian values is also of strength as it has the potential to shape the character of the child in a positive way. As a caregiver, I would love to support the family on extracurricular activities for the child that is beyond their reach. This will give Diego a chance to learn from other children, of other background and understand the importance of love in diversity.
Section IV (Suggestions)
To further enhance the child’s development, I would recommend to the parents to give other trusted grown-ups a chance to babysit their child. This way, Diego will be able to understand other adults and the importance of love and harmony at the community level. I would also encourage the parents to include their child in group activities that involve other families. This will help him see things beyond his family and appreciate the diversity in life. Church and school are great avenues where the child can take part in group activities with other children. Parents of one child tend to be over protective and too indulgent at times. This can lead to breeding a child who loves to be pampered which can at times be dangerous for the child’s development. To avoid such a situation, I would encourage the parents to slowly give the child duties that will enhance responsibility. As he grows up, he will appreciate the lessons learned and will most likely turn out to become a responsible man.