ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT 4
Whereas genes have been cited as the main aspect that affects thecognitive development of a child, research has indicated that theenvironment has tremendous effects on the development of a child. Itis imperative to note that the environment consists of every aspectaround the child such as social interaction with family andrelatives, built environment, natural environment, learningenvironment and other informal environments. The physical environmentpresent during a child’s development has a significant effect onthe cognitive development of the child. It is critical to note thatthe parents play a critical role in helping to provide a conduciveenvironment for proper cognitive and mental development. It goeswithout saying that play is critical in a child’s cognitivedevelopment. As a consequence, the availability of sufficient spacefor a child of up to six years to play with peers will create anenvironment that fosters cognitive development. The games that thechildren with sufficient playground engage in are critical in thechild’s cognitive development.
The social relationships that a child is exposed to at the earlyages of 2 to six years has a tremendous influence on the child’scognitive development. It is evident that the child’s first socialexperience is that of the parents. The presence of both parents arethe provision of resources to the child affect the cognitivedevelopment of the child significantly. The resources for play andthe love, affection and trust that the parent develop between themand the child are critical stimulating the development of the child.There has been a hotly contested debate on the effects of a child’scognitive development in same sex marriages. Whereas some criticshave argued that children in same sex marriages are affected in theirdevelopment, research has indicated that children from same sexmarriages have a normal cognitive development (Stockland, 2008).
Although children from same sex marriages have faced stigmatization,it has been found out that where disparities in cognitive developmentoccur, they tend to favor children from same sex marriages(Stockland, 2008). Research has also indicated that the sex ofparents does not matter to the child, as long as they provide therequired love, care and affection. The physical environment that theparents, whether homosexual or heterosexual provide for their childaffects the cognitive and mental development of the child. In thisregard, it is evident that the sex of the parents does not matter.However, it is biologically evident that homosexuals cannot bear achild. Therefore, critics have been quick to argue that therelationship between the parents and the child is not intimate andtherefore the child does not receive the ultimate love and affectionthat stimulates growth. Homosexual parents can provide a goodenvironment such as school for their child, which will positivelyaffect the cognitive development of the child (Stockland, 2008). Itis also noteworthy to state that children from homosexual parentsface extremely little or no stigmatization in school, and thereforetheir cognitive development is hardly affected.
Gender typing, which is the process through which a child becomesaware of his or her gender, has a significant influence on thechild’s cognitive development. Research has indicated that childrenchoose the type of activities they will be involved in, based ontheir gender (Knesz-Greulich & Ruble 2007). This is due to thegender stereotyping which exists in the contemporary society. Gendertyping also affects the type of toys that a child plays with. Toys,which are meant to be for boys such as toy guns and toy cars are saidto have a bigger positive impact on the cognitive development of achild than girls’ toys such as dolls (Knesz-Greulich & Ruble2007). In addition, children will only engage in gender roles, whichare approved by their peers or group members. This may extremelyhinder the cognitive development of a child.
Knesz-Greulich, F., & Ruble, D. N. (2007). How young childrenlearn about gender: The influence of parents and peers.(Dissertation Abstracts International, 68-9.)
Stockland, P. M. (2008). Same-sex marriage. Edina, Minn: ABDOPub. Co.