According to Jean Piaget’s theory, children’s cognitive development depends on the implementation of their needs based on Maslow’s hierarchy. This traditional formula includes physiological, safety, emotional, esteem, and self-actualization aspects that are actual for children. In this research they will be adapted to the age group of 6-8-year-olds with key needs pointed out and consequences of unmet needs specified. Then, recommendations for holistic development and proper strategies will be marked.
The literature review includes an article on Jean Piaget’s theory of children’s cognitive development and contemporary writings on experimental children psychology. The design of this research consists of the statement of the problem, description of methods, findings, and conclusion. The rationale is determined by the lack of contemporary studies on children’s needs. The methods used are quantitative research and a qualitative method.
The participants of the research are 10 children of 6-8 years at a normative stage of physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social growth. All of them are of average height, with average IQ results, none with communicative problems or mental issues. All the tested are from nuclear families of moderate means. The research warrants the complete confidentiality of all the test subjects with no personal information given. The parental consent was provided with the specifications of the study confirmed and non-disclosure agreements signed.
Findings and Discussion
Middle Childhood Group Representatives’ Needs not Met: Long-term Consequences
Ignoring the needs of 6-8-year-olds leads to crucial long-term consequences: if the physiological needs are not fulfilled, a child can die or have health issues caused by the lack of vitamins. Second, the lack of safety needs, such as personal space, provokes anxiety disorders. Third, the absence of a loving atmosphere in a family influences future social relations and leads to such physiological diseases as anorexia. Forth, home violence, including its verbal form is the reason of low self-esteem and problems in school. Verbal difficulties and memory disorders are also connected to the lack of respect at this age. Fifth, depriving children of playing games or learning influences their motivation and productivity.
Recommendations for the Holistic Development of 6-8-year-olds
6-8-year-olds are conscious enough to start searching for their identities, position in the world, and struggling for their independence. At this time there are five key recommendations for their holistic development that corresponds to Maslow’s hierarchy (Zembar, and Blume, 2020, p.60). They include parental support, safety education, the creation of healthy habits, expansion of children’s social circle, and mental growth.
First, representatives of this age group want to learn new things and are interested in getting their first responsibilities. If not supported by their parents, they can get traumatized and feel lonely (McLeod, 2018, p.). To solve this problem, caretakers are recommended to give children household tasks and help them with their implementation. This approach develops a sense of mission and builds trust between parents and offsprings.
Second, safety education is a must for this age, because children become more independent and prone to get into trouble. For example, when being on their own, they can get injured or hurt (Zembar and Blume, 2020, p.62). To prevent such consequences, children are recommended to be provided with stories and movies about their peers who got problems. At this age they are already able to analyze situations and to develop strategies that exclude their repetition.
Third, the holistic development of the middle childhood group involves physical evolution that can be acquired with healthy habits. For example, children of this age are interested in becoming adults and can be taught in a playful way that healthy food and normal sleep will let them grow faster. Fourth, the expansion of children’s social circle is vital for this age group: 6-8-year-olds dream of making new acquaintances and starting friendships. Meanwhile, they feel insecure and are afraid of being rejected due to their interests (Lenz and Paulus, 2021, p.). To help children overcome such difficulties, they should be enrolled in sport or art classes. Apart from developing the communicational abilities of children, their skills and talents will be also upgraded.
Fifth, healthy mental growth is an essential part of holistic development. The rapid development of the brain requires learning new ways of expressing emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Reading books and magazines together with a child, learning and writing poetry, telling fairy tales to each other, and signing are recommended for the formation of neural connections between the brain and the vocal apparatus.
Strategies to Meet the Needs of the Middle Childhood Group Representatives
To meet the needs of a child of the studied age category, all groups of adults that are responsible for him or her should act according to specific strategies. Meanwhile, the development of such interpersonal skills as patience, great empathy, and openness are required to work with a child of this age.A childhood educator should control the implementation of a child’s basic human needs. This involves the solution of conflicts between children, well-timed encouragements and compliments, and the proper amount of freedom for self-evaluation development.
Second, parents are recommended to build trust-based relations with their offsprings. For this, they should discuss topics that worry children and find solutions for these problems via roller games or with the help of examples from cartoons, fairy tales, and movies (Schulze, and Buttelmann, 2021, p. 162). The rules. Include no arguing, but demonstrating a respectful attitude, no authority, but listening to the position of a child.
Third, a community group is responsible for the well-being of children. For example, an emphatic and involved approach to the children left without parents. The person is required to start a dialogue with the child and calm him or her down, to propose a mobile phone, find parents or go to the police. The main rule is to stay with the child till he or she unites with his relatives. Fourth, on the governmental level, children’s needs can be met by opening establishments focused on their mental and social development, such as art schools (Schulze, and Buttelmann, 2021, p. 160). Then, there should be organized free access to children psychologists. Meanwhile, laws regulating children’s safety require instant changes following the development of the Internet.
The research has shown that Jean Piaget’s theory of children’s cognitive development is relevant to contemporary children. Physiological, safety, emotional, esteem, and self-actualization needs implementation influences their physical and mental health. The importance of the study is in the figured strategies of fulfillment of needs properly. This includes parental support, safety education, the creation of healthy habits, expansion of children’s social circle, and mental growth are required. Recommendations for future research respond to the study of the new needs related to the social presence on the Internet and social networks.
Lenz, S. and Paulus, M. (2021) ‘Friendship is more than strategic reciprocity: preschoolers’ selective sharing with friends cannot be reduced to strategic concerns’, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 206(6). Web.
McLeod, S. A. (2018) Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Simply Psychology.
Schulze, C. and Buttelmann, D. (2021) Children understand communication intuitively, but indirect communication makes them think twice—evidence from pupillometry and looking patterns. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 15(3), pp.155–174. Web.
Zembar, M.J. and Blume L.B. (2020) Middle childhood development: a contextual approach. Pearson.
Filled in by a parent:
- Family Composition
The Level of Income
Filled in by a child:
- How do your parents call you?
- How much time do you spend with your parents?
- What is your hobby?
- How many friends do you have?
- What you are dreaming of?
- How much time do you spend all alone?
- How well do you sleep?
- Do you have nightmares?
- Who is your favorite character?
- How do you spend weekends?
- What is your favorite game?
- What is your favorite sport?
- How much time do you spend outdoors?
- Where did you spend last Summer?
- What is your favorite food?
- Do you tell your secrets to your parents?
- Whom you want to become?
- When do you wake up?
- Do you help your parents?
- Who is your hero?
- What classes do you attend or want to attend?.