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The Nature of Child Development

The Nature of Child Development | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The birth of a child creates a new set of roles, relationships, responsibilities and emotions among family. This happening affects all the members of the family. The mental readiness of the family members helps them to get over the difficulties and the new changes.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Veysel Y. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


It is possible to examine a newborn’s effect on each family member. The reaction of the newborn depends upon the quality of the family itself. If the family gives the necessary importance to pregnancy that has an imperative effect on the development, the baby will have better mental and health conditions. According to Puckett and Puckett (2009, p.103), reactions of the newborns vary according to quality of their prenatal existence and the extent to which optimal development was achieved, the labor and delivery experience, the nature of their parents’ responses to them, and the infant’s personality and temperament.

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This fact that ensures the link between the families, especially between the mothers, is bonding. Bonding is defined by Klauss&Kennel; (1982) as the establishment of a complex psychological connection between parent and infant. The process of bonding begins to occur perhaps during pregnancy, but most profoundly during those first few moments when the newborn is placed into the arms of eager and emotionally ready parents and the early days and weeks of the infant’s introduction into their lives. (Puckett & Puckett, 2009)

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Since most changes in both physical and emotional situations occur in the mother’s body and mood, the most affected member of the family can be considered to be the mother. This can lead to some mental disorders such as depression as well. In the case of having the first delivery, the unknown and inexperienced conditions may be overwhelming.

Prospective fathers might have stress about being a good father or not and about financial situations. If the father is new, as in being a new mother, the situation may be more overwhelming. However, it can be considered that the father will have the least effect compared to other members of the family.


When it comes to siblings, the firstborn child may have the feeling of ignorance against him or her because of the increased interest to the newborn by the elder family members. This situation can be exceeded by explaining the newborn’s needs and behaviors and by establishing healthy communication among the family members.

Other relatives

Reactions of the extended family can vary and also affect the immediate family of the newborn. (Puckett & Puckett, 2009, p.109). The grandparents may feel that they are getting older. However, this situation wouldn’t last long. Most grandparents, who have healthy relationships among its members, become happy since they feel that they established a good example of a family. The birth knowledge of the prospective family, in most cases, can be considered more than the grandparents since they attend childbirth classes. While this situation may ease the stress level of prospective families, it may lead to creating pressure for the grandparents.

The aunts or the uncles may feel jealous at all the attention the new parents are receiving (Puckett & Puckett, 2009). However, in most cases, they become happy and share their experiences with new parents.

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Being aware of the dynamic of the family and child development prepare the family to take the necessary precautions. As said, since the most affected members may be considered to be mothers and the siblings much of the care and importance should be given to the newborn, mother and siblings.

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