Social economics refers to changes in the economy of an area, and the influence it causes on the society in that locality. Child development, on the other hand, generally mean the physiological, biological, and emotional changes that occur in human beings between the time they were born and the end of adolescence as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy (Shaffer, 2009). Many factors have direct and indirect influences on the development of children, for instance: environmental factors, family, economy and genetic factors among others.
In this essay, the author focuses on how the economy, which is closely intertwined with family dynamics, affects the children’s development socially, academically, and the effects on their health/well-being/nutrition. Before discussing further, it is important to note that the child family’s economic status is the immediate contributor to the child’s development. Besides, social economies may favor or negatively implicate how the child develops.
In the societies of low economic status, parents seem to struggle hard to feed their families. They even work overtime to get mediocre extra income. This, unfortunately, has a negative implication on the developing child since the parent’s need to get more income draws away his/her attention about the child. Therefore, the child really lacks that most needed quality time with the family members. It erodes the family bond so much. This results in developing children picking up poor characters from friends whom he/she spends a lot of time with roaming the neighborhoods and left to look after themselves without the guidance from the adults.
Nutrition is vital for proper growth and development of young children (Charlesworth, 2011). Therefore, fund for food (with all essential nutrients with natural or fortified foods prepared appropriately for young children besides breastfeeding) is highly important. Otherwise, the effect of under nutrition, on young children (of ages 1-8) can be very devastating and enduring.
Research reveals that under-nutrition and the socioeconomic context in which it occurs appear to be related. Under-nutrition has a greater effect on development of children living in poverty whether in the developing or in the industrialized countries, compared to children in rich families. It impedes behavioral and cognitive development, educability, and reproductive health, thereby undermining future work productivity. Proper nutrition also prevents chances of anemia, xerophthalmia and stunted growth.
Dr. Reynaldo provides a discussion on the relationship between under nutrition and cognitive and behavioral development, he stresses that poor nutrition during the intrauterine life of the child or in the early years causes varied and profound effects such as: decreased attention, deficient learning, and very little educational development; it leads to greater degree problems in terms of behavior and deficient social skills at school age; it leads to retarded physical growth and motor development; it also affects cognitive development resulting in lower IQs (in severely malnourished children it can be lower than 15 points).
Early childhood education is another important area influencing children’s development that is identified as preschoolers. It is very inseparable from the economy of that society the child belongs. In fact, children from the rich families are academically better compared to children from the low-income families. This is clearly shown by the statistics from the researches done over the years. For example, the National Center for Education Statistics in the USA states that Minnesota is ranked the 38th out of 44 states for the black-white achievement in the fourth grade math besides being ranked the 37th out 45 states in reading.
In addition to this, Minnesota statistics indicate that Minnesotan kindergarten readiness varies between the blacks and the whites. The statistics further show that 58 percent of the white children were found to be ready for kindergarten as compared to 40 percent for the blacks and 32 percent for the Hispanic children. At early development, the preschoolers achieve rapid development in physical, cognitive and socio-emotional realms. They develop fine motor activities as well as major motor activities which are enhanced by learning materials and equipments such as crayons for drawing.
The most important achievement, however, in these early years is the acquisition of language knowledge and skills such as reading and writing. This, therefore, means that those children that are in strong learning environment, obviously afforded by the rich, that is both supportive and informative may improve their development more compared to children from poor and underprivileged educational environments (Mayer, 2002). Mayer, further, compares that child growth is like an open ecology, whereby they are influenced by the changes of the environment they live in. Children copy from the environment and ask from the environment changes around them. For instance, in a poverty-stricken family, the children may lack the desire to satisfy their growth needs such as the “need to know and understand things, to appreciate beauty or to develop while appreciating others.”
Little bond from the caregivers and lack of support to explore their initiative, especially in developing countries, diminish chances of discovering or exploring what kind of person he/she can become. This mostly results in poverty. Their lives meet everyday challenges such as to sustain themselves because of such trials.