Aliza FloridoSPED 313Dr. Horn16 January 2018Personal Theory of DevelopmentIntroduction Raising children can be one of the most exciting yet challenging responsibility an individual can come across if one decides to become a parent. There is the pain of childbirth the mother has to encounter, but they do not mention the pressure of making sure the parent or parents are raising their children correctly. While there is no universal method that explains how to raise children, everyone has their own unique parenting style for what they believe is best for their own kids. According to Woolfolk and Perry (2015), there has been this ongoing nature versus nurture debate for the past 2,000 years discussing whether nature, a person’s heredity information, or nurture, the surroundings, and method that one brings up their children, is the sole reason children are the way they are at an older age. I believe that both nature and nurture have a significant and equal impact on the development of a child. Nature vs. Nurture Nature and nurture have their own unique ways that impact human development. Nature has biological and family factors that are encoded in your genes from your parents. They are inherited characteristics that explain behavior or physical features. For example, a nature factor is a child born with blue eyes, autism, a shy personality or the ability to roll or fold their tongue. In contrast, nurture has social and environmental factors that come from the upbringing of a child. It is behavior learned through factors such as environment, peers and parenting styles. An example of a nurture factor is growing up liking country music. A child does not have a gene that programs them into liking country music, but the type of environment the child grew up in or their peers might have played a role in his or her music preference. Although one may believe that nature has a more of an impact on a child’s development than nurture or vice versa, I strongly believe that they both play equal parts and can work with one another into developing how a person will be in the future. For example, a child may be born with a short temper because of the mother’s genes, but as the child grows, they can have the ability to control that and become more relaxed. Another example is that people born with higher chances of diabetes or blood pressure can be counteracted with healthy eating habits and exercise. Also, an autistic child might not have the strong social skills as a normal child, but with lots of practice through therapy, they can improve. Therefore, behavior is a result of the interaction between nature and nurture. Important factors While nature has its own profound impact on the development of a child, there are many different outside factors coming from various angles that also determines how a child turns out as an adult. Factors such as family, parenting styles, peers, culture, time and place, and socioeconomic status play a critical role in the upbringing of a child (Woolfolk & Perry, 2015). To start with, the types of family members living in the same household can influence your relationship with your family members. Some children may live with both their parents, while others live with only one parent or a different family member such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, stepparents or stepsiblings. As for me, I spent the majority of my childhood living in the same household with both of my parents along with my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents resulting in having a close relationship with all of them. Secondly, the different kinds of parenting styles help morph the “do’s” and “don’ts” of a child’s character. For example, eating dessert before dinner might be acceptable with one parent while a different parent insists on finishing dinner first in order to eat dessert. Little practices such as the previous example given can be carried out into their adulthood. Peers have a major influence on a child’s character. Apart from their relationship with their parents or siblings, kids within the same age group can introduce them to different skills or ways thinking of that can alter their development. Culture determines how a child turns out as an adult through traditions, beliefs, morals, and values passed down from generations. Coming from the Filipino culture, education, family, and respect are the top elements when it comes to raising children. I grew up excelling in all of my studies, having close relationships with all of my family members and respecting all elders. While other cultures may have similarities, there might be different cultures that do not prioritize education, family, and respect as highly. The time and place children are born in determines what they will encounter as the years’ pass. People born within the same timeframe will experience the same economic and social experiences as to people born in a different year. For example, the older generation that my eighty-year-old grandparents lived in did not have any advanced technologies, but now, children born in the 2000’s have all different kinds of technology readily available. The different kinds of socioeconomic status can decide what kind of materials and social resources children have access to in their community. Will a child have to put in extra effort in order to get what they want if they lived in a lower socioeconomic status or will it just be handed to them if they lived in a higher socioeconomic status? It has the ability to affect their education, occupation, income, and other aspects of their daily living. These are just a few of the many different factors that influence children’s development. Challenges in Early LivesIf children encounter challenges in their early lives such as alcoholism, poverty, abuse or neglect, they are definitely going to experience difficulties in their personality later in the future. However, they have the ability to change and avoid the difficulties based on their mindset and personality. A child growing up with an alcoholic father would experience the effects of alcoholism on family, but as the child grows up, he or she has the ability to determine whether to copy their father’s footsteps or refrain from alcohol altogether. It all depends on how the child looks at the situation and how strong their perseverance stands. They can decide whether to have the challenges affect them forever or learn from it and find coping ways to get better or avoid the difficulties. Undoubtedly there will be some people that will need help in order to break away from the difficulties from the rough challenges they encouraged as a child. Thus, there are many different kinds of support groups and systems that offer help on how to cope with these challenges. Mind Growth and Changes Over time, children’s minds grow physically and mentally. Other parts of their brain start to develop as they mature on top of being able to retain and remember a lot more information. Woolfolk and Perry (2015) noted that a British philosopher named John Locke believed that children started with “blank slates” and their parents or caregivers played the primary role that helped shape them into adults through education, nurturing, and training. Locke’s idea relates to behaviorism, which focuses on observing behaviors and responding to stimuli (Woolfolk & Perry, 2015). A child’s response to stimuli help shape the child’s mind on how they will think or act through negative or positive reinforcement and as he or she matures, his or her mind will begin to change due to maturation and the ability to think and express more complex thoughts and ideas. Even entering and throughout adulthood, their mind will still change and become wiser because they have experienced the different kinds of situations of life that impact the way they think and act. A child’s mind and its ability to grow and change will be an ongoing process as they go through the different stages of life.