Short Essay on Child Development and Attachment Theory

There have been more critiques of Skinner’s theory where most of them say that it is not possible for guardians and parents to reinforce the utterances of a child citing that children do not rely on their parents or guardians all the time, yet everyday from else where they learn new utterances. More still, critiques cite that parents do not reward or punish according to the theory but children still learn the right words and correct grammar, still considering that the main assertion of the theory is reinforcement and punishment, which most parents do not do. “Human beings define right and wrong relative to their conditioned experienced of pleasure and pain, respectively. A certain action, if it receives a painful response, will be avoided, while those with a pleasurable response, or a reward, will be considered good,” (Johnson, 2010). This is to mean that children learn the right or wrong through reinforcement and punishment, which is true, but considering language, this might not hold since children will still learn the right and wrong words even without or without punishment. Many critiques ay that the theory fits behavior of a child rather than language development (Barbera, & Rasmussen, 2007).

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To our eyes, the Victorians seem very inconsistent in terms of their attitudes toward children. Child-worshippers who waxed rhapsodic about the perfect purity of children simultaneously eroticized them. Even as sentimentality about childhood reached new heights, the notion that all children are savages likewise gained widespread support; many Victorians accepted the “Law of Recapitulation,” which stipulated that as a child develops, he or she repeats the stages of development of the human race. This belief in “the savagery of all children and the childishness of all savages” served a justification for subjecting children to harsh discipline, and natives of other countries to the rule of the expanding British Empire (Cunningham 98).


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Bettelheim, a renowned child psychologist and a controversial writer of treatments of autism, stirred controversy through his life, especially through his famous “refrigerator mother” theory of the development of autism in children.