This week’s readings are primarily based around development; socially, physically, and cognitively. The textbook posed questions such as how does physical development affect an individual’s social development and vice versa, what is the importance physical activity and its relationship to cognitive development, and even, can we multitask? The textbook discusses many things, but the above are a few points that stood out to me.
There were a few things that surprised me in this reading (Chapter 3, pg. 63-74 and Chapter 8, pg.258-291). First being that early maturation in youth can be the cause for issues- both immediate and distant. For example, females who begin their menstrual cycles earlier are at risk of mental health issues as well as a chance of higher body fat later in life. Males who mature early are often popular because they fit into the norms of “masculinity” because they generally are tall and broad-shouldered. However, these boys tend to have behavior problems when they grow older. On the flip side, males who mature late are picked on for their smaller stature but characteristically grow to be more creative, tolerant, and perceptive. While these statements may not be true for every individual, I did see these trends within myself and my classmates growing up, especially with the males.
Another thing I learned was that parenting styles could be summarized into four main categories. I had expected more to exist, though I do not know what they would have been. Authoritative (democratic), Authoritarian (strict), Permissive (friend), and neglecting (uninvolved). These parenting styles, and different combinations of said styles can have a broad range of impacts on an individual’s life. Personally, my parents fit into the authoritative category, and their support is the reason I am who I am today.
Lastly, I found the section on multitasking to be fascinating. In today’s world, everybody is constantly in a rush. We often think that multitasking is a helpful tool to get things done faster. However, there has been proving fact after proving fact that this is not usually the case. There are two types of multitasking according to our book, sequential and simultaneous. Sequential is when a person switches back and forth between tasks. We often believe this is allowing us to do things at once, when in fact, our focus is only on one task at a time. Simultaneous is when a person’s focus can overlap onto several different tasks, though this only works in cases where the tasks require various areas of the brain. (I.e.) walking and chewing gum).
My question for this week: Is it possible to have control over some of the things that influence our lives? For example, why do we allow ourselves and social media to continue enforcing strict social norms when we know it hurts many of our youth, continuing into adulthood.