Child Development: helping develop a future

By: Jessica Linczak

Let’s face it.  A lot of college students have thought about marriage at one point or another.

You may have thought it all out. You’ve decided on your ideal mate, where the wedding should take place and how perfectly happy you and your future spouse will be. Then maybe you played with the idea of having kids one day.

Hold the phone. Kids? They are a huge responsibility. Have you thought about the sleepless nights, your type of parenting style, the proper nutrition for your growing baby or the positive and negative affects of you and your future spouse being dual-career parents? Are you ready for a full-time job of parenting some day?

The thought can be overwhelming for anyone who has thought about having children in the near future. But, as I soon found out, minoring in Child Development has not only helped me develop teaching skills, but has also prepared me for my future as a potential parent.

I wasn’t expecting to minor in Child Development. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed. It wasn’t until my adviser suggested it that I thought this could assist me in my career goals.

My major is in Communication, and I would love to work for a non-profit organization that helps children. Child Development can help me with that type of career. However, it’s unexpectedly helping me to become a better-prepared and fully aware future parent.

As a young woman, I’ve learned how to keep a baby healthy during pregnancy, such as the best nutrition, the appropriate amount of weight to gain, how to avoid certain pregnancy risks, to name a few.

I’ve also learned a newborn’s natural-born abilities, the importance of a baby’s attachment to a parent, a baby’s tendency for stranger anxiety and a child’s ever-changing thought process all the way to adolescence.

Taking Child Development classes has helped me understand children in a way I never knew before. I knew how to play with kids (if my niece could talk, she could testify to that), but I never knew how to truly understand them.

To be a better parent, you have to understand how your child’s mind progresses as he or she grows. It not only makes you a better parent, but a better teacher, counselor, mentor, nurse, pediatrician or any other type of professional who deals with children. Child Development is an all-around practical subject for any student who plans to work with children at some point in his or her lifetime.

Don’t be afraid to minor in a subject you didn’t expect. Sometimes it’s the unexpected choices that help change your life for the better.