Human growth and development Essay

P.I.E.S. (Jack – 4 years old)


A need being met

In the case study provided, it says that Jack “is very energetic and moves around”. This proves that one of the main factors for physical development is being met. Exercise plays an important part in physical development of a child. Plays such as running or playing football uses the large muscles of the children and it exercise their whole body (Family, 2018). Therefore, Jack’s physical needs are being met through playing. Other benefits of playing for Jack are it gives pleasure to him and it reduces the risks of him being obese or overweight.

A need not being met

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the second stage which is “Safety needs”, there should be security of body, the family, health, morality etc. (phdinparenting, 2010). This second stage is not being met by Jack because he’s clearly not getting the right and nutritious food he needs. Also, Helen started smoking and drinking again, this might influence Jack’s morality thinking that is it a good thing and he may do that when he grew up. Nutritious food is an important aspect for physical development. However, Jack is not receiving a lot of nutritious food. Helen, Jack’s mother, tends to buy readymade food for her and Jack. These foods contain food additives and some of them can be harmful especially for children because they haven’t developed their body yet (Jones, 2012). Nutritious food such as milk contains calcium and phosphorus which can help Jack develop his bones and teeth. And citrus fruits contain vitamin C which promotes healthy immune system.


A need being met

Jack’s school will start in September and this will improve his knowledge. Through playing specific games such as puzzles or jigsaw can help Jack exercise his brain and these games also promotes intellectual development (pediatrics, 2007). Moreover, these types of games encourage children like Jack to experiment and explore the world around them (pediatrics, 2007). Jack will also learn basic knowledge in school such as writing and reading, and he will be able to expand his skills and knowledge. Jack will also develop his communication skills through turn taking games (pediatrics, 2007).

A need not being met

Base on Piaget’s theory “Stages of Cognitive Development”, Jack is in preoperational stage. At about 2 years of age until 7 years of age, children begin to use language to communicate with other kids and they think more abstractly about objects. Jack may not be able to communicate to other people properly when he starts going to school. This is because Jack has a bad temper and often throw tantrums. It is normal for children to throw tantrums but, parents should be able to calm or manage them through communication so that children will be able to understand. Helen is 4 months pregnant and may be difficult to control her temper especially right now, her situation is not looking good because of financial and family problems. This may result in a bad communication between her and Jack if she doesn’t control her temper.


A need being met

Helen is a very attentive mother. She knows what Jack needs and she try and provide these needs so that he can have a comfortable life. “if she were to have any spare cash she would spend it on shoes for Jack” this shows that Helen provides everything that she can to meet Jack’s needs. This promotes strong relationship between the two because, children like Jack, likes new things and he will feel that his mother cares for him a lot.

A need not being met

Jack’s father, Paul, moved out of the house and visits regularly, this may confuse or affect Jack’s relationship with his father. A supportive and loving family environment is not being provided to Jack. It is said that the cognitive development of a child affects by how his or her family functions (Mahalihali, 2016). Since, Jack is only 4 years old he may not be able to tell that his father is away but, as time passes he will realise and become aware that his parents are not in good term or are separated.


A need being met

Paul likes to play with Jack and he visits Jack and Helen regularly. This is the only time Jack is able to develop his social skills through playing. In the case study it was said that “Jack adores his dad”, this shows that when Paul plays with Jack, Paul is giving his son the satisfaction and pleasure he needs. This will also help Jack socialise with other kids depending on what games Jack and Paul are playing. Turn taking games such as connect 4 or board games, will help Jack with his social skills and it will also teach him how to share and communicate with other kids (pediatrics, 2007).

A need not being met

Helen heard of a playgroup but didn’t registered her son. Jack needs to be around other kids that are the same age as him to develop his social skills. According to Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development theory, Jack is now on the 3rd stage which is Initiative vs Guilt (McLeod, 2018). This is when a child learns how to initiate activities and plan activities with other children. They may feel a sense of guilt through criticism (McLeod, 2018). This is clearly not being met by Jack because he’s only interacting with his parents and most of the time is with his mother. This can be met when he goes to school or if Helen registered him in a playgroup. Those are the areas where he’s going to be around other kids that are the same age as him.


Individual (Jack’s mother)

Jack’s mother, Helen, should try and seek help from her mother. She should ask her mother to come over to their house once a week to teach her how to cook basic but healthy foods. This will enable her to cook for her and for Jack. This will also benefit the foetus because it promotes positive development of the baby in the womb (Bakshi, 2016). Helen’s mother can also teach her how to do shopping for food and take care of a child since she is good with kids and doing the groceries. She can also watch videos on the internet of how to cook and what are the healthy foods for a pregnant woman like her. Since she is finding it hard to cope with her morning sickness, she should look for the foods that might help with her morning sickness and the food that should be avoided by a pregnant woman e.g. spicy and fatty foods may upset her stomach (Eng, 2008).By surfing through the internet it will give her knowledge and tips for a pregnant woman. In addition, homemade meals are cheaper than most of the readymade meals. She also should stop smoking and drinking alcohol because it will definitely affect her and the foetus in her womb.


Helen, Paul and Helen’s mother should have a meeting and try to resolve their problems and misunderstandings (Goodwin, 2018). If they are able to resolve their conflicts, then it would make their lives much easier and tend to make accurate decisions because they are sharing ideas and options (Goodwin, 2018). They would be able to help each other. They should then plan out a list of short-term goals. For example, Paul could accompany Jack to where the playgroup is, since Helen is pregnant and may be hard to mobilize. Meanwhile, Helen’s mother can teach Helen how to cook and seek advice to her mother on how to take care of Jack and also the foetus in her womb. Family meeting will not only help them do their tasks easier, but it also strengthens the relationship between each member of the family. It also creates opportunity to teach one another, for example, Helen’s mother can teach Helen specific skills such as budgeting and what food to buy (Goodwin, 2018). Helen’s mother can Helen to her GP regularly to monitor the development of the foetus in her womb. But family roles can vary throughout the years or when one of the family members is sick (Ruffin, 2009). Paul can change his role, so instead of working he might take care of Jack since Helen is pregnant and hard to mobilise. By doing most of these things they are not only helping each other to complete a task but they are also giving each other emotional support (Ruffin, 2009).


There are many social welfares or government grants that Helen’s family can apply for.

1. One parent family payment (OFP)

- This is a weekly payment for some parents. The payment can be anywhere “between €3 and €198, with and extra €31.80 for every child” (spunout, 2018). To get the full payment of this social welfare, the youngest child must be under 7 years old and the parent must be earning under €130 a week (spunout, 2018). The single parent must be separated for 3 months (spunout, 2018).

- Helen can apply for this social welfare since her son, Jack is under 7 years old and she and Paul have been separated longer than 3 months. She may be also earning under €130 a week. Helen is definitely eligible to apply for One Parent Family Payment.

2. Child Benefit (Jack)

- This is a monthly payment made to parent and carers of any child under 16 years old or under 19 years old if in full-time education or if the child has special needs (Jones, 2012). The child benefit section will send a form to the parents to fill out and then they will be able pick up the payment at their local post office every month (spunout, 2018).

- Helen can apply for this to be able to provide basics needs of Jack. She can also then apply again after her pregnancy to get more income from the government and provide the needs of her new born baby.

3. ECCE Scheme (Jack)

- This scheme provides free early childhood care and education for a year and is open to all children in Ireland (spunout, 2018). It provides free childcare for children between age 3 and 5 and a half, or until they start primary school (spunout, 2018).

- Helen can apply for this social welfare because Jack is only 4 years old. This scheme will help to provide the education that Jack needs and it will also promotes intellectual development. Jack will also be able to socialise with other children that are the same age as him. Jack will develop physically, because he is going to be playing with other children most of the time.

4. Jobseeker’s allowance (Paul)

- This a social welfare payment for unemployed people. The payment will be depending on how much you’ve worked recently (spunout, 2018). People apply for this must be over 18 years old, capable of working, genuinely seeking work and have left school at least 3 months ago (spunout, 2018).

- Paul can apply for this social welfare since he doesn’t have a proper job. This allowance can help him and also Helen and Jack. He should give a bit of his income to Helen since, she is the one taking care of Jack and she is also pregnant. This may also resolve their financial problem.

5. Back to school clothing & footwear allowance

- This is a scheme that helps the parents in paying the uniform and footwear needed by their child. The child should must be between 4 and 17 years old to receive this social welfare payment (spunout, 2018).

- If Helen applied for this social welfare, she won’t need to think about paying Jack’s uniform and spending money to buy a new pair of shoes on September when the school starts. This scheme will be able to reduce financial expenses of Helen.

Community (Charities)

1. Extended Family

- This non-profit charity helps single parents who needs financial support and require assistance. They give support like clothes, food, housing, transportation, medical, education and other expenses (Family, 2012). Their goal is to make single parents’ lives easier and to make them feel that they are not alone “by acting as their extended family in their time of need” (Family, 2012).

- This charity will be able to guide Helen on how to take care of Jack. They will also be able to help her financially. Helen may be able to meet some single parents who are in the same situation as her and make some friends.

2. One Family

- They support one-parent families in times of change and difficulties, as well as those experiencing a crisis pregnancy (Family, 2018). Their services include counselling, parenting, helpline, crisis pregnancy and they offer programmes for lone parents accessing education and work (Family, 2018).

- Helen can ask for some advice for how to parent Jack and it may help her how to handle him whenever he’s agitated or when he’s having tantrums. One family also offer play therapy for children between 4 and 10 years old. This therapy will help Jack understand his feelings and experiences (Family, 2018). This will also enables Jack to express what he is feeling safely with a therapist (Family, 2018).


- This group encourage and support lone parents “with a voice to share their positive experiences with other lone parents” (O’Neill, 2011). They also offer social and entertainment events suitable for lone parents (O’Neill, 2011).

- This may help Helen stop from smoking and drinking alcohol by participating in some of the events offered by this group. She may also get some encouragement and inspiration from other lone parent like her. This may impact her attitude towards Jack whenever he’s having tantrums. So instead of shouting at back at Jack, she may able to positively approach him and try to comfort him.

Interpersonal Skills

Communication skills – is one of the main skills needed by the Healthcare team to be able to help Helen’s family and their situation. If they can’t communicate between their team members, they will not be able to function as a team. By having a good communication skill, they would complete their tasks much quicker. This will also allow the team members to understand their roles on the team and it allows them to understand what need to be done (Daily, 2013).

Empathy – this skill helps the Healthcare team to understand or feel how their patients are going through especially when caring for Helen. This also help the team to act appropriately and handle the situation properly while considering their feelings, personal needs and preferences. Furthermore, empathy enhances the communication and connection between the Healthcare team and their patients. The patients may feel satisfied, comfortable and secure, and the patients will be able to put their trust on the Healthcare team.

Leadership skills – is a key skill that required by the Healthcare team. If the head of the team has a good leadership style it will positively affect the quality of the work made by the members of the team. Due to good leadership, the members may respect the head of the team and this may result in good communications and friendly environment. Moreover, it will reduce misunderstandings and conflicts that may affect the work of the Healthcare team (Toolbox, 2018).

Being a good team player – is another key skill necessary for the Healthcare team. Having the ability to work with other team members will make your team more efficient and you can always depend on each other (Doyle, 2018). This also means that you are able to support and respect the people in your team. This skill promotes friendly environment. You should always be ready to help and report back or inform the people in your team about important matters.

Patience – is also necessary for the Healthcare team to be able to deal with different types of patients especially for Jack since he’s only 4 years old, energetic and curious about the things around him. The Healthcare team must be patient and help people overcome anxiety (Medical, 2018). The importance of patience is it makes people better, it helps build empathy towards other people and is very important in healthcare sector (Medical, 2018). By having patience, it will help the Healthcare team accept other people or their patients as the way they are (Medical, 2018).


1. The family should have a meeting this includes Helen, Paul and Helen’s mother. In this meeting they should try and reconcile with each other. This will then promote positive atmosphere between the family members and also may develop they relationship with each other. Fixing their relationships with each other may be quite challenging for them, but this is a better option for them rather than not communication properly with each other.

2. Helen should apply Jack for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), this will enable Jack to meet and develop his intellectual and social skills. Paul should then accompany Jack to where the programme is, since it will be difficult for Helen to accompany Jack because of her pregnancy. Seeing that Helen forgot about Jack’s developmental check, Paul can escort Jack to the G.P. where Helen’s mother goes to and have him check regularly.

3. Helen will be able to relax and make some time for herself if she applied Jack for the ECCE Scheme. She will be able to visit the local health clinic with the company of her mother. This may help and encourage her to consume nutritious food to promote a good development of the foetus. This may also prevent her from smoking and drinking alcohol. And instead of buying cigarettes and alcohol, she should save it for her upcoming baby, because it will affect them financially once the baby is delivered.

4. Base on the case study provided, Helen’s mother knows how to cook, so whenever Paul take Jack to where the ECCE programme is, Helen can take advantage of this situation to ask her mother to teach her how to cook. This may prevent her from buying readymade food. It is also said in the case study that Helen’s mother is good with children, Helen can ask some advices of how to take care of Jack.

5. One of the biggest problems of Helen is financial issues. She is so stress on how to pay the gas and electricity. She can’t be stress, because this will definitely affect the baby that she’s carrying. To be able to minimise the conflicts about her financial issues, she should create a budget. Creating a budget prevents overspending, it provides security and reduces stress (Jones, 2012). She should also ask her mother to go groceries with her, since her mother was the one doing the shopping when they were living in her house.

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