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When we speak of childhood, we refer to the stage that elapses from birth to maturity of the child. Within this phase there are different moments that mark the rhythm of each child's development according to their physical, psychological and social characteristics. That is why it is said that each child is different and not all are the same.
Childhood is a learning period for the child where he will acquire the basic skills to be able to interact with the world in which they live. This will involve a series of increasingly complex changes in the main areas of development of children: the cognitive area, the language area, the socio-emotional area and the motor area. And that involve the progressive acquisition of skills.
After the child has passed through the neonatal phase, the child will begin the second of the stages in his developmental development: infancy. During the development of this period we can distinguish two phases:
- Early childhood or early childhood that goes from the first year to the 6 years of the child.
- Second childhood or childhood ranging from 6 to 12 years preceding adolescence.
Throughout the childhood phase and through these two phases, children will experience a very rapid physical, cognitive and linguistic evolution, the acquisition of greater autonomy, the development of self-concept and identity will begin and, in addition, socialization will begin .
To better understand how children think, act and feel in infancy, we can make a more specific classification of the periods that the child goes through during their development. These are:
Early childhood (1-3 years). This period usually coincides with the stage in which children attend nursery school. Its evolution in the different areas will be as follows:
- Cognitive area. At this stage, thinking is self-centered and it is hard for you to imagine what others think or believe.
- Language area. Locution and verbal expression. Children begin to control the use of language itself. At first it is a telegraphic language with single words and later you will have the ability to generate simple sentences with errors.
- Socio-emotional area. The child continues to play in parallel. At the end of this phase, he begins to share his games with others, thus initiating socialization.
- Motor area. The child is curious and explores what will be the engine of learning. Regarding physical changes, the child continues to grow although it does so much slower than in the previous stages.
Early childhood (3-6 years). In this second phase the child has evolved in the different areas of development:
- Cognitive area. At this stage, the child gains the Theory of Mind capacity, that is, the ability to attribute unique intentions, beliefs, and motivations to others.
- Language area. Improves control in the use of language properly. They rely on him for total communication.
- Socio-emotional area. The ability of Theory of Mind greatly enriches social relationships, although it also allows lying to be more useful and effective as a resource. The child enjoys the company of other children with whom he grows up and learns to share games and achievements in a natural way. They accept pacts and intermediate solutions when there are conflicts between equals.
- Motor area. They master toilet training and acquire more independence of movement.
Second childhood (6-12 years). It is the last stage before giving way to adolescence. Regarding the development in the different areas:
- Cognitive area. Your ability to think in abstract and mathematical terms develops a lot but does not reach its maximum.
- Language area. As the child grows, the use of language and communication improves.
- Socio-emotional area. The image he has of himself becomes very important and tries to win friendship with those he considers important. The social circle of equals configure their identity and family norms begin to be broken.
- Motor area. It is from this stage when the child is able to take advantage of the new forms of control of his body. The almost definitive maturation of the nervous system allows the child to make more movements.
You can read more articles similar to Stages of childhood. Evolution of the child in early childhood, in the On-site Learning category.