The Childhood Years

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Life Span Development The Childhood Years (ROUGH DRAFT) Erica The childhood years encompass the years of birth to preadolescence, zero to twelve years, respectively. There are major milestones that a child is experiencing during these early stages of life, thus making these the most important and formative years of a person’s life; from forming secure and healthy attachment during the infant years, which extends into the adult years, to developing their autonomy and independence in their toddler years. What children learn in these childhood years will determine the type of adult they will grow to be. This discussion will focus on the period between three to twelve years old. The preschool years, age three to five years, are the next step after toddlerhood. A child should continue to make vast progress in their language, motor skills development, and their overall view of the world (McGoldrick, Carter, & Garcia-Preto, The Expanded Family Life Cycle: Individual, Family, and Social Perspectives, 2011). According to Erikson these preschool years are referred to as the stage of “initiative versus guilt” (Cloninger, 2004). The goal of this stage is for the child to develop more purpose. This stage builds upon the autonomy the child has developed. Bee and Boyd (2009) describe this as the child facing the complexities of planning and developing a sense of judgment. It is during this stage that children begin to assert themselves more freely through directive play and other social interaction. They begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with others. It is natural for behavioral issues to begin, as the child may begin to show some aggression, as they are learning how to relate to their peers and authority. The child becomes frustrated. This is the point where parental interaction regarding consistency in discipline is very important.
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