Child Psychology – Early Childhood
Characteristics of early childhood: (2 to 6 yrs.)
i) Early childhood is a distinctive period in the life span. It is a problem age or troublesome age for parents since most of them are centered around the baby’s physical care. In childhood, behavior problems become more frequent and more troublesome than the physical care problems in babyhood. Since the behavior problems dominate the early childhood, the young children develop distinctive personalities and aspire for independence. Also, they are very often obstinate, stubborn, disobedient, protesting and antagonistic. They are often bothered by day dreams at night and irrational fears during day times and suffer from jealousies.
ii) The dependency during babyhood changes to independence on attaining childhood age. In many occasions, they seem to reject the help offered by elders. Still, the early childhood is an age of playing with toys in most of the time. When the children enter the first standard in school, they begin to be engaged in games and modified form of sports without toys. Anyhow, when alone, the children are seen to play with toys.
iii) It is the pre gang age during which the children learn the foundations of social behavior. As a general rule, during the pre school years, children find social contacts with members of their own sex more pleasurable than those with members of the opposite sex.
iv) It is an exploratory age in the sense that they want to know what their environment is and how it works, how it feels, and how they can be a part of it.
v) It is an imitative age. Imitations of speech and actions of others are prevalent. Imitative nature develops creative talents.
vi) Early childhood is also known as an age of chatterbox. The reason for this is that once they are able to speak with ease, many children speak much and more than others. The other children, by contrast, are relatively silent who are named as `Silent Sams’
vii) It is an ideal age to learn various skills by repeated trials and adventurous attempts. The skills are learned easily and quickly.
viii) Improvement in speech and comprehension is an important matter. Skills in building up a vocabulary, mastering pronunciation and combining words into sentences are in rapid growth.
ix) Moral development is on a slow level. This is because the intellectual development has not reached the point where the children can learn or apply the abstract principles of right and wrong. They learn how to act in specific situations without knowing why they do so. Even bright children tend to be poor in learning how to behave in a socially approved way is a long and difficult process. Children may be told not to do something one day but the next day or even the day after that, they may have forgotten what they were told not to do so. Thus what may appear willful disobedience is often only a case of forgetting. They obey rules without using reason or judgment because they regard adults in authority in omni point. They judge all acts as right or wrong in terms of the consequences rather than in terms of motivation behind them. They view a matter a wrong one in punishment.
x) Development of consciousness is not up to expectation. They do not feel guilty or ashamed if they caught doing something. What they know is wrong Instead they may be frightened at they prospect of punishment or they may try to rationalize their acts in the hope of escaping punishment.
xi) Question asking behavior is another important concern. The questions asked at beginning are concerned with physical causality and then on diverse number of categories. If they are not satisfied in the answer, they use to raise more and more questions in chain until they are satisfied. Also they feel proud of themselves asking such questions with aspirations.
Source by Varadharajan R