THREE PHASES OF CHILDHOOD

(A 7-Yearly  classification Of  Childhood)

Translator: Salma Syed

Keywords: Childhood, Childhood Phases, Adolescence, youth, childish, Aristotle, Romance , Self-Sufficient, Training, Development

Most of the educationists have classified the age of a child into three stages as under:

  1. The first stage; Childish stage
  2. The second stage; Adolescence stage
  3. The third stage; Pre-youth stage In this article, we will throw some light on the characteristics of each classified stage. It should be noted that each of these stages can be sub divided into sub categories based on the results of developmental psychology. It is worth mentioning here that this classification is made by matching the features mentioned in the scripts and teachings of Islam and other scientific resources.
    The first stage coincides with childhood, the second stage with adolescence, and the third stage with the threshold of youth.
  4. The first stage; Childish Stage(1 to 7 years)
    This stage begins with the birth and arrival of man into a world that is very different from the world inside the womb. Baby is largely affected by the environment .The eyes and ears and other cognitive tools already provide new opportunities to a child to learn about the new environment.

At this stage, the child tries to establish a sensory connection with the outside and tries to know the environment around him. He observes and questions nature with curiosity and at the same time tries to communicate with the world and the people around him.During this period child use his senses to perceive the environment.
When it comes to child development, it’s been said that the most crucial milestones in a kid’s life occur by the age of 7. In fact, the great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” As a parent, taking this theory to heart can cause waves of anxiety.

A 7-year-old child, normally will be developing more complex sentences as they grow. Scientific evidence suggests that the first 1,000 days are the most important in a child’s life. Providing quality services and reaching out to parents with tailored support during this critical period pays off with increased cognitive skills, significantly improved education outcomes, drastic reductions in school dropout rates, and better starts to life.
The first years are the most important in the life of every child as they set the basis for overall success in life. They are also very important for every society as this is the best chance to influence future prosperity, inclusiveness and social stability. Early childhood development is considered to be the most powerful tool to address inequities, a chance to provide opportunities to all children to develop their full potential.

  1. The second stage; Adolescence stage
    ( period 7 to 14 years)
    This period is called adolescence.There are divided opinions on the adolescence age bracket throughout the world. Some scientific studies consider the age from 11-19 as the age of adolescence.
    Each stage of life depends on what has come before it, and young people certainly do not enter adolescence with a “blank slate.” Rather, adolescent development is partly a consequence of earlier life experiences.

During this period, the child is prepared to understand the rules and regulations. His tendency to obey, accept rules and regulations, desire to work, social relations and teamwork, is strengthened.
Also, in terms of behavior, the child becomes aware of social life and its worth.
The child is able to distinguish good from bad ,right from wrong etc. The child can have “relative thinking” during this period, he has reached the age of puberty and gradually comes to understand that things are not always black and white. Relative thinking extends from division to objective and abstract levels.
Important neuronal developments also take place during the adolescent years. These developments are linked to hormonal changes but are not always dependent on them. Developments occur in regions of the brain, such as the limbic system, that are responsible for pleasure seeking and reward processing, emotional responses and sleep regulation. At the same time, changes occur place in the pre-frontal cortex, the area responsible for what are called executive functions: decision-making, organization, impulse control and planning for the future. Linked to the hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes of adolescence are psychosocial and emotional changes and increasing cognitive and intellectual capacities. Over the course of the second decade, adolescents develop stronger reasoning skills, logical and moral thinking, and become more capable of abstract thinking and making rational judgements.
Changes in the adolescent’s environment both affect and are affected by the internal changes of adolescence. These external influences, which differ among cultures and societies, include social values and norms and the changing roles, responsibilities, relationships and expectations of this period of life.
It is pertinent to mention here that Adolescents at this age are increasingly aware of their feelings and tend to be more alone and hence, are increasingly faced with ethical questions.

  1. The third stage; Pre-youth stage (15 to 21 years)
    The final age bracket in this series will examine the Pre-Youth stage: 15 to 21-year-olds, who much prefer to be called “young adults.” This is the age where physically the growth and development has slowed, but socially and emotionally they are transitioning from what has been somewhat of a routine and protective environment to the unknown. At this children start to think about what it would be like to live out on their own. Most children begin to engage in less conflict with their parents around age 15. They show more independence from their parents while also showing a greater respect for the rules when privileges are contingent on their behavior.
    Many children during this age are dealing with a fair amount of stress. Some of them may struggle academically while others are dealing with romantic issues and perhaps even their first sexual experiences.
    Scientific studies show that It’s normal for teens to be rather argumentative at this stage. No matter what parents say, the child may want to debate the opposite point of view. That’s their way of asserting his independence and showing off the fact that he can see viewpoints from another angle.
    Many teens begin thinking more about their future during this time. They’re usually able to start identifying potential career aspirations or college plans.

. The age of physical and sexual maturity of girls and boys is different, and also, the maturity of girls generally arrives earlier than boys, and therefore in Islam, the obligatory age of girls is before the obligatory age of boys.
. Thus, given that the different capacities and capabilities of human beings are more manifested in this period, and as a result, the separation of branches and disciplines of science and skills, becomes more important at these ages, and given that the time of occurrence And the emergence of these capacities may be somewhat different
In terms of tendency in this period, the spiritual transformation from individualism, independence and hesitation in trusting those who were his intellectual and emotional reference, to feeling the diverse cultural, social and economic needs as well as the development and
Adolescents at this stage are mainly faced with romantic issues. Maybe they will experience their first love too.Teenagers are eager to face the opposite sex and learn how to behave in romantic moments.

As adults support youth in moving on to the next step in their lives, remember that every child is unique. Regardless of their age, all youth have basic needs that adults and youth development programs should support:
• To experience a positive self-concept
• To experience success in what they attempt to do
• To become independent within the ambit of Islamic teachings.
• To be accepted by people of different ages – peers as well as those in authority.
• To give and receive affection