This article throws light upon the four important stages of human development. The stages are: 1. Infancy 2. Childhood 3. Adolescence 4. Adulthood.
Human Development: Stage # 1. Infancy:
It refers to the first two years of life. At birth, the proportions of the body are very different from those of the adult. Infants, during the first two weeks are called neonates. They usually have wrinkled, blotchy red skin and a large head. They sleep for about 18 to 22 hours a day, wake up when hungry and sleep again as soon as they are fed.
Within a few days they being recognizing their mother’s, voice. They develop a relationship with parents. As the neonates move towards infancy, their need for affection develops. The nine and ten months see jealousy aroused in the baby and between the tenth and twelfth months anger, love, sympathy and friendliness are distinguishable.
From three months onwards they start babbling. The baby begins centering its attention on its own body. By the age of nine months a normal baby can creep. Rapid physical growth occurs during this stage. When they being to crawl their curiosity becomes heightened. Motor ability develops from the head down to the toes. Some of the emotions develop during this infancy stage.
By about one year of age, babies can associate the sounds they make with specific objects and thus they begin to utter their first words such as dada, mama etc. During the first two years babies play alone. They explore their surroundings, handle toys and start uttering some word combinations.
Human Development: Stage # 2. Childhood:
The childhood stage includes the period from 3 to 12 years and can be divided into two stages:
(a) early childhood
(b) later childhood stage.
In this stage the child tries to seek control over his environment. Development of varied skills, language, social qualities and social participation are the chief characteristics of this stage.
During the period of early childhood, children enlarge the scope of their behaviour. They refine their previously learned skills and evolve new ones for relating themselves with other people. Thus the child develops as a social being in his own right. Positive emotions like love and affection are shown. Language development takes place during this childhood stage.
A major development task for a child during this stage is to acquire a gender identification. In this stage intellectual development is characterised by the rapid expansion of cognitive abilities. The child learns to be relatively independent and self reliant. He learns to evaluate himself according to adult opinion.
Human Development: Stage # 3. Adolescence:
The period of transition from childhood to adulthood is called adolescence. Adolescence is very crucial stage of development. It refers to the development during the years 13 to 19 years. This is also known as the teenage.
During this stage most children experience the adolescent growth spurt, a rapid increase in height and weight. The interests of the adolescent are more centred upon himself, his family members and his friends.
The period is also characterized by heterosexual interests. Important cognitive development occur during this time. An expansion in capacity and style of thought broadens adolescents awareness, imagination, judgment and insight. Some of the qualities like sincerity, consideration for others good manners, modesty etc. are developed during this stage.
Human Development: Stage # 4. Adulthood:
There is no fixed age when adolescence is complete. The responsibilities of adulthood include important decisions like choosing a career, a life partner etc. and Young adulthood begins with setting goals and aspirations.
During mature adulthood a physical decline in the form of wrinkles, thickening waistlines and graying and thinning hair start appearing. But the aged adults are more concerned about their health and death.