Childhood


The word childhood derives from the Latin children, which means “dumb, unable to speak, not speaking”. It is the period of human life between birth and adolescence or the beginning of puberty.

The concept of childhood, as well as the importance given to children, has not always been the same but has evolved over the centuries. In the last 40 or 50 years, attention has begun to be paid to this period of life, establishing it as a crucial moment in the physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of every human being.

When people accepted the importance of childhood, they began to take responsibility for the quality of life of children; their health, physical well-being and understand the need to take care of their minds. Children require special attention during those years, childhood is fundamentally different from adulthood; It needs to be understood and respected as such.

Public recognition of this need has created numerous programs for children, development in their education and even the establishment of the United Nations Children’s Rights in 1989.

Childhood is often accepted as the period of life that goes from birth to 14 years, but there are those who reserve such denomination to the period that ends at 7 years, or 10, at 12, and others up to 16. The Convention on the Rights of the Child considers that it covers up to 18 years of age, unless the country’s legislation provides for the age of majority earlier.

Generally, this period of life is divided into early childhood, which constitutes the stage that goes from birth to 6 years; and in middle childhood, which refers to the stage between approximately 6 and 12 years of age.

During childhood very noticeable physical changes occur, the infant’s body grows rapidly. In the early years, he learns to crawl, walk and coordinate movements. Later, he learns to speak until he acquires a complete vocabulary and language. He also provides a social and emotional development that will depend on the environment that surrounds him, he interacts with children his age and thus forms new friendships, among others.