Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Child Devleopment: Years Three to Six

Continuing the exploration of child development...

Years Three to Six

According to Erikson, age three to six is the period of Initiative versus Guilt. Family and peer interactions support personal and social growth. Quality time with parents/caregivers, that encourages taking initiative, is important. This is also the time when children begin to more readily identify with the same sexed parent.

Physical/Motor Skills:
  • Motor skills are being refined
  • Children are able to catch balls, balance, skip, jump, and run faster
  • Children are able to copy letters and numbers and more detail is seen in their artwork
  • Children have a much larger vocabulary, about 2500 words
  • Language is becoming more complex
  • Memory is more developed
  • Creative and imaginative play increases
Socialization/Sense of Self:
  • Children desire praise
  • Family continues to be the primary relationship
  • Engaging in adult-like activities and having questions patiently answered by parents/caregivers supports children's ongoing initiation of activities and learning
  • Physical fighting may be a means of problem solving
  • Characteristic ways of responding to others begins to develop
  • Interactions are readily initiated
  • Perceptions of morality and a conscience exist
At this stage, children have made great strides in their physical, cognitive, and social/emotional development and take more initiative in their interactions and behaviors. Parents/caregivers can support this initiative by responding to children's questions and behaviors with patience. Restricted interactions can produce feelings of guilt and poor self worth and, thus, hinder the desire to take initiative.

Next time -- Years Six to Eleven: Industry versus Inferiority

Source: Growth and Developmental Tasks (author unknown)