Growth and Development of a Child
With the spirit of inquiry goes an attitude of respect for children at all stages of their growth. This respect is built on the view that the experiences which a child undergoes at any stage of his growth, whether he be a newborn baby, a toddler, a school age youngster, or an adolescent, are as important to him at his level of maturity as are experiences which befall an adult. The child development approach assumes the child’s right to be a Child. Nature has decreed that a human creature shall be a child a long time before he becomes a man. This period of childhood is also the period, which fathers the man that is to be.
One of the greatest temptations which confront an adult in dealing with a child is to try to tamper with the process of child own development. Such tampering May take many forms, ranging from efforts to keep the child from growing up to impatient efforts to make him grow up faster than his own nature permits.
Respect for the child as a growing person who usually tries to do the best he can with what he has at each level of growth and development in children is not founded on sentiment or an impulse to idealize childhood. Nor does it means that we regard the him as an anointed creature who has rights above all others; for the world in which he lives is peopled by many others, and just as he has rights, so do his peers and his elders. Again, respect for the child doesn’t imply disrespect for the his elders. It doesn’t imply that the child is always right and that his parents or his teachers are wrong. An essential feature of his world is the support and guidance, which his elders can provide by virtue of their greater strength and knowledge.