childhood


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Related to childhood: Childhood development

childhood

a stage in the LIFE COURSE characterized by dependent status, usually, though not necessarily, due to biological immaturity. There are historical and cultural variations in the ways in which people understand age, and the division of the human age span into stages and meaningful categories is referred to as the social construction of age. According to Philippe Aries (Centuries of Childhood, 1962), the concept of childhood as a critical stage in the development of the person leads to particular ways of understanding and organizing the lives of young people which are highly variable, both historically and between societies. See also CHILD DEVELOPMENT, SOCIALIZATION, ANNALES SCHOOL.
References in classic literature ?
We could go to school and study, or we could go into the printing-office and work, with an equal chance of learning, but we could not be idle; we must do something, for our souls' sake, though he was willing enough we should play, and he liked himself to go into the woods with us, and to enjoy the pleasures that manhood can share with childhood.
At his side hung a long, rawhide rope--a natural and more dependable evolution from the grass rope of his childhood.
That he could, with relish, eat raw meat that had been buried by himself weeks before, and enjoy small rodents and disgusting grubs, seems to us who have been always "civilized" a revolting fact; but had we learned in childhood to eat these things, and had we seen all those about us eat them, they would seem no more sickening to us now than do many of our greatest dainties, at which a savage African cannibal would look with repugnance and turn up his nose.
It would be better, I dare say, for you to make your approach, as I made mine, through my childhood.
There was not a lane, or brook, or copse, or cottage near, with which some childish event was not entwined, and back it came upon the mind--as events of childhood do--nothing in itself: perhaps a word, a laugh, a look, some slight distress, a passing thought or fear: and yet more strongly and distinctly marked, and better remembered, than the hardest trials or severest sorrows of a year ago.
Perhaps the value of liberty cannot be known until it has been experienced; and the memories of the freedom of my childhood had been almost effaced by the irksome and dreary life at school, from which my spirits had scarcely recovered.
But what would Frederick have been, if he had lived in the world, and mingled from his childhood with such men as these of my acquaintance?
The ape-man's eyes fell upon Taug, the playmate of his childhood, the rival in his first love and now, of all the bulls of the tribe, the only one that might be thought to hold in his savage brain any such feeling toward Tarzan as we describe among ourselves as friendship.
It is not my fault if, in the document which I have cited, Rouletabille thought fit to refer to his childhood.
No human being could have passed a happier childhood than myself.
Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and dies a Penitent.
Herself again a wife - a mother - lovingly watchful of her children, ever careful that they should have a childhood of the mind no less than a childhood of the body, as knowing it to be even a more beautiful thing, and a possession, any hoarded scrap of which, is a blessing and happiness to the wisest?

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