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DEVELOPMENTAL TASKS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD

Although the foundations of some of the developmental tasks young children are expected to master before they enter school are laid in babyhood, much remains to be learned in the relatively four-year span of early childhood.

Communication
Their ability to communicate and comprehend what others say to them is still on low level.

Behavior
It is questionable whether any babies, as they enter early childhood actually know what is sex appropriate in appearance.

Decision-making
What knowledge they have is limited to home situations and must be broadened to include concepts of right and wrong in their relationships outside the home.

Conscience
Young children must lay the foundations for a conscience as a guide to right and wrong behavior.

Relationship
The emotional relationship on babyhood must be replaced with mature ones.

Physical Development
Growth during early childhood proceeds at a slow rate as compared with the rapid rate of growth in babyhood. It is a time for relatively even growth though there are seasonal variations.
Mid-December is the most favorable time for increases in weight. April to mid-August is most favorable for height increases.

Height The average annual increase in height is three inches. By age six, the average child measures 46.6 inches.

Weight The average annual increase in weight is 3 to 5 pounds. At age six, children should weigh approximately seven times as much as they did at birth. The average girl weighs 48.5 pounds and the average boy weighs 49 pounds

Body Proportions Body Proportions changed markedly and the baby look disappears. Facial features remain small but the chin becomes more pronounced and the neck elongates. There is a gradual decrease in the stockiness of the trunk and the body tends to become cone-shaped, with a flattened abdomen, a broader and flatter chest, and shoulders that are broader and square. The arms and legs lengthen and may become spindly and the hands feel grow bigger.

Body Build Differences in body build become apparent for the first time in early childhood. Some children have an endomorphic or flabby, fat body build, some have a mesomorphic or sturdy, muscular body build, and some have an ectomorphic or relatively thin body build.

Bones and Muscles The bones ossify at different rates in different parts of the body, following the laws of developmental direction. The muscles become larger, stronger, and heavier, with the result that children look thinner as early childhood progresses, even though they weigh more.

Fat Children tend toward endomorphy have more adipose than muscular tissue; those who tend toward mesomorphy have more muscular than adipose tissue; and those with an ectomorphic build have both small muscles and little adipose tissue. Teeth During the first four to six months of early childhood, the last four baby teeth the back molars erupt. During the last half year of early childhood, the baby teethbegin to be replaced by permanent teeth. The first to come out are the front central incisors the first baby teeth to appear. When early childhood ends, the child generally has one or two permanent teeth in front and some gaps where the permanent teeth will eventually erupt.

Psychological Habits
During early childhood, the psychological habits whose foundation were laid in

babyhood become well established.


Young childrens appetites are not ravenous as they were in babyhood. They have developed marked food likes and dislikes.

There are variations in the amount of sleep young children need.


Each successive year during early childhood, the average daily amount of sleep is approximately one-half hour less than in the previous year.

Bladder control at night should be achieved.