Stages of Life Development: Early Childhood

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Early Childhood "Little ones are children of God." BETH SCHULTZ The youngest children feel loved and cared for by watching a parent's face and actions and by hearing her voice. They gain understanding of what care looks like, even though they do not have words for it. Around age two or three, children start to gain confidence that they will be okay, even if they can't see Mom and Dad. They can learn and explore. As this confidence begins to develop, life becomes rich with teachable moments! The three-year-old will test the boundaries of his or her independence but also begin participating in genuine relationships with family. The four-year-old will explore in interactive play with peers to practice skills seen at home. The five-year-old begins to internalize understanding more and starts to ask more complex questions. A preschooler's mind is connecting areas of learning at an incredible rate. In all of these ages, children need visual and tangible examples to gain meaning. Emmie can fully trust God to care for her family. However, it is difficult for Emmie to understand that God doesn't do things exactly as she wants Him to. Teachers can help Emmie's faith grow by pointing her back to trusting God in these moments. She loves to sing and praise God through music. Oftentimes, she may not fully understand the meaning of all the words, but she is putting to memory God's promises for times when life is challenging as she grows. Emmie is learning how to love others and think selflessly. She knows that taking turns and sharing is good but hard, especially during fun activities. She knows that Jesus loves her and has little fear sharing that news with people she knows. Emmie needs to hear about God's grace and forgiveness, as her understanding is often limited to "good" and "bad." A Day in the Life Early Childhood • 1 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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