The basic stages of human development from birth to death.
Life is simply a journey. A journey that starts at one step. Life is just like that. Or, maybe a more complicated voyage that you might think. In fact, many experts believe that certain time in life development is more important than the other. But which stage of development is the most important?
Different cultures around the world have a different belief. Others think that the childhood stage is the most important of all. The reason is that during infancy, the brain is vulnerable to external influences which may in turn influence the baby’s entire life.
But this belief does not hold true to all cultures. Some, on the other hand, believe that the adolescence or young adulthood is the most important stage of human development. The argument is that in this stage the body is almost limitless in terms of physical capability. During young adulthood, a person is equipped with goals and aspirations in life. And with all the vigors, he/she will able to shape his/her life.
In contrast, many cultures in the world believe that the most important stage of human development is the adulthood or the old age. The reason for this is that during the adulthood, a person is rich with wisdom, a possession that most young people don’t have. Through experience, a person learned a lot throughout the journey of life. Such accumulation of knowledge is more valuable than financial wealth.
Learning these claims, it might ignite sound questions. Who is correct? Which is the most important stage of human development?
But the truth is, there’s no specific stage of human development that is more important than the other. Every stage is a part of the journey. Instead of assessing which one is the most important, it may be more valuable to study the whole lifespan. Thus, in this post, I will be discussing the stages of human development from birth to death. You will see how these stages of life development intertwined with each other.
The Stages of Human Development from Birth to Death
When talking about the lifespan, we always start with the starting point;
1. The conception period
The first stage of human development is obviously the conception. At this stage of development, a human being is not yet a human. In fact, after the fertilization period, it is called an organism. There’s no apparent resemblance of the human image. An organism does not even look like a human being. But life starts at this stage.
When a baby is born, it is the beginning of discovering life. From that point, the baby will start learning many things in life. This stage is considered as the hope. A little human is nourished not only by the biological needs but also emotional needs. The parents are the first people who mold the baby’s world. The experiences in this stage will shape the baby’s personality and behavioral tendencies in the later part of the development.
This stage happens at ages zero to three. During this stage, the infant explores life like never before. The world is a little bigger now. The baby learns to get to know with other people around him. Testing everything within his reach. He also starts to learn mistakes like falling. He is beginning to sense pain and bitter tastes. Nonetheless, this stage symbolizes the sunrise. There’s hope, vitality, and joy.
4. Early Childhood
This stage of human development happens between three to six years old. A child had already learned how to walk. He starts to explore beyond the four corners of the house. His world is much bigger now. A child begins to communicate and play with other children. There will be learnings that the child may incorporate in his previously acquired learning. From this point, the environment becomes influential to a child’s development in many aspects.
5. Middle Childhood
At six to eight years old, a child begins to imagine and dig deeper towards his inner world. It is in this stage that the creative self is brought to awareness. The external world may serve as a point of reference while cultivating and discovering personal strength and creativities. Thus, the intellectual minds are born in this early stage. The artists, scientists, and writers begin to realize their prolific capabilities in middle childhood. While experience and persistence will hone those abilities as children reach the higher stage of human development.
6. Late Childhood
When a child is nine to eleven years old, he is now in the late childhood stage. At this point, he has tremendous learnings from the previous experiences. He already equipped with social and technical skills that will help him to formulate innovative solutions to the problems he is dealing with. He begins to recognize the multiple possible approaches to deal with the societal pressure. The practicality of every decision he makes will now greatly impact his life as a young individual.
This stage of human development is crucial. Between twelve and twenty years old, an adolescent experiences different physical, emotional, and even social challenges. In this stage, an adolescent is in a constant clash between personal preference and social norms. All the decisions now are critical. An adolescent may learn that life is not as simple as he might previously think. The social influence is sometimes stronger than his free will. As a result, his attitude and behavior are shaped by the imaginary governing rules of the society.
8. Early Adulthood
This stage of development happens from twenty to thirty-five years old. Unlike the previous stages, the responsibility now is bigger. The person’s concern in this stage is finding his own home, intimate relationship, building his own family, and building a career. Gone are the days of lollygagging. This is the time to establish a stable life and personal mark.
Midlife happens between thirty-five and fifty years old. At this point, a person goes beyond just following the societal rules. He then makes his own reflection about life and his experiences in the previous developmental stages. In addition, a person also provides guidance to the younger generations and his siblings. With all the learning that he has, he is now capable of helping others.
10. Mature Adulthood
This stage happens between fifty to eighty years old. At this point, a person engages in social activities such as mentoring and volunteering. People at this stage are usually focusing on the larger context than themselves. They love spending time with others and sharing their remaining strength for the common good.
11. Late adulthood
An eighty years old person reaches the late adulthood stage. At this point in the human development, a person is characterized with wisdom. People in this stage have so much to share with the younger generation. They are much more capable of providing guidance. The young ones could learn from their lessons which in turn help the younger generation to avoid the same mistakes that the elders had made in their lives.
This is the final stage. Death happens anytime. But even death is the final stage, it gives us the ultimate lesson about life. Seeing people pass away makes us realize that life is not unlimited. It is not how much time do we have, it is how we use our time to accomplish good things that are not only beneficial to us but also to the society.
These stages of human development from birth to death seem to be too long. But it is not. Time can be the most brutal enemy of human development. This is the only thing that humans can’t do anything about.
But learning the stages of human development from birth to death makes us realize that we are all indeed travelers. Some of us reach the very end while others did not. No stage of the human development is more significant or important than the other. Every point is very important.
Our decisions largely shape our journey. Not all people who reach the late adulthood are happy. This is because not all of them made good decisions in the previous stages of their development. Those who lived their lives to the fullest are happily reaping the result of their hard work.
Fortunately, we can all benefit from the wisdom that our elders are sharing with us. It is our responsibility to weigh the facts. We are responsible for our own lives. Now that have we learned these stages of human development from birth to death, it is time to review our course in life. Let’s make it sure that we are heading in the right direction.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.