Humanity itself is mysterious. The basis of its existence, to some, comes from creation by a supreme being, and from the theory of evolution that took many years to manifest. Regardless, it is a known happening that the stages of human life will take place in the cycle of all human beings irrespective of the method of arrival.
This cycle will continue to repeat itself, bringing and taking more humans as posterity comes to light. At some point in time, we were little children, who watched ourselves grow. This process continues until we wither.
Moreover, as fellow humans, we must understand what the cycle consists of and how we transition through each stage gradually.
The stages of human life start from conception, then it moves on to infancy, then childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and death. These are the six stages this article will center on. It is therefore important to note that each stage comes after the other, they embark on a sequential process.
• Prenatal stage
Also known as conception, it occurs while a woman is pregnant. When fertilization takes place, the zygote develops into a fetus and continues to develop until the third trimester of the pregnancy, after which the child is birthed as an infant.
This is also known as the postnatal stage. The child has been birthed and is being cared for. The period of infancy spans from the time of birth to 36 months of life. In this stage, rapid growth occurs. Infants are dependent on people for care which is prominent for their development. Often they leave the lactation period in the first six months and get accustomed to other types of food.
Childhood is divided into two groups, early and middle childhood. Early childhood periods from the ages of 3-6 years. At this stage, children learn new things such as language and values. The brain is also at its early stage. Further, they become acquainted with preschool. Although they still depend on the older people for nurture, they grow at an average rate.
Middle childhood or juvenility spans from the age of 7-10 for girls and 7-12 for boys. Here, the growth rate slows, children become more aware of the surrounding atmosphere and even take in new academic, social, economic, and cognitive skills. Since they are more self-aware, they require little aid from adults for feeding and caring.
Adolescence is characterized by puberty. This is a short event that takes place after the preceding stage. At this juncture, children secrete hormones that cause drastic changes in their bodies. It paves the way for adolescence. This is when children turn into teenagers, they become more aware of the opposite sex and reach sexual maturity. Social maturity is also attained when they begin to harbor interests in adult-like things. They are also in the stage of emotional exploration as they try to adapt to the new change.
Nonetheless, they become more rebellious, curious, and try to carve an image for themselves by trying new things. This comes from a sense of independence they established on themselves.
This is divided into three stages; early, middle, and late adulthood. For early adulthood, the body is now fully developed. Humans are at their 20s to 30s here. They go into the world to make a living. Unfortunately, they are most vulnerable to partaking in crime and substance abuse. Usually, early adults tend to be careful at this stage because they focus on activities that will shape their lives in the long-run.
Middle adulthood covers the late-30s to the mid-60s. At this point, they reach their prime. Aging becomes prominent. They also steadily decline into the status of old age. Throughout this course, they are likely to encounter stress due to life’s diverse activities. They may even add extra weight. Here, women experience menopause at the age of 50, while men experience a reduction in fecundity at the same age, but it doesn’t drop to the lowest.
Late adulthood is considered as the stage of proneness to a variety of diseases such as cancer, etc. The life span of this group, over the years has increased. People in this regiment now leave up to a hundred years of age, starting their journey from 65 years. However, the way at which old folks are at risk of catching diseases differs. Aging comes in three forms; optimal aging (low risk of getting diseases), normal aging (average risk), and impaired aging (high risk).
This is the last stage in which the human body no longer functions. This activity completes the cycle of human development.
The stages of human life are a compulsory phenomenon we must all pass. This passage comes with its thrills, ups, and downs. Irrespective of this, we must ensure that we try as much as possible to enjoy every moment that comes with it before the inevitability comes knocking at the door.
Bogin, B. (2015). Human Growth and Development [online]. ResearchGate. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282955822_Human_Growth_and_Development?enrichId=rgreq-7981f7798dc3d097c8cffadb6465c556-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzI4Mjk1NTgyMjtBUzo1NDcxNjg5OTU4NjQ1NzZAMTUwNzQ2NjY2MjE0MA%3D%3D&el=1_x_2&_esc=publicationCoverPdf
Lifespan Development. Periods of development [online]. Lifespan Development. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-lifespandevelopment2/chapter/periods-of-development/
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