Childhood definition: Drivers of change

Childhood is referred to as the initial stage of life. It is the time when a person is a child, which spans from delivery until adolescence. The phases of development include toddlerhood, when the kid first learns to walk, early childhood, which is a time for playing, middle childhood, which is also the time for starting school, and adolescence, which is the final stage (PENN, 2014, 129). Every person has childhood memories stored in their heart. Compared to their early years, children today are growing up in a different reality. Family communication is less frequent, and most parents are unaware of their children's preferences. initialy childhood stage was considered a social demographic group, which occupies a place within the society. Their daily activities, class work and how they spend their leisure time was a parents concern, unlike today where parents are not even aware of their children way of living. The difference between the modern childhood and the early childhood is that today’s children do not recognize the childhood concept. According to Aries, childhood concept did not exist, but instead, they were assumed to be small adults. However, this argument about non-existence can be confirmed if compared to today’s childhood attitudes. During the medieval times, the child’s innocence was not recognized because it was thought to be a normal stage in life that every human had to pass through.

Austin argued that in the 18th &19th century, childhood innocence concept was a myth and never recognized. However, this is presumed to be corruption in that childhood is an innocent period where children are born pure but are later corrupted through the adult world guidance. This childhood innocence concept and its preservation have led to childhood recognition and its role in the society (Bühler-Niederberger and Van Krieken, 2008, 152). Child labor was stopped, schooling was made compulsory, and this was because of the industrial revolution. In westernized societies childhood period is considered to be an innocent and purity period thus it should be protected by the adults. The adult should protect the children from the adulthood concept such as injury, work, and sexualisation.

Therefore, children education should be mandatory, and they should be nurtured, protected by parents or guardians and provided with care (KEHILY, 2009, 1). However, childhood ideas are different in developing countries as compared to developed countries. In developing societies, children are expected to work to help in maintaining the economic status of the household. This was evidently seen during the industrial revolution period where children contributed to the household economy and the society’s income. Young boys joined their peers in providing for the family, and young girls were forced into marriage at a tender age. This was due to the non-recognition of childhood stage thus altering their way of life, but this changed after the western society influence that socially developed the childhood concept.

Childhood, today in the modern society, is protected and child labor has been replaced by childhood innocence (SMITH, 2013, 14). There are set laws and rules which act as protection guard to the children’s innocence thus maintaining their purity and innocence. For instance, there are laws that restrict the children from watching certain programs like pornography, but this did not exist during the early times. Another example is the United Kingdom where it’s illegal for a child under the age of 14 years to take care of another child without the supervision of an adult. This gives meaning to childhood social construction. Other differences between the historical and the contemporary childhood in includes responsibilities where today’s children responsibilities are few, and their lives are characterised by play, they go to school to get education and not labour as compared to early children and lastly today’s children have family life as compared to public life (Singh et al. 2008, 478).

Childhood ideas have changed with time, and it’s widely recognised where childhood innocence is nurtured. Childhood development is influenced depending on the society where the child lives (Urban, 2008, 139). The environment will determine the growth and development of the child, and thus it should be considered effectively. Over the centuries the childhood ideas have changed, and their importance has been understood. It’s expected to be a period of enjoyment, innocence, and playfulness and most important it’s an exploration time of discovering footsteps of future life.


Technology is the knowledge and understanding of techniques and processes that are embedded and operated without detailed information. It can also be regarded as an application of knowledge practically in a particular area. It began by converting the natural resources into simpler tools. Stone Age people did not have the luxury of watching television programs. Their technology involved hunting, survival, and preparation of food. During that period, they invented stone tools, weapons and clothing and harness power fires that were essential by then. Learning o use and tame the fire was an invaluable technology in human development (Ross, Morrison and Lowther, 2010, 20). Other technologies included sharpening of flints and attaching them to wood pieces to create a spear, and they created digging tools through attaching the flints to pieces of wood. They lived in caves as compared to modern houses. They experienced tool making which ultimately led to making of television, computers, and cell phones.

In modern life, which is also known as the age of computer-driven information, things like fire and tools are no longer regarded as technologies. They banged stone flints to create sparks or rubbing two sticks together that generates heat that starts a blaze. This showed that they had the intelligence to discover that fire was important and served various purposes such as providing warmth lighting, scaring wild animals far away, cooking and preserving meat using the smoke. There was the introduction of other tools like fishhooks, bow and arrow, harpoons and fish spear that were constructed using the antlers and bones of animals. However, in modern technology tool making has been advanced which has led to modernised agriculture. Tools like the plow have been invented that making planting easier. Human no longer depends on hunting luck because the food supply is more certain. Also, permanent settlements serve as shelter. Modern and civilized societies have emerged all over the world (Calvert, 2008, 218).


Education is the process of cultivating and gaining knowledge, beliefs, skills, values, attitudes and character traits. In early societies, education was formally used to influence cultural and religious knowledge and the basic survival skills. Knowledge was focused on survival skills. Only men were allowed to study, but during the medieval period, women were also given the opportunity to study. The education system was poor with no proper attendance where children would skip classes to attend family activities like harvesting, planting and even attending to the younger ones without permission (Walia and Fishman, 2009, 65). Most of the teachers were religious in ancient education there was no paying of school fees as compared to modern education. There were no fixed places for education and students would learn under trees as compared to today’s classrooms. The instruction method used in the past-included memorization, recitation, drills, debates and textual analyses that are still in use in modern society. New technology has widely improved the education sector where students have access to smart phones and tablets making education much easier.

Impact of Technology

The impact of technology is evident in today’s society as compared to the past society. In the past technology was used as a survival tool to make easier. Today technology role is different, and it is no longer for survival but a means of entertainment and communication. For example, internet technology communication has made it easier to connect with people worldwide (Finkelhor, 2011, 4). However, technology has both positive and negative influence on the society. New technology has created new opportunities to a human being and the society but also new problems have been generated. The Internet has made communication easier but has also led to internet addiction. Machines are extensively used in every field resulting to under utilization of a person’s brain. Man loses the intellectual ability and makes it impossible to think. Technology is widely used in communication, business, to learn and live a comfortable life.however; poor technology has led to environment pollution posing a threat to people’s life and society. Nevertheless, it has improved the education sector and learning process (McCarthy, 2007, 145).

Technology has come up with new educational infrastructure that helps in interpretation. Smart whiteboards, mobile phones, computers, projectors, iPod and the internet that are used in classrooms helps in boosting the student’s morale of studying. New farming tools have increased production at a higher rate but the commercial fertilizer used has chemicals that deplete the soil and is also dangerous for human life. Technology has improved the health sector through research that gives the solution to health problems (Edie and Schmid, 2007, 2). Birth control methods are used to monitor the population unlike in ancient where health care system was inadequate (Sawyer et al. 2012, 1635). Increased pollution affects plants, water, and even the air that we breathe and this is due to the processing and manufacturing industries.

Impact of education

Education has positive impact and has increased poverty. Unlike early society where girls skipped classes to help with household work or boys skipping classes to join manual employment to increase income for the family, education helps in improving the living conditions through finding a good job with high income. In addition, education creates independency and self-sufficient from the outside aid. Therefore, education being an invaluable tool can help in alleviating poverty in the country (Parette, Quesenberry, and Blum, 2010, 339). Education also promotes the health of the people. Children born to educated parents are likely to survive beyond the first five years. They take their children for immunization, they seek prenatal care and later they are assisted to give birth to their young ones. Through education, the gender gap is decreased as compared to the early society where education was meant for boy child only. Today, education has proved that women have the same potential as men making the community a better place and gives them the chance of making decisions and contributing income for the family. Education has also minimised malnutrition, which is a big problem to the poor countries (Goldstein, J., 2012, 7). Education gives new and efficient farming techniques, which will increase the crop production thus decreasing malnutrition. Finally, education also helps in promoting economic growth by increasing the average earnings which in return increases the gross domestic product.literecy is important for the growth of any country.

Computer use and other digital technologies have influenced childhood programs and technology is used in improving quality programs. This has improved program management, professional development and classroom teaching (Oda, 2007, 251). Learning and classroom teaching innovation have highly influenced childhood education. Technology has influenced childcare programs through creative ways such as sending of the children’s digital photo via emails to their parents and online discussions. In the past, most children spend their time doing house chores and spend most of their time with their family but today’s family has been affected by technology where most of the communication is done digitally with no family time (Fox, Levitt and Nelson, 2010, 32). Entertainment technology has taken up family stories where most children spend most of their time watching childhood programs or playing video games (Byron, 2008, 3). Also, today’s children rely on the technology to guide them in their play thus limiting their imaginations and creativity which prevents their bodies from achieving motor development and optimal sensory as compared to early childhood (Malone, 2007, 519). Technology impact on a growing child has led to an increased psychological, behavior and physical disorders as detected by the education and health system. Diseases like obesity and diabetes are now common to small children, and this is related to technology over use. Other disorder includes autism, development delays, co-ordination disorder, learning difficulties, unintelligible speech, and anxiety, which are all associated with technology over use (Shirky, 2011, 36). Childhood period is associated with play where children spend most of their time playing thus stimulating their sensory organs, tactile and proprioceptive systems (Esquivel and González, 2010, 15). Tactile is achieved through hugging, touching, and playing to develop planned movement patterns.

Drivers of change

Drivers of progress are necessary for childhood development. They include social-cultural, political, economic and technological drivers. The following factors are important to ensure drivers of development are a success.

• Supportive political environment

The government should provide a supportive environment by supporting direct policies, creation of an enabling environment, financing initiatives and allowing donors to help when necessary. Progress is driven by political commitment in areas such as health, poverty, education and nutrition. The government should come up with laws that protect the child and create provisions that address financial and social barriers, which are vital drivers to children especially the poor who are disadvantaged. Decentralized service delivery, strengthens the local government structure by improving decision-making power, which is beneficial to child wellbeing (Biernat, 2016, 34).

• Planning and implementing of programs

Coherent policies progress child welfare if implemented effectively. However, if the resources are well prepared, they can improve the managerial and administrative support and improve the infrastructure.

• Resourcing

• Resource mobilisation improves the child well-being whereby if the funding is too low it affects the child protection issues especially nutrition due to lack of quality health facilities, especially in the rural areas. Developing policies and programs that have an impact on children relatively at a lower cost is critical to the well-being of the child especially to the developing countries. In overall, resourcing help in improving the health, education, sanitation and water sector that are crucial to the well-being of a child (Couse and Chen, 2010, 84).

• Role of growth

Economic growth plays a significant role in reducing poverty and financing social services that are crucial to the progress of a child. In addition, growth expands the resource envelope while facilitating the programs where active policies improve the fruit of growth thus progresses the child developing level. Some cases such as malnutrition have a negative response to growth.

• Social change.

Positive effects have been achieved through increased through gender equality across the different areas of a child growth. For instance, girls education is critical in improving nutrition, child health and also the child protection. Indeed, child mortality rate is reduced with the increased girl education level each year (Biernat, 2016, 36). Women empowerment contributes to the wellbeing of a child by reducing sex differentials.

• Improved technology

Improved technologies have reduced the child mortality rate across the continent. Other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, preventable diseases have been reduced using key technology.

Significant progresses have been achieved trough factors such as strong political leadership especially from the executive that gives access to quality education and hunger elimination. Improved financial investment which is achieved through the national government facilitates the economic growth by contributing and improving the nutrition sector a reducing the child mortality rate. Investing in a child’s growth progress in terms of economic growth has a significant pay off. A well-designed programme involving child wellbeing, contributes in reducing inequality while fostering greater social cohesion (Light and Drager, 2007, 209). These policies will improve the nutrition, health and education sectors that are essential to the growth of the children.


In conclusion, childhood development especially in the early years with negative or positive experiences has implications in the child’s wellbeing, education, and success in future life. The social, physical, emotional and cognitive processes are important in supporting the development and growth of a child. Poverty reduction and improvement in the nutrition sector will reduce the stunted growth in children thus improving the cognitive development and physical capabilities that helps in attaining their full potential. Technology plays a major role in today’s society with both negative and positive effects. As children grow, they get more exposure to the media, which prepares them on what to expect in the real world (Burkam et, al. 2007, 118). However, technology has positive side like, education sector where the classroom has been updated increasing the morale of the students. Information is absorbed more quickly through electronic materials which prepare them for the workforce ahead while still at a young age (Ungar, M., 2009, 267). Improved agriculture and infrasture sector is because of technology which increases the gross domestic product of a country and improves the economic growth altogether. Technology has enabled students or children with disabilities to become vastly popular especially in classroom. They contribute equally like other students through the supportive gadgets and this gives them the chance to enjoy education like others. Technology allows the children to have more skills, which are vital in the ever-changing digital continent. It impacts them with the skills they require when they start employment. Nevertheless, technology has its own cons such as loss of privacy where children are exposed to, watching adult contents but through the privacy act, they are protected from watching the adult programmes (Gori et al. 2008, 695). However, it is difficult to determine the child age when they visit the website. Technology has also caused health related problems where children spend much of their time playing video games unlike in early society where physical games helped in keeping track of their health; this has caused laziness and conditions like obesity, which is a major problem in today’s society (Sabo et al. 2012, 1842). By putting, a limit on the use of technology will not only prevent the health risks but it will help the children to socially interact with their peers.

Technology has also affected the social norms where people interact through cell phones or internet instead of one on one that was used in the early society (Buckingham, 2013, 15). Children interaction has also reduced as they spend much of their time playing electronic games. Finally, technology and education help children in coping with emotionally stressful situations by interacting with others through the social media. Technology aids in education but can also be detrimental; as such, implementation of technology should be chosen wisely and monitored while it is used in class (Thorsteinsson and Niculescu, 2012, 434). It should not interfere with the student to student or teacher to student interaction such as group discussions.controling technology and keeping it in moderation is an important aspect in the growth of a child in a way that is healthy. Childhood environment should have structures that positively influence learning leading to a successful education process that highly influences the future of the child. Every person to eradicate illiteracy while promoting the economic status should embrace education. Therefore, technology and education are vital in the growth of a child in today’s society.


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