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Childhood

 

Introduction to childhood

Childhood; mother with babyHuman babies are born with a relatively large head on a small body and short folded limbs. Other mammals, like puppies, kittens, lambs, foals, calves and elephants, to name a few, stand up on their own feet and walk to their mother's nipples to feed themselves within a few hours after birth, but the human baby needs about a year to learn to walk. For animals the nursing period (during which the young is breastfed) is long enough to learn how to find food and avoid dangers: when the young is weaned (taken off the breast) it can take care of itself. But the human young needs years to learn how to eat their food in the appropriate manner (relative to their culture) and even longer to buy food and cook their own meals.
In the course of evolution humans have developed a more complex life style than any other species. Obviously, a longer childhood is required for learning all the skills we take for granted. Childhood ends with sexual maturity, but in modern society education usually goes on for many more years after that.

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