A person's childhood is often a very simple yet complicated time. It is also a very influential time in a person's life, and most people's childhoods will have a big impact on the type of adult they turn out to be later in life.
Childhood psychology is a specialized branch of traditional psychology that focuses on children, mainly their development and behavior. It is one of the most commonly studied types of psychology today. This type of psychology typically covers every child, from birth to adolescence. Some areas covered under childhood psychology include milestones, behavior problems, social skills, mental and emotional well being and development.
Centuries ago, childhood psychology wasn't even thought of. It is commonly believed that children during Medieval times, for instance, were viewed as nothing more than small versions of adults. They were dressed the same and often treated the same as the typical adult.
Shortly thereafter, original sin was the most common belief. This school of thought stated that children were born basically as purely evil beings. The purpose of a child's upbringing was to rid him of sin.
John Locke, a philosopher, helped changed this outlook toward the end of the 17th century. It was lock who developed the tabula rasa, or "blank tablet", theory regarding children. This theory stated that upon birth, a child's mind was nothing more than a blank tablet. All of a person's knowledge and behavior tendencies were then created by what was fed into his mind as a child.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a philosopher in the 18th century, most famous for his "innate goodness" theory. This theory suggested that when a child was born, he was not evil or blank, but inherently good. Rousseau also suggested that it was the evils encountered in society that made children misbehave or grow up to be less than stellar adults.
Today, the debate about whether children are born good, bad, or indifferent is still something of a minor debate for some. What we do realize, however, is that childhood is a very influential time in a person's life. Events that happen in a person's childhood - even small, seemingly insignificant events - usually have a direct impact on how that person feels and acts as an adult.