What Is a Child?


A child is a human being who has not reached the age of majority (adulthood). A child may also be referred to as a young person. The term is used for both males and females. Traditionally, a child is someone who is under the care and supervision of parents or other adult guardians. This is the case for most children, but it is possible to have a child who is unsupervised by adults. The term child is often used derogatorily, or to refer to a specific social class or group of people.

From a biblical standpoint, God makes children and gifts them to mothers and fathers and into families. This is because He knows that children need the nurturing and support of family in order to grow up into healthy and productive adults. In addition, children need context to understand what behavior is appropriate in different situations. This is why children imitate the behavior of those around them. If they see their mother being relaxed and happy, they will probably act in the same way. However, if they see their mother being tense or angry, they will likely behave defensively.

The concept of childhood has changed over time and varies across cultures. For example, children in Western countries have the opportunity to go to school and work during their childhood. In contrast, children in many developing countries are still not able to access education or work while they are young. This can cause them to be under-educated, underemployed, or even homeless when they are older.

Throughout history, philosophers have debated the nature of childhood and what it means to be a child. Aristotle, for instance, viewed children as pathologically weak and physically disproportionate to their age. He believed that children must go through a painful process of maturation before they can become fully functional members of society.

In the seventeenth century, philosopher John Locke developed a theory called tabula rasa. This was the idea that at birth, the human mind is a blank slate with no data or rules for processing it. This blank slate is then filled with information and rules for processing by the experiences of the child’s life.

Children have certain rights, which are described in international law and in many national laws. These include the right to health and safety, including protection from violence and the right to freedom of speech and religion. Children also have the right to a safe environment in which they can rest and play, and the right to take part in cultural and creative activities.

In some cases, these rights are violated or ignored. For example, in low-income countries, 290 million children do not have legal identity documents, which makes it impossible for them to receive schooling and healthcare, or to get a job when they are older. Many of these children are girls, who are more likely to be denied these basic rights. This can lead to poverty, abuse, and exploitation in the long run.