Infancy and Childhood

Infancy: The primary concern of the infant is accommodation to the prevailing modes of sensation and communication, and to master physical skills necessary for independent exploration of the infant's reality.

Childhood: Having mastered basic modes of interaction with his environment, the child begins socialization. Socialization is focused on graceful management of separation and joining. In childhood, this occurs in small groups, and generally without significant organic consequence of failure.

The child begins to form a tone for his or her life through interactions with elders. In discussion, we typically speak of this process as the development of a character, as distinct from a personality. I believe that both terms are too broad, including aspects of mental and physical development. A tone is composed of the prevailing modes of response to psychological stimulus. While these can be detailed by reference to the characteristic emotions, the most meaningful differentiating consequence is the means used to focus others' attention. This can either be by using power to control their attention, or love to attract their focus. Properly socialized, we use both of these, but most children prefer one or the other. When the preferred mode is not actively exercised, they tend to become observers rather than actors. Of course, this provides the alert adult the opportunity to broaden their modes.