As an infant, a child bonds with another human being. That initial relationship, if secure, allows the child to gradually add more people to his world. If chaos, moves, transitions and other disturbances prevent that initial bond, it is very difficult to create close bonds with others later in life. Similarly, as the child moves and interacts in a healthy environment, the brain develops, creating a functional sensory system. Although recent brain research teaches us that the brain can grow and change throughout life, it is in the early years that some of the foundations for later growth are laid. While brain wiring, if missed in childhood, can still occur in later years, it is often significantly more laborious.
Great request. Childhood is a golden age for human development for many reasons, but I believe there is one reason that trumps them all. Childhood is a time for "firsts." It is the maiden voyage, so to speak, a person's first exposure. For this reason, it sets the tone for the future. So, if a child's first exposure to learning is a good one, he or she is more apt to love school and learning. And if the child loves to learn for the sake of knowledge, then a child's academic career is pretty much set. What can be said about education can also be said in other areas. In addition, there are certain things that are particularly fruitful in childhood - music and languages. While the brain is still malleable, it is best to introduce children to these two arts.
This is a question that operated under the premise that childhood represents a "golden period." In theory, this can be seen as valid. Childhood is a period where basic needs are provided and where emotional nurturing is provided. This allows children to better understand how to understand who they are as well as their place in the world. They are able to reflect their authentic persona without the curse of self- consciousness. Childhood is a time of unlimited curiosity and wonderment about the world and all that is within it. At the same time, this vision of childhood cannot be advocated without asserting that some of the practical applications of childhood is about as far as this could be. For example, children who are the victim of sexual or emotional abuse might not be so able to appreciate the "golden period" that might be suggested. With the proliferation of information technology, the window of supposed innocence that is associated with childhood seems to be shrinking, which might detract from this asserted "golden nature."