Rather than looking at consciousness as belonging to a child or an adult, let us look at the idea of consciousness being both an energy and at the same time a state of being. There are two states: one state is becoming, when we use the potential, the activity and the power to change what we are at present to something else. The other state is being. We become, we are.
In consciousness both these possibilities exist, of becoming and of being, and these possibilities actualize themselves when in the right environment. When we are born, our consciousness is pure, without any influences or impressions of the present day environment. That pure consciousness remains with us in our young days until the age of eight. This state of consciousness is like a sponge, it is simply absorbing everything, absorbing the information received through the senses, absorbing the information received through the interactions, absorbing the information received through the intellectual and emotional inputs. In this manner the consciousness conditions itself to survive and to exist in this material plane.
Until the age of eight, the information received by the consciousness is purely intuitive. Non-linear information, non-sequential information, is received – the idea of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. A child grows in our society conditioned to believe that happiness is perpetually postponed for tomorrow.
When we begin our school education, a change happens in the pattern of consciousness and we begin a sequential learning process, a linear learning process. The moment the sequential and linear learning process begins, our personality changes. We become fixed in certain ideas, that A comes before B, C follows B, and in this way an understanding is developed. That understanding is a very set understanding, and this is where the personality undergoes a major transformation in life.
You can give consciousness any shape you want. The family contributes to giving shape to that consciousness. The culture in which we live, the social environment, the religious environment, the educational environment, all contribute to the formation of human consciousness.