Erickson mentions eight developmental stages that record the psychological growth in the context of social constructs.The first stage of trust versus mistrust is about how the new-born begins to learn the psycho-social factor trust, responds, and acts on the basis of it. It is said that if the child does not develop the feeling of trust, he would probably grow up to be an insecure adult. The stage of autonomy versus shame and doubt initiates from the age of one to three years. At this stage, the child begins to be conscious of his ego or individuality and begins to assert it (Psychosocial Development, 2004).
He wants to do things independently. This is a crucial period and the child must be treated with a lot of patience and discretion. He should not be snubbed at any of his attempts, rather encouraged and appreciated. The child’s spirits should not be put down otherwise he might suffer from a sense of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Initiative versus guilt is the continuation of the previous stage. When the child is constantly withheld from exploring new grounds all by his own and reprimanded or criticized for it he starts to develop the feeling of guilt of being good for nothing.
This affects healthy mental growth. The same is true for the next stage that is termed industry versus inferiority. Generally spanning from six years of age, the stage is about the child’s growing personality as an individual (Psychosocial Development, 2004). At this stage, the child seeks recognition by virtue of individual accomplishments and if he receives negative feedback starts developing an inferiority complex. Teachers and parents play a vital role at this stage in ego-boosting of the child to make him confident.
Adolescence is the most difficult time to deal with as it is the transition from childhood to adulthood. There are confusions and curiosities, falling into depression and inability to fit in the role of either a child or an adult. Parents should help the child to build up a proper approach to the changes and to the new life as adults. Their views and opinions should be respected and considered. The stage intimacy versus isolation is characterized by the desire of the individual to search for the ideal relationship and enter into commitments.
In absence of it one feels isolated and neglected (Psychosocial Development, 2004).