Child Development Theories
Piaget outlines the following stages of Cognitive development (Rowland, 2012). Sensorimotor Stage: it is the first two years after being born where the knowledge of an infant regarding the surrounding is limited to their motor activities and sensory perceptions. Infants construct understanding and knowledge through coordinating physical interactions with objects and their experiences and through developing a permanent sense of objects and themselves. Preoperational Stage: This is a period between 2 and 6 years where the child has the ability to use language. They don’t understand concrete logic yet, and therefore are not able to manipulate information mentally and cannot take other people’s point of view. In every stage, an individual is expected to confront and master new challenges with each stage building upon the success of the previous stage.
If the new challenges are not completed, they are expected to come up as problems in the future (Scheck, 2014). However, worth noting is the fact that, an individual does not need to master one stage to advance to the next one. The theory advocates for an individual moving through the 8 stages as a function of their going through biological and sociocultural forces. Also, each stage presents a psychological crisis caused by conflicts between different forces, where if an individual manages to reunite these conflicts, they emerge from that stage with the virtues that correspond with that stage. However, in this stage according to Erikson is to learn whether or not people around you satisfy your basic needs of consistent food, affection, and comfort.
My mother ensured that the feelings of comfort, safety, and care were available in my life even if I grew with only one parent. My extended family was also supportive especially when my dad left providing my mother with shelter for a year before she got her life back together. Will; shame Vs. Autonomy According to the theory, as a child gains over some motor abilities and controls eliminative functions, they will slowly begin to explore their surroundings. It is also at this stage that children gain independence and courage that sets them apart from other children in different age groups. It is at this stage that the child develops a sense of judgment and faces planning complexities. Being the first born, I took up the leadership role and took the initiative to set goals of achievement for myself.
I began to take risks more like crossing the street to my home alone after the school bus had dropped us at home however with self-imposed limits like waiting for the traffic lights. The fact that I never grew up with a dad was also prominent in my aggressive behaviors where I was fond of throwing tantrums. I finally settled in school and I had an idea of what I wanted to do in school. I also developed a sense of sexual identity with mixed feelings and ideas about my sexual orientation. It was at this stage that my rare disorder trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder manifested itself due to a crisis identity. I was heavily depressed at this stage partly due to the fact that I realized that I needed a father figure in my life to guide me through my adolescent life.
I didn’t know what I wanted in life really and I was constantly in a crisis as I transitioned from childhood to adulthood. It is in this stage that I established my identity, met the love of my life and committed to a long-term relationship that bore a family. Even with the struggles with anxiety and depression, I was able to form a reciprocal intimate relationship. Care: Stagnation Vs. Generativity Though I’m relatively new in this stage, I can share my experiences about what I’ve learned. I have been able to think beyond my family and focus on the society as a whole to try and make my life count. I can’t complain because it is these virtues that taught me humility and care and how two raise my two daughters who are now 9 and 12 in a respectable manner that does not discriminate gender roles in performing certain chores.
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