2 Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt The child is developing physically and becoming

2 autonomy vs shame and doubt the child is developing

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2. Autonomy vs. Shame and DoubtThe child is developing physically and becoming more mobile. Between the ages of 18 months and three, children begin to assert their independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about what they like to wear, to eat, etc.
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The child is discovering that he or she has many skills and abilities, such as putting on clothes and shoes, playing with toys, etc. Such skills illustrate the child's growing sense of independenceand autonomy. Erikson states it is critical that parents allow their children to explore the limits of their abilities within an encouraging environment which is tolerant of failure.For example, rather than put on a child's clothes a supportive parent should have the patience to allow the child to try until they succeed or ask for assistance. So, the parents need to encourage the child to become more independent while at the same time protecting the child so that constant failure is avoided. A delicate balance is required from the parent. They must try not to do everything for the child, but if the child fails at a particular task they must not criticize the child for failures and accidents (particularly when toilet training). The aim has to be “self control without a loss of self-esteem” (Gross, 1992). Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of will.If children in this stage are encouraged and supported in their increased independence, they become more confident and secure in their own ability to survive in the world.If children are criticized, overly controlled, or not given the opportunity to assert themselves, they begin to feel inadequate in their ability to survive, and may then become overly dependent upon others, lack self-esteem, and feel a sense of shame or doubt in their abilities.3. Initiative vs. GuiltAround age three and continuing to age five, children assert themselves more frequently. These are particularly lively, rapid-developing years in a child’s life. According to Bee (1992), it is a “time of vigor of action and of behaviors that the parents may see as aggressive."During this period the primary feature involves the child regularly interacting with other childrenat school. Central to this stage is play, as it provides children with the opportunity to explore their interpersonal skills through initiating activities.Children begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with others. If given this opportunity, children develop a sense of initiative and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions.Conversely, if this tendency is squelched, either through criticism or control, children develop a sense of guilt. They may feel like a nuisance to others and will, therefore, remain followers, lacking in self-initiative.
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The child takes initiatives which the parents will often try to stop in order to protect the child.
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  • Winter '18
  • ADAMS-BARTON RYAN
  • Developmental Psychology, stage, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson

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