Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Erikson's Theories parents may find helpful

Psychoanalyst Erik Eriksson states that an individual experiences eight stages of development:
1. Infant: Trust vs. Mistrust
2. Toddler: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
3. Preschooler: Initiative vs. Guilt
4. School age Child: Industry vs. Inferiority
5. Adolescent: Industry vs. Role confusion
6. Young adult: Intimacy vs. Isolation
7. Middle-Age Adult: Generativity vs. Stagnation
8. Older Adult: Integrity vs. Despair

In each stage, challenges – psychological crises are faced that require individuals to change their concepts of themselves and the world around them. The individual’s identity emerges out of a series of challenges and conflict that make children and adolescents especially vulnerable during particular periods. Each stage the individual has specific needs that must be met if it is not met these needs are carried to the next stage.

At the fourth stage: Industry vs. inferiority (6 to 11) during the elementary grades, children’s behavior is characterized by active curiosity and a sense of how they stand in relation to others. Children want to win recognition and praise through the things they do.
If this occurs they develop a sense of industry. The potential danger of this stage is that the child will not experience success and will develop feelings of in adequacy or inferiority. If children are encouraged to succeed, if those around them praise their efforts, and if they feel competent, they will develop a sense of industry or confidence. If their attempts to succeed fail .if the adults around them give little feedback or negative feedback, and if they feel incompetent they will develop a sense of inferiority. Schools are the social institution where these out comes occur and their consequences are seen most clearly.

A child’s sense of industry can be built at home and in the community as well. Parents may assign appropriate chores to their children and praise or reward them on completion. The parent may encourage the child to partake of children’s activities e.g. Plays or volunteer programs held in church, synagogue, temple, mosque or community centers and libraries. Such activities will help build their child’s confidence and sense of industry. Parents or guardians should always show an interest in the child’s school work and make sure that the child completes his or her home work. Parents may take an active part in the childs education by attending parents-teachers conferences; assist in obtaining the appropriate tutoring for the child when necessary and helping with school projects. Encouraging a child to be punctual at school will also help build his or her ethics thus preparing him or her for the future.

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  1. Role playing for preschoolers I think its very important.. I didn’t realize how important it is until I read your blog. Your theorist is very interesting.
    I learned that because of Erikson, teachers now teach about bully proofing and character building, that's something good to know, just in case I would like to know or read more about it, I know who I can look up.
    So that stages are basically suggestions for parents to know their child development? I think this is a great idea for parents to follow.. I believe many parents don’t know these stages of child development… and this gives them something to go by.. like I know some parents that question themselves and sometimes ask me if their 8 year old kid could be ready for community activities etc..
    Good job!

  2. Reading your blog was very informing to me. I knew that our personalities develop as we grow up, what I didn’t know; we go through eight stages to develop our personalities. As a parent it is very helpful to know the child’s developmental stages to help our children become more independent and develop self confident. It’s amazing what child’s play can do. They basically shape us to become who we are. Good teachers and parents have used Erikson theory without knowing. It makes since that children to do better when encouraged and develop their independence when they have freedom to choose what they can do during play time. This blog is a great source for teachers and parents alike to help develop confident children.
    Great work!

  3. Kristin PoveromoMarch 3, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Nice Job :) I remember learning extensively about Erikson in high school. I made a lot of connections with the idea that children need to become aware of their independence through pretend play. My research project deals with pretend play and Erikson would be something of significance to introduce. Thanks!

  4. From Janet Fecht...

    I truly enjoyed reading about Erikson.

    Helping children find their independence apart from parents is especially important; they need to learn social skills outside of home.

    Children need to learn that every impulse cannot be acted upon...I know many adults who could heed that same advise, including myself sometimes!

    Working in an elementary school, I can appreciate it when Erikson says that teachers and parents must tread a fine line, providing supervision without interference. Some parents don't allow their children to fall and pick themselves up and learn from their own or dad has to swoop in and save the child and I believe that this doesn't give the child an opportunity to learn anything from his mistakes.

    Many people don't understand that allowing children to make-believe helps them learn. I certainly do!

    It took me until my first child was 2 or 3 years old to realize that I had to be tolerant of her mistakes. This is just one more way for children to learn. This has been huge for me in the classroom when working with children...I tend to allow them to make mistakes and try to fix them on their own.

    Bullying classes should be taught to children and adults as well. I have read about and personally know a teacher-bully!

    I completely agree with Erikson when he said, "How well students do in the primary grades matters more for their future than does their school performance at any other time." I believe that elementary school is when a child becomes who he is going to be.

  5. Nice work. I thought I had no idea who Erik Erikson was before reading your blog, but then I began to remember Psych classes where his name was mentioned. I am going to research his theories on bullying more closely because I have one in the Kindergarten class where I work and I am at a loss as to what to do with her. I also see parents and caregivers scolding ECE age children for having accidents when they are trying to do things independently. I will watch for that in my own behavior as well because it is so important for the little ones to learn from their mistakes in order to grow more autonomous.

  6. I enjoyed reading your blog! It was packed with information we need to run our classrooms successfully!I knew that as humans, our personalities continuously change and develop. However, i had no idea that we go through eight stages to develop our personalities. As a teacher canidate, it is very helpful to know how my students will be developing. It's even more shocking that effective master teachers unconsioucly use Erikson's theory. You guys did a great job! Thank you for all the info!

  7. As a para and a parent of an 11 year old,I especially found the information about the fourth stage helpful. I liked the way your blog is set up, lots of useful information but not overwhelming. Nice job.

  8. This blog was very informative, I found the breakdown of the eight stages to be helpful with determining why children and adults behave the way they do.

  9. Wow! Very well presented information. I think that I learned a lot the different stages that the different ages go through. When I was reading the what parents should know paragraph, it was reminding me about my psychology class I took in high school. The big difference is that my teacher did not go into great details or example about each stage. Now I can walk into my classroom with more psych knowledge about my students than I ever had before.

  10. The piece about Erikson on The Industry Stage:
    Parents can enforce voluntering in the community. Showing interest in the your child's work makes for a better student, and this carries into the classroom and into becoming a responsible humanbeing. The fourth stage: Industry vs. inferiority (6 to 11) Encouraging children to succeed through praise, helping them to feel capable. Eriksons' theories were shown to be a tool that wise educators incorporate in all their lesson plans.

  11. I like the part where it talks about involving the children in things to do because as parents we forget to involve oour own children in things

  12. I think that Erik Erikson is very interesting. I never knoew how stages in life can either be great for us or hold despair. It makes you look at children and your own life differently. I agree with Erikson on behalf of parents incorporating their children in things that will make them learn.

  13. I really did learned something knew. At first I had no clue who he was and what his theory was about; but now I know who Erickson is and what his theory is.I learned that the goal of ECE is to help children find their independence apart from their parents. That teachers should encourage children to make and to act on choices, such as allowing free choice time when the children can select an activity or game. I believe that teachers should allow students to make their own choices because through those choices teachers can learn to identify each students identity. Oh yeah, I also learned about the different stages that the individual experiences of development. Very interesting that was to learn. great Job!!