Eight vital developmental stages in a child
Behavioural patterns: The psychological growth of children depends on the opportunity and freedom given to them to learn new skills
A teacher is concerned about a 6-year-old girl in her class who has not spoken a single word since the school started. The little girl uses gestures and drawings and nods and shakes her head to communicate but does not talk. The parents report that the little girl talks extensively at home or in the presence of her closer relatives. This abnormal behaviour is noticed in several children.
There are 5 types of abnormal behaviour in children: 1. Selective expression 2. Autism 3. Language disorder 4. Insubordinate and rebellious disorder and 5. School-phobia. In selective expression, a child voluntarily withdraws from talking in particular situations (usually at school) while remaining appropriately verbal at home.
Some children only speak with their parents and are quiet even with close relatives. Characteristic of autism is lack of social interactions and lack of imagination. Insubordination is refusal to follow rules and defiance toward parental authority. Children with school phobia refuse to go to school. Before going into details how to deal with these types of children, let us first find out the psychological developments at various ages.
According to Erickson, one of the great psychologists, the eight developmental stages are as under: Trust vs. mistrust: It occurs between birth and 18 months of age, during which period, if the infant’s needs are not promptly and empathically met, particularly by the mother, the infant may develop at a later stage mistrust and ruthlessness towards people on one side or becomes too dependent on them on the other.
Between 18 months and 3 years, it is the stage of “autonomy vs. shame and doubt”.
During this period, if the child is properly nurtured and allowed to experiment with new motility and curiosity about the environment, he or she acquires a healthy self-esteem and sense of autonomy.
The next stage is “Initiative vs. guilt”, when children expand the exploration of the outside world and have omnipotent fantasies about their own powers. In a good psycho-social environment during this stage, the child develops a capacity of self reflection, manifested by feeling guilty when rules are broken, without losing enthusiasm for independent exploration (unlike the child with rebellious behaviour).
The next stage is very important that decides the future of the children. It is called “Industry vs. inferiority”, which occurs between 5 and 13 years. Their psychological growth depends on the opportunity and freedom given to them to learn new skills and to take pride in accomplishments.
(to be continued)
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