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Erik Erikson reflection

Personality develops in stages that are effected by social experiences across a


lifetime and reflects a desire to affiliate with other people. Erikson believed ego
identity is the conscious sense of self that is developed through social interactions.
The theory of psychosocial development is one of the best known theories of
personalities. I learned ego identity constantly changes due to new experiences and
information we acquire in daily interactions with others. The formation of identity is
a process that continues throughout our lifetime. Erikson believed we go through
eight stages of development. In each stage there is a turning point in development
and first must be resolved to go to the next stage. The first stage of development is
trust versus mistrust. This stage happens between birth and the first year of life.
This is the most fundamental stage in life. The development of trust is based on the
dependability and quality of care a baby receives. When caregivers are consistent
and emotionally available, trust will develop. When caregivers are inconsistent and
emotionally unavailable, this contributes to feelings of mistrust in a child. Failure to
develop trust will result in fear and a belief that the world is inconsistent and
unpredictable. Children need to develop trust before they can be open to hope. This
is very important in my work with children. When I help children develop trust, they
begin to discover that their behavior is their own. If a child is restrained or punished
too much, they are likely to develop a sense of shame and doubt. How we interact
with children has a lasting effect on their development. We have to form
connections that are meaningful so children believe in themselves. In the second
stage of Eriksons development theory is autonomy versus shame and doubt. This
stage happens in early childhood and focuses on a greater sense of personal
control. Erikson believed that learning to control ones bodily functions leads to
feelings of control and a sense of independence. Children grown when they gain
control over food choices, toy preferences, and clothing selection. When we are in
our classroom, our children will grow if we give them choices. Children grow
independently when they learn to feed themselves, get their own portions of food or
pick what toys they play with. Children will feel secure and confident when this
stage is completed successfully. Creating a balance between autonomy and shame
and doubt will help children act within reason and limit. The full list of Ericksons
stages of development are:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)

Trust versus mistrust


Autonomy versus shame and doubt
Initiative versus guild
Industry versus inferiority
Identity versus identity confusion
Intimacy versus isolation
Generativity versus stagnation
Integrity versus despair

Each of these stages has a positive role such as trust, and a negative role such as
mistrust. In a healthy solution to the crisis of each stage, the positive role
dominates, but some exposure to the negative is inevitable.