Psychosocial Development: Autonomy Vs. Shame And Doubt

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Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. The second stage of psychosocial development occurs at age 2-3, during the toddler years, and has to do with will. This is the time when a child begins to develop a sense a self-control and is determined to do things on their own, rather than relying on others. As a child takes the initiative to complete certain tasks they will either succeed or fail. Success at a task will lead to the child developing confidence in their own abilities and higher self-esteem, whereas failure at a task can lead to shame and doubt. Erikson states that it is important for a parent to be patient and establish and encouraging environment to promote success (McLeod, 2017). It is important that during this stage a parent is supportive and patient, but not critical of the child’s “failures”. Criticism and over-controlling will lead to a child developing low self-esteem and lack a sense of independence. According to Erikson, a child that does not achieve autonomy early on will become …show more content…
Guilt. The third stage of psychosocial development occurs at age 3-5, during the preschool years, and has to do with purpose. This stage stems from the previous stage of Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. The second stage deals with a child wanting to do things on their own; whereas during the third stage a child not only wants to do things on their own, but always wants to make their own decisions. A child will begin to initiate activities with others and explore their own skills (Mudrey, Psychosocial Timeline, 2018, p. 1). This is when a child will begin to form their own identity and explore their purpose in life. During this time it is important for a parent to not overstep and be overprotective when a child tries to take initiative (McLeod, 2017). Without room for freedom, a child might exhibit guilt and lack creativity. This could ultimately lead to low self-esteem and lack of purpose in life. The feeling of guilt comes from negativity towards the initiative

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