Thursday, June 16, 2011

Erikson’s Stages of Development Part 2:

Sorry for being so sporadic lately on the posts. I will be more consistent from here on out. Thank you for all of your great comments and visits. I have learned a lot from you all.

Stage 2: Will: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt:
In this stage most people are in the ages from 2-4 years of age.  Here the child is beginning to gain more control over his/her environment. They are beginning to explore their surroundings. It is still important for the parents/caregivers to provide security, a base to explore from. This is a stage in which the children will do dangerous things like touching a hot stove, wander into dangerous places and other things like this. It is important that the caregivers provide a safety net for this age. It is also important that the caregivers provide positive reinforcing encouragement for their children. If a parent is too restrictive then it may instill a sense of doubt and reluctance in the child. If the parents encourage self-sufficient behavior the child is more likely to develop a sense of autonomy. If not careful then caregivers may instill a sense of shame and doubt when they are too restrictive.

Just a reminder, look at past posts on temperament of people and also past posts on personalities which have been discussed. The reason I give this reminder is so that we do not judge parents too harshly, not all problems that a child has is because of poor parenting. Yes many problems do and can occur because of poor parenting but not all.

Once again it is important for us as writers to gain a better understanding of our characters past so that we can better understand where they are coming from and why they are acting the way they act. I also think it would make for some great flashbacks for a story. Challenge for today write a flash fiction piece on a 2-4 year olds reason for being autonomous or doubtful. 


  1. Those would make for some interesting flashbacks! Although the character would have to have a pretty good memory to think of something that happened when they were 2-4.

    Great post!

  2. this is a great place to look back on with your characters...losts of explanation for why they act the way they do or to allude a way they may...

  3. My 2-4yrs were happy yet had a tinge of sadness,
    At 2 yrs I could pick up tunes on the piano and loved music and started to have proper lesson at 4yrs. Sadness came my way when at 3 yrs my father passed away suddenly which have had a great impact on my life. All little girls love to be daddies girl but I couldn't understand why mine wasn't around.Mother was a wonderful mum and sacrificed much for me which I shall be eternally grateful for.

  4. Oh wow. I am going to have to think about this one for a while. What an interesting idea and another great post.

  5. The reason why parents get the blame for so many issues is because our first 'imprinting' comes from the early interactions with our initial caregivers. And since we're all imperfect and have 'issues' handed down to us from our own imperfect interactions with our own parents, this cycle perpetuates in one form or another. Blogs and other writing like this one help shine a light on these phenomena and, hopefully, give us the tools we need to break negative cycles and reinforce positive ones.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


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