Thursday, June 23, 2011

Erikson’s Stages of Development Part 4:

See I said I would be more consistent last week and well we all saw how that went, but this time I am really committed to doing better. I’m sure of it ….. I thinkJ

Industry vs. Inferiority ages 7 to 13:

In this stage the goal of the person is to bring to pass completion of productive situations and this supersedes the desire of play. (Yuck who really wants to be productive rather than play?) The children in this stage are becoming more aware of themselves and are asking “How can I be good?” rather than “am I good?” At this stage the child is trying hard to be “good” and responsible. They are more willing to share and cooperate with others. They are able to grasp space and time and understand better cause and effect. Here is the stage in which they are really beginning to form moral values and recognize cultural and individual differences. This is also the stage a child may begin to be disobedient to express their independence.

Erikson saw this stage as critical for the development of self-confidence. This is when children receive recognition from teachers and other adults and peers. If the children are praised for doing good things they will become more industrious, continuing to do productive things. If instead they are ridiculed or punished for their efforts they find that they are incapable of meeting expectations of adults, they develop feelings of inferiority.  If they are not allowed to discover their own talents in their own time, they will develop a sense of lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and lethargy. (This last bit is a little difficult for me because I know as a child I was never pushed to do things and I regretted not continuing on with things like playing the piano. I think there needs to be a happy medium here, but it’s not my theory it is Erikson’s).

So when we are creating are characters of younger age, do not make them have insights that they normally would not have. This is the stage at which our characters should begin to recognize their own space and time in society.  They should be developing their own morals and should be acting out a little from the norms. 


  1. I teach a lot of preteens, and they're not always lovable. But this is a great reminder always to look for the positive.

  2. I see a lot of children on Sunday in church and it always amazes me how you can see the difference between the junior group and the senior group. I just never really thought about why before.

  3. A wonderful reminder what pre teens is all about, Thank you.


  4. This is great! I have a short story about two young boys. And I planned to write a few more as a series. This information will really help me get into their heads and write their behavior accurately. Thanks!

  5. This is a good reminder of what we used to feel like. It's very helpful in writing realistic characters.

  6. Great explanations and advice - one of my characters is in her early 20s, so I need to remember what is was like to be that age!

    Ellie Garratt

  7. So true. Rewarding things are much easier to achieve than things that seem impossible, so if you are constantly taught not good enough you'll always believe it even though you are! :O)


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