- The infant relies on parents for almost everything, which is important to develop trust.
- The infant’s gross motor skills are developing. He learns the difference between itself and others. He learns to sit, crawl, and some independence. He may begin to speak.
- The infant cannot do anything for itself to start with and needs parents’ involvement for almost everything. They need to be stimulated to develop neurological pathways. This helps to develop much needed memory skills. Reading the same story to the infant over and over again helps to develop those pathways.
Erikson’s Stage: Infancy (Oral Sensory Stage)
Ego Development Outcome: Trust vs. Mistrust
Basic Strength: Drive, and Hope
- They become independent form parents on some needs, but may suffer from separation anxiety if parents leave them with others.
- Their fine motor skills begin developing. They learn to use the potty. They walk fairly well. They learn to climb, color, paint, and catch balls. Their speech continues to develop.
- They are still very self-centered and rely on others for all of their basic needs. They need constant interaction with people to develop social skills.
Erikson’s Stage: Early Childhood
Ego Development Outcome: Autonomy vs. Shame
Basic Strength: Self-control, Courage, and Will
- They may still demand attention from their parents. They begin to bond with their peers if they are exposed to them in pre-school and daycare.
- They begin to classify objects such as: colors, shapes, numbers, letters, animals, plants, and etc. some are still working on developing skills such as potty training, fine and gross motor skills.
- They need interaction to learn both socially and educationally. They need to be read to and played with. They may depend on parents for many basic survival needs.
Erikson’s Stage: Play Age
Ego Development Outcome: Initiative vs. Guilt
Basic Strength: Purpose
Elementary school years:
- They begin pulling away from their parents and making close bonds with their peers. They like to think they are more independent than what they are.
- They begin to get an idea about morality. Their fine motor skills are being refined. They begin reading and writing on their own. They begin to think more logically and start learning about the consequences of their actions.
- They need constant encouragement and praise to be able to fully develop mentally. This helps to build their confidence. They also need boundaries, but still rely on parents to take care of most of their basic needs.
Erikson’s Stage: School Age (Latency)
Ego Development Outcome: Industry vs. Inferiority
Basic Strength: Method, and Competence
High school years:
- They generally pull completely away from their parents. The relationship between them and their parents may become strained and stressful for both parties. They may feel no one understands them. They start joining peer groups to help find their place in the world.
- Their morality is still developing. They start to search for their individual identity. They begin to think more abstractly. They begin to make important decisions for their own life.
- They have a need for love and belonging. They still need their parents for their basic needs, food and shelter. They still need encouragement and need respect. They need to know that they are understood. They need boundaries, but also need freedom.
Erikson’s Stage: Adolescence
Ego Development Outcome: Identity vs. Role Confusion
Basic Strength: Devotion, and Fidelity
- Most people at this age begin to tear down the wall between their parents and themselves. They must have a strong social network to help them. They may begin to find love.
- They begin to think more on morality. They move out on their own. For the first time they are responsible for almost every aspect of their lives. They are able to formulate their own motives and ideas.
- They need approval and recognition. Most are now responsible for their own basic needs. They still need a family network and parents to be part of their social network, but they also have a need to completely break away from their parents.
Erikson’s Stage: Young Adulthood
Ego Development Outcome: Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation
Basic Strength: Affiliation, and Love
The professional years:
- Tight bonds are formed with others than their families. They begin their own family units and bond with their children and spouses. They have a different type of relationship with co-workers than with people they care for.
- They consider issues from others’ viewpoints. They weigh information and try to make the best decisions based on their own ethic. They start truly finding out who they are. Many become parents; therefore they are responsible for others rather than themselves.
- They need connections with others. They need to be understood, but also have a need to understand others.
Erikson’s Stage: Middle Adulthood
Ego Development Outcome: Generativity vs. Self-absorption or Stagnation
Basic Strength: Production and Care
- Their bonds are close with their children and grandchildren. They may once again become close with their siblings. They may start losing their friends and family members, which may cause a great deal of grief.
- Their ethic is fully developed. Their potential is fully fulfilled.
- They still have a need for acceptance and to pass on their wisdom. They need to be remembered and not pushed to the side.
Erikson’s Stage: Late Adulthood (recovery)
Ego Development Outcome: Integrity vs. Despair
Basic Strength: Wisdom