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Human growth and development has always formed a crucial study point for many scholars. It is well recognized that human beings undergo varied processes and stages in their lives each of which is characterized by varied distinctive features. This paper puts into perspective my life and examines the varied characteristics or behavioral tendencies that I exhibited in different stages of my life. While it underlines the efficacy of Erickson’s stage development theory, it underlines the fact that the life of an individual would not, in absolute terms, follow or be explained by the theory all through, rather it would also exhibit other features that are explained in other stage theories such as Piaget’s theory, as well as Vygostky’s theory.
The growth and development of an individual has always formed a point of interest for many scholars. The term development underlines a series of age related modifications that occur in the course of an individual’s lifespan. Varied famous psychologists such as Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, Sigmund Freud and Jean Piaget have described development in terms of a series of stages. The term stage underlines a period in the development of an individual where he or she exhibits typical patterns of behavior and establishes certain capacities. The different stage theories are based on three assumptions. First, it is assumed that individuals pass via stages in a certain order with every subsequent stage building on the capabilities that the individual developed or made in the preceding stage. In addition, it is assumed that there exist a relationship between the varied stages and age. Lastly, development is assumed to be a discontinuous process that has qualitatively different capacities that emerge in every stage. Many researchers and scholars have made enormous strides in their journey of enhancing knowledge as to the milestones that an individual’s life makes right from the time of birth to death, throughout the years of his or her life. In such instances, the key issue has been the comprehension of the distinctive psychosocial tendencies that characterize different ages of growth. It is well understood that individuals in different stages have different characteristics, in which case their needs are different (Crain, 2004). Their strategies of adapting to the different environments and stages of life expose their characteristics, as well as their cognitive development or the knowledge that they have at this stage. Looking at my life since my early stages of development to where I am now (mid thirties), I can authoritatively say that my entire life has largely espoused the stages outlined in the stage development theory. Of course, my characteristics at certain times have taken up features outlined other theories of development (Crain, 2004). However, Ericson’s stages of development theory seems to espouse my cognitive development appropriately.
In my first year of birth, it goes without saying that I depended entirely on my caregiver or parents for the basic human needs such as comfort, food, and warmth. At this stage, my caregiver catered for my every need, sensing when I was in discomfort and making efforts to ease it. In most cases, my parents were not around as my dad worked in another state, while mom was usually away for the larger part of the day. In this case, I spent most of my time with the caregiver, an old sweet lady that I came to trust even more than my own dad in the early years of my life. I was entirely restless in my dad’s arms and would only stop crying when in the arms of the caregiver (maid) or mom, who were not only the familiar faces around but also were the key individuals who catered for my needs. This is outlined in Ericson’s theory of development as Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust where a child may become insecure depending on the manner in which his or her needs are taken care of (Miller, 2002).
In the period between 18 months and around 3 years, I had started to learn some new skills that enhanced my independence. My potty-training occurred at this time, as well as the first steps and even dressing myself. At this time, dad was usually around and apart from developing a secure relationship with him I learnt most of the things from him. The sense of security that I experienced from my two parents, as well as the elderly maid, may have enhanced my self esteem and independence. As my mother disclosed to me, I learnt varied skills extremely fast. In fact, I had learnt how to dress or even wear shoes by the time I was two years old. This may have emanated from the support that I had from my parents and guardian (Crain, 2004).
In my formative years between the ages of three and six, I had learnt how to manage my impulses, as well as act in a manner that may be regarded as socially responsible. Of course, this was influenced by my pears in school, the teachers who guarded my behavior jealously, as well as the prying eyes of my parents and guardians (Palaiologou, 2009). This enhanced my self-confidence, although in instances where I acted in unbecoming way, I would have guilt eating out my conscious. However, I was also extremely curious, as well as actively involved in learning new .............
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