Other necessary actions comprise of gaining more control over toy preferences food choices and clothing selection. A child who succeeds to complete this stage feels secure and confident, while those who do not succeed are left with a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt. A child is however very vulnerable at this stage. If a child is shamed when learning valuable skills or toilet training, the child may feel great shame, and doubt of ones capabilities and this consequently lowers the childs self-esteem (Erickson, 1963). At this stage of development I successful acquired most of the skills.
Before I acquired toilet training, I could pass my wastes anywhere especially behind our house. My mother would regularly train me to use a potty and punish me if I did contrary to her instructions. I had difficulties walking on my two feet without leaning on something. My siblings and my mother would laugh at me. This could explain why I have little confidence in performing motor tasks such as dancing and running to date and I always predict failure.
All the same, I succeeded in acquiring a sense of independence, ability to resist being dominated and assertiveness. I was able to resolve the conflict and acquire autonomy. Initiative vs. Guilt (3years- 6years) This phase occurs in the preschool years. Initiative versus guilt stage is characterized by children beginning to assert their control and power over the world through directing social interaction including play. They also begin to use the exploring word WHY?
At this stage, children should begin to assert their power and control over the environment by taking initiative through organizing activities, accomplishing tasks and overcoming challenges (Erickson, 1968). Children at this stage are motivated to copy adults. It is important for caregivers at this stage to encourage exploration and to help children make appropriate choices. Caregivers who are dispiriting or dismissive may make children feel ashamed and become excessively dependent upon the help of others. Play and imagination takes on an important role at this stage. Giving children freedom and encouraging them to play reinforces their sense of initiative.
When efforts to participate in physical and imaginative play are discouraged by caregivers, children start feeling that their self-initiated endeavors are a source of embarrassment. Succeeding in this stage leads to a sense of purpose, while failure instills a sense of guilt (Erickson, 1963).
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