Stages of development are very important in an individual’s life. However, childhood stages are important as compared to other stages given the fact that key societal norms and regulations are acquired in the early stages of development. The importance of a developmental stage is determined by cultural norms and standards of a group. Eric Erickson is one of the psychologists who observed that developmental stages are very important because they help individuals in thinking about the future and learning new rules in society. In this regard, there are chances for children to acquire moral virtues at each developmental stage. In case children fail to acquire moral virtues, there is a high possibility that they will acquire negative behaviors in life, which might end up affecting their socialization. Erickson noted that human beings differ greatly in terms of behavior.
This difference is brought about by cultural differences and the differences in the environment. Some individuals are optimistic in life while some are pessimistic. Some are emotional while others are unemotional. Some children develop features that help them to be leaders in future while some develop features that will simply help them to be followers. Some children are born with characteristics that differentiate them from the rest of the population while some acquire behaviors that make them unique. In this regard, socialization agents such as the school, the family, the peer, and the polity influence the behavior of a child in a number of ways.
Erickson noted that the ego is an inborn trait that controls the behavior of a child right from childhood to old age. In this piece of writing, the behavior of a child under the age of nine years will be analyzed. Moreover, the developmental stage of the child will be discussed in detail. The behavior of the child in the stage will be compared with the descriptions provided in the textbook. It should be noted that the behavior of children at any developmental stage are similar across cultures.
A child with five years was selected for interviewing. The child falls under the third stage of development in Erickson’s theory. The third stage, according to Erickson, is the genital locomotive stage whose optimal time is three to six years. The responsibility that would face every child at this stage pertains to learning new things with no supervision. At this stage, a child would be required to learn things in order to be exposed to the realities of the world. This would involve facing challenges, finding out the existence of new skills, and being rational. Children at the stage would be busy mastering the surrounding environment. The dominant social modality is intrusive in nature meaning the bodies intrude into social spaces and to the other people’s spaces. At this stage, a child strives to find out why things are the way they are.
In particular, they would want to find out why genitals differ. Erickson observed that the family influences the behavior of the child greatly at this stage. Children who tend to learn more develop a maladaptive tendency referred to as ruthlessness. This refers to individuals who do things without considering the consequences of their behavior. Children who fear learning new things would develop a malignant tendency referred to as inhibition. An inhibited individual is the one who fears engaging in new things because he or she fears failure. If an individual strives to strike balance at this stage, a psychosocial strength referred to as purpose would be achieved.
Results of the Interview
The interviewed child was very active because he answered all questions posed to him successfully. For instance, the child claimed that a number of changes had taken place in his life. Physically, the child was able to climb high places such as the stairs. However, all these are performed when the child is idle. The child engages in physical activities because he or she has a lot of energy. The interviewed child alleged that he could do somersaults even in the living room because he believes that he is able to perform something even in a squeezed place. While in the field playing, the interviewee observed that he was able to stand on one foot for at least five minutes. This shows that at the age of five, the child should have developed muscles that allow him to stand on one foot. Physical development is also manifested in school because the child claimed that he is capable of drawing a human diagram with over five body parts.
The child repeats drawing this diagram even at his free time. Moreover, the child claimed that he learns to copy figures from other resources whenever he finds time. At home, the child is anxious because he realizes that he should learn to use objects such as the scissors and the pliers. This shows that the child is willing to learn new things, as suggested in the textbook. The child claimed that he becomes annoyed when he is told not to do something physically. In this case, the child might end up crying whenever he is told not to engage in a physical activity. In the textbook, the author observes that children are controlled not to do some activities because they might end up injuring themselves. In some cultures, children are left to do whatever they feel is right for them. However, this has a tremendous effect to the growth and development of the child.
Regarding cognitive development, the child was unable to give an account of his experience because of age. Therefore, the researcher approached the parent to establish the cognitive aspects of the child. The mother claimed that from time to time, the child could explain to her that he wished to do something that would bring success to the family. This shows that the child engages in imaginary play. Apart from imaginary play, the mother claimed that the child would also name colors and would identify simple figures. For instance, the child could identify the combination of numbers in a large figure. Intellectually, Arnett notes that children begin to understand the concept of time. The mother claimed that her son knows how to keep time. Every day, he wakes up in time and prepares within the shortest time possible to leave for school. This is similar to the findings of the author in the textbook.
Socially, the child explained that he relates very well with members of his age group. While in school, he interacts with his peers through play. However, he fears members of the opposite sex and old individuals. This is similar to what the author says in the textbook because children develop socially at the genital locomotive stage through fantasy and imagination (Arnett 67). This means that children believe that members of the opposite sex might harm them. Moreover, they believe that old members of society exist to interfere with their freedom and rights. The author notes further that children at this stage should learn to resolve internal conflicts personally.
Arnett, Jeffrey. Human Development: A Cultural Approach. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson, 2012. Print.