Infants develop certain behaviors before they are born. This concept is described as reflex. Reflex is an inborn automatic response to a particular form of stimulation (Chapter 3, page 81). Reflexes are the most organized pattern of behavior displayed by newborn babies. As a baby, I would fall asleep from listening to classic music. My mother told me that she loved listening to classic music during her pregnancy days. Classic music made her relax and this transformed to the baby that she carried. Infants tend to develop certain behavior traits which are relative to their mothers’ surrounding environment. In this case, reflexes create the first behavior patterns in children.
Early childhood is the period in which children get their first education. Cognitive development theory purports that children actively construct knowledge as they manage and explore their world (Chapter 1, page 14). Children between the ages of 2 and 5 learn from observation of their surrounding environment and this notion is evident in the first language. As my parents communicated with me in English, it became my first language. I grew up towards the age of 5 years, I learned word manipulation that made me improve my understanding of the English language.
Middle to Late Childhood
The processing information into meaningful output begins in the middle and late childhood stages. Information processing is the manipulation of information to gain a desired and meaningful outcome (Chapter 9, page 252). Many children begin their first grade education in the mid-childhood stage. I attended my first grade class at the age of 6. At 6 years old, a child is able to process information into a meaningful output. Many children begin to develop complex behaviors at this stage since they have a better understanding of their environment. They begin to differentiate between good and bad which is the reason why parents tend to refrain from using coarse language around their offspring.
Identity as the major personality attainment of adolescence and as a crucial step toward becoming a productive, content adult (Chapter 12, page 329). The adolescent stage is the pre-adulthood stage where young people create their identity. Constructing an identity entails defining who you are, what you value, and the directions you choose to pursue in life. I made many mistakes in my adolescent stage. I was subjected to punishment which made me realize that people should be accountable for their actions. This was one of the main lessons that developed my way of thinking and actions as an adult.
Early adulthood is the stage of self-actualization. At this stage, human beings develop epic cognition. Epic cognition refers to people’s reflection on how they arrived at facts, beliefs, and ideas (Chapter 13, page 370). At this stage, one is able to handle complex tasks due to an increased level of Intelligence quotient. Early adulthood brings certain life changes such as attaining economic independence. I left home at the age of 24 years, and then I got my first job, earned my first salary and moved into my house.
The middle adulthood stage entails self-examination where people ought to re-examine their lives and create new challenges. It is a delicate stage in which if not handled correctly may lead to midlife crisis. Midlife crisis in this case refers to self-doubt and stress especially great during the forties (Chapter 16, page 438). Many people develop bad habits such as alcoholism and substance abuse which help them cope with the stress and challenges that they encounter at this life stage. At this stage of my life, I will examine my regrets and achievements which will help me decide on the new phase of my life.
This is the stage beyond the life expectancy in many countries. In late adulthood, one experiences several physical changes as many body organs begin to tire thus a person experiences frailty. Frailty involves weakened functioning of diverse organs and body systems, which profoundly interferes with everyday competence and leaves older people highly vulnerable in the face of infection (Chapter 17, page 471). To most people, this is the stage of rest. At this time, my grandmother is at the late adulthood stage. At the age of 81, she is often attacked by numerous infection which makes her reliant to medication for the rest of her life.
Death is considered as the last stage in life of a person. It is an inevitable stage in which all human beings have to experience. This notion is referred to as mortality. Mortality is the passing of an individual into permanent death (Chapter 19, page 522). Many people when lucky enough die as a result of old age. When a person dies of old age, the bereaved celebrate life.
Berk, E. Laura. Exploring Lifespan Developments. Pearson, 2018.