Thursday, October 2, 2014

Erik Erikson: Parenting and the 8 Stages of Development

Welcome to our first Thursday Theorist!

I chose Erik Erikson to kick of our new Thursday series because Erikson is one of my favorites.  He is also pretty well known and someone I discussed in this weeks podcast.  I kept the overview short and light and added on some of my tips for helping your child (or yourself) at each stage.  Enjoy!

Erik Erikson (1902-1994)  was a psychoanalyst who developed a theory of lifespan human development.  Unlike many of his peer who focused solely on events of childhood, Erikson recognized that humans continue to evolve throughout their lives.  

Erikson presented the Eight Stages of Development (1956) as a process of socialization.

At each stage there is a 'psychosocial crisis' which arises from a combination of social and maturational realities.   Therefore there is a rough timeline associated with each stage, and the stages are entered in order.   The individual must work to resolve the crisis before the next crisis.  Success will result in some virtuous characteristics.  The unresolved crisis on the other hand will upset normal development of the individual. These setbacks from unresolved crisis can be overcome with appropriate attention and care.

As parents, we can look at each stage our child encounters and seek to help usher them through the conflict.  As individuals we can seek to examine our lives and work to navigate ourselves consciously through the stages of adulthood.  

For more on this topic, including a description of each stage and how we as parents can work with as a family toward successful resolution of the stages, listen to my podcast (click here).
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