A stage of development is an age period when certain needs, behaviors, experiences and capabilities are common and different from other age periods. Here are some behaviors you might expect to see at certain stages.
Birth to 18 Months
The focus is developing trust. The accomplishment of this is highly dependent on the parents or other caregivers providing care (things like warmth, food, hugging, stimulation).
- The child's self-concept as a lovable and worthwhile person has its roots in this age period.
- Since trust is a major building block for all relationships, every area of development (physical, intellectual, social, emotional and moral) is likely to be affected by the events of this stage.
18 Months to Three Years
The child's task is to establish a distinct self, separate from parent figures.
- The primary needs are increased control over feeding and toilet habits, without experiencing rejection or harm from too much independence.
- The child begins to learn about limits (hot stoves, the use of objects, stairs, streets).
- Child gets angry easily; likes to assert himself, and his favorite word is "NO!"
- This period is especially connected to physical growth, especially the capacity to walk, run, climb, and control elimination.
Three to Seven Years
The child's major task is to develop a sense of reality that is distinct from fantasy.
- A primary concern of the child is sex differences, and it includes interest in pregnancy and birth.
- This is a period of high creativity.
- There is a strong need to make distinctions between what is real and what is imagined.
Seven to Twelve Years
The child's task is to develop a sense of values to guide decision making and interests, as well as capabilities that lay the foundation for future decisions.
- The needs of the child revolve around tasks, hobbies, and skill-oriented activities.
- Friendship with peers, especially of the same sex, is important.
- Competition is heightened, as is preoccupation with performance.
Twelve to Eighteen Years
The child has two main tasks.
- To create a personal identity based on the integration of values and a sense of self. The adolescent must establish an identity in relation to society, the opposite sex, ideas, the future, possible vocations, and the universe.
- The establishment of independence. This can create tension with the family over limits, values , responsibilities, friends, and plans for the future.
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