Erik Erikson's Third Stage Initiative vs Guilt

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Initiative Versus Guilt (Purpose) Erikson believes that this third psychosocial crisis occurs during what he calls the “play age,” or the later preschool years .During it, the healthily developing child learns: (1) to imagine, to broaden his skills through active play of all sorts, including fantasy (2) to cooperate with others (3) to lead as well as to follow. Immobilized by guilt, he is: (1) fearful (2) hangs on the fringes of groups (3) continues to depend unduly on adults and (4) is restricted both in the development of play skills and in imagination. Children at this stage explore beyond themselves. If exploration, projects and activities are effective -> learn to deal with people and things in constructive way and have strong sense of initiative. If they criticized or punished -> learn to feel guilty for many of their own actions. At this stage children become curious about people and imitate the adults around them. They begin to plan activities, make up games and initiate activities with others. If given this opportunity, children develop a sense of initiative and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions. If children are not able to take the initiative and succeed at appropriate tasks, they may develop a sense of guilt, which can lead to inhibition. Children are asked to assume responsibility for their bodies, their behavior, their toys, and their pets. Developing a sense of responsibility increases initiative. Uncomfortable guilt feelings may arise, though, if the child is irresponsible and is made to feel too anxious. Erikson has a positive outlook on this stage. He believes that most guilt is quickly compensated for by a sense of accomplishment. We also begin to use that wonderful word for exploring the world—”WHY?” Things fall down, not up. Round things roll. They learn how to zip and tie, count and speak with ease .Existential Question: Is it OK for Me to Do, Move, and Act? He said that at this stage we usually become involved...
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