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There are many theories regarding child’s social development and we find Erik Erikson theory will well suit to many children, with this in mind we look forward to read this theory on child development especially from 3 to 7 years stage that is initiative Vs guilt .

Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist who developed one of the most popular and influential theories of development. While his theory was impacted by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's work, Erikson's theory centered on psychosocial development rather than psychosexual development.

The stages that make up his theory are as follows

Stage 3: Initiative Vs Guilt

Let's take a closer look at some of the major events that take place at this stage of psychosocial development.

  • The Conflict : Initiative versus Guilt
  • Major Issue : “Am I good or bad?”
  • Virtue : Purpose
  • Important Note(s) : Exploration, Play

According to Erikson's theory, the first two stages of children's development are concerned with trust versus mistrust and autonomy versus shame and doubt. During these first two periods, the focus is on children forming a sense of trust in the world as well as feelings of independence and autonomy. Each of these foundational stages plays a role in the later stages that will follow.

It is as children enter the preschool years that they begin the third stage of psychosocial development centred on initiative versus guilt. If they have successfully completed the earlier two stages, kids now have a sense that the world is trustworthy and that they are able to act independently. Now it is important for kids to learn that they can exert power over themselves and the world. They need to try things on their own and explore their own abilities. By doing this, they can develop ambition and direction.

How Do Kids Develop Initiative ?

Children need to begin asserting control and power over the environment by taking initiative by planning activities, accomplishing tasks and facing challenges. During this stage, it is important for caregivers to encourage exploration and to help children make appropriate choices. Caregivers who are discouraging or dismissive may cause children to feel ashamed of themselves and to become overly dependent upon the help of others.

This stage can sometimes be frustrating for parents and caregivers as children begin to exercise more control over the things that impact their lives. Such decisions can range from the friends they play with, the activities they engage in, and the way that they approach different tasks. Parents and other adults might want to guide children toward certain friends, activities, or choices, but children might resist and insist on making their own choices. While this might lead to some conflicts with parental wishes at times, it is important to give kids a chance to make such choices. However, it is important that parents continue to enforce safe boundaries and encourage children to make good choices through the use of modelling and reinforcement.

As you might guess, play and imagination take on an important role at this stage. Children have their sense of initiative reinforced by being given the freedom and encouragement to play. When efforts to engage in physical and imaginative play are stifled by caregivers, children begin to feel that their self-initiated efforts are a source of embarrassment.

Success and Failure In Stage Four

Success in this stage leads to a sense of purpose, while failure results in a sense of guilt. What does Erikson mean by guilt? Essentially, kids who fail to develop a sense of initiative at this stage may emerge with a fear of trying new things. When they do direct efforts toward something, they may feel that they are doing something wrong. While mistakes are inevitable in life, kids with initiative will understand that mistakes happen and they just need to try again. Children who experience guilt will instead interpret mistakes as a sign of personal failure, and may be left with a sense that they are "bad."

Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority

According to Erikson’s theory, people progress through a series of stages as they develop and grow. Unlike many other developmental theories, Erikson’s addresses changes that occur across the entire lifespan, from birth to death.

Psychosocial theory does not focus on the obvious physical changes that occur as children grow up, but rather on the socioemotional factors that influence an individual's psychological growth. At each point in development, people cope with a psychosocial crisis. In order to resolve this crisis, children and adults are faced with mastering the developmental task primarily to that stage.

If this skill is successfully achieved, it leads to an ability that contributes to lifelong well-being. For example, achieving trust is the primary task of the very first stage of development.3 It is an ability that contributes to emotional health throughout life during both childhood and adulthood. Failing to master these critical tasks, however, can result in social and emotional struggles that last a lifetime.

So what exactly happens during the industry versus inferiority stage? What factors contribute to overall success at this point in development? What are some of the major events that contribute to psychosocial growth ?

The Social World Expands

School and social interaction play an important role during this time of a child’s life.A child's social world expands considerably as they enter school and gain new friendships with peers.

Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities.

During the earlier stages, a child’s interactions centered primarily on caregivers, family members, and others in their immediate household. As the school years begin, the realm of social influence increases dramatically.

Friends and classmates play a role in how children progress through the industry versus inferiority stage. Through proficiency at play and schoolwork, children are able to develop a sense of competence and pride in their abilities. By feeling competent and capable, children are able to also form a strong self-concept.

During social interactions with peers, some children may discover that their abilities are better than those of their friends or that their talents are highly prized by others.4 This can lead to feelings of confidence. In other cases, kids may discover that they are not quite as capable as the other kids, which can result in feelings of inadequacy.

Schoolwork Helps Build Competency and Confidence

At earlier stages of development, children were largely able to engage in activities for fun and to receive praise and attention. Once school begins, actual performance and skill are evaluated. Grades and feedback from educators encourage kids to pay more attention to the actual quality of their work.

During the industry versus inferiority stage, children become capable of performing increasingly complex tasks. As a result, they strive to master new skills. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their abilities. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their ability to be successful.

Children who struggle to develop this sense of competence may emerge from this stage with feelings of failure and inferiority. This can set the stage for later problems in development. People who don't feel competent in their ability to succeed may be less likely to try new things and more likely to assume that their efforts will not measure up under scrutiny.

Events at This Stage Can Build or Undermine Self-Confidence

According to Erikson, this stage is vital in developing self-confidence. During school and other social activities, children receive praise and attention for performing various tasks such as reading, writing, drawing, and solving problems.

Kids who do well in school are more likely to develop a sense of competence and confidence. They feel good about themselves and their ability to succeed.

Children who struggle with schoolwork may have a harder time developing these feelings of sureness. Instead, they may be left with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.

How Can Parents and Teachers Foster Success During the Industry vs. Inferiority Stage ?

At this stage, it is important for both parents and teachers to offer support and encouragement. However, adults should be careful not to equate achievement with acceptance and love. Unconditional love and support from adults can help all children through this stage, but particularly those who may struggle with feelings of inferiority.

Children who are overpraised, on the other hand, might develop a sense of arrogance. Clearly, balance plays a major role at this point in development.

Parents can help kids develop a sense of realistic competence by avoiding excessive praise and rewards, encouraging efforts rather than outcome, and helping kids develop a growth mindset.

Even if children struggle in some areas of school, encouraging kids in areas in which they excel can help foster feelings of competence and achievement.


Perhaps the best way to visualize how the industry vs inferiority stage might impact a child is to look at an example. Imagine two children in the same 4th-grade class.

Olivia finds science lessons difficult, but her parents are willing to help her each night with her homework. She also asks the teacher for help and starts to receive encouragement and praise for her efforts.

Jack also struggles with science, but his parents are uninterested in assisting him with his nightly homework. He feels bad about the poor grades he receives on his science assignments but is not sure what to do about the situation. His teacher is critical of his work but does not offer any extra assistance or advice. Eventually, Jack just gives up, and his grades become even worse.

While both children struggled with this aspect of school, Olivia received the support and encouragement she needed to overcome these difficulties and still build a sense of mastery. Jack, however, lacked the social and emotional encouragement he needed. In this area, Olivia will likely develop a sense of industry where Jack will be left with feelings of inferiority.

Brain Development

The preschool years are a period of extremely rapid brain development, fed by two simultaneous processes: Synaptogenesis and Myelination.


This process links neurons together into sophisticated networks through the creation of new synapses in the brain. The two root words are synapse and genesis. Synapses are connections between nerve cells, and genesis means the beginning or start of something. The combination of synapse and genesis becomes the creation of connections between nerve cells in the brain, or neurons.

When it comes to brains, bigger isn't always better. Albert Einstein had a brain that was perfectly normal as far as size goes, but his thoughts produced one of most astounding scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century. As far as we can tell, intelligence comes from the number of connections between brain cells, not the number of brain cells themselves.

Synaptic pruning is a natural process that occurs in the brain between early childhood and adulthood. During synaptic pruning, the brain eliminates extra synapses. Synapses are brain structures that allows the neurons to transmit an electrical or chemical signal to another neuron.

Synaptic pruning is thought to be the brain’s way of removing connections in the brain that are no longer needed. Researchers have recently learned that the brain is more “plastic” and moldable than previously thought. Synaptic pruning is our body’s way of maintaining more efficient brain function as we get older and learn new complex information.

During infancy, the brain experiences a large amount of growth. There is an explosion of synapse formation between neurons during early brain development. This is called synaptogenesis.

This rapid period of synaptogenesis plays a vital role in learning, memory formation, and adaptation early in life. At about 2 to 3 years of age, the number of synapses hits a peak level. But then shortly after this period of synaptic growth, the brain starts to remove synapses that it no longer needs.

Once the brain forms a synapse, it can either be strengthened or weakened. This depends on how often the synapse is used. In other words, the process follows the “use it or lose it” principle: Synapses that are more active are strengthened, and synapses that are less active are weakened and ultimately pruned. The process of removing the irrelevant synapses during this time is referred to as synaptic pruning.

Early synaptic pruning is mostly influenced by our genes. Later on, it’s based on our experiences. In other words, whether or not a synapse is pruned is influenced by the experiences a developing child has with the world around them. Constant stimulation causes synapses to grow and become permanent. But if a child receives little stimulation the brain will keep fewer of those connections.


This process takes place when a substance called myelin, which is made up of fatty lipids and proteins, accumulates around nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. Myelin plays an essential role in the health and function of nerve cells, the brain, and the nervous system.

Myelin enables nerve cells to transmit information faster and allows for more complex brain processes, increasingly efficient network that results allows for speedy communication between various regions of the brain and leaves your child poised to learn anything and everything, from a new word to a new song to a new concept about how the universe works. Here are some of the ways you may see brain development displayed in your child right now.


Most children aren’t reading by the age of 5, between 3 and 5 they are learning to recognize letters and associate them with sounds. Showing your child the ABCs while saying the letters aloud requires him to use at least three different areas of the cortex to process that information. Specifically, the visual cortex sorts out the symbols your child’s eye sees, an area called the angular gyrus associates those symbols with the sounds of the letters, and Wernicke’s area is where the connection to understanding is made.


As your child grows more agile—running, jumping, climbing, and learning to perform ever more complicated feats—his brain continues to hone the processes that are key to balance and coordination. During the preschool years, he’s also developing executive functions, which control memory, timing, and sequencing—these abilities are essential for more complex physical activities, such as riding a bike and throwing and catching a ball. Repetition is key to advancement; neural connections are strengthened with the use of both large- and small-muscle movements. You’ll see the progress when your child practices activities like walking backwards, skipping, and hopping on one foot.

At this age, fine motor skills also become more important, as your child learns to write, draw, build, and create in ways that require his hands to do exactly what his brain tells them to.


Ever wonder why it’s difficult to distinguish and understand sounds and syllables that aren’t used in your native language? Your child’s brain first forms the synaptic connections necessary to hear and produce all the sounds used by all languages around the world. But with use and disuse, these connections either become strengthened or are pruned away to favor those he hears and uses in his native language.

As time goes on, you’ll see a change in your child’s ability to distinguish between the language, or languages, spoken around him and those that are unfamiliar. In the early years, a child reacts to all spoken language, and by the preschool years, a child is engaged when he understands what’s being spoken, but he may ignore or appear confused by foreign tongues.

Your child’s communication skills take a quantum leap during these years. He becomes a much better listener and responds more readily when spoken to. It’s not just that his sentences are getting longer and more complex; he can follow directions with more than one step, for example, and he can describe a sequence of events in relative order. He’s even beginning to think out loud and talk though situations and feelings.


The “use it or lose it” rule of brain development is key in understanding your preschooler’s socialization. Studies have shown dramatic differences between children who experience frequent interactions with parents and other caregivers and children who are raised with less stimulation. Up to the age of 3, your child’s brain produced an excess of synaptic connections—many more than he will ultimately need. Social interactions reinforce the synaptic connections involved with language and other forms of communication and social expression, while those not used become weak and disappear with disuse. In this way, your child’s social environment literally shapes his brain, a process known as plasticity.

You will see similar changes in other areas of social interaction, particularly as your child begins to establish relationships with his peers. Between ages 3 and 5, fueled by the development of the cerebral cortex, your child goes from believing that everyone sees the world the same way to understanding that there can be multiple points of view. In fact, by about age 4, your child is well aware that what he wants to play with now (that toy train) may be in direct conflict with what another child wants (those balls). Much of this learning and understanding takes place through play, which experts stress is a complex series of skills that take time to develop. As your child begins to play with others, he’ll learn via trial and error to cooperate and negotiate with other children through sharing and taking turns.

Piaget proposed a theory of cognitive(think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention) development.

Piaget Theory

Piaget was born in Switzerland in the late 1800s and was a precocious student, publishing his first scientific paper when he was just 11 years old. His early exposure to the intellectual development of children came when he worked as an assistant to Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon as they worked to standardize their famous IQ test.

Much of Piaget's interest in the cognitive development of children was inspired by his observations of his own nephew and daughter. These observations reinforced his budding hypothesis that children's minds were not merely smaller versions of adult minds.

Up until this point in history, children were largely treated simply as smaller versions of adults. Piaget was one of the first to identify that the way that children think is different from the way adults think.

Instead, he proposed, intelligence is something that grows and develops through a series of stages. Older children do not just think more quickly than younger children, he suggested. Instead, there are both qualitative and quantitative differences between the thinking of young children versus older children.

Based on his observations, he concluded that children were not less intelligent than adults, they simply think differently. Albert Einstein called Piaget's discovery "so simple only a genius could have thought of it."

Piaget's stage theory describes the cognitive development of children. Cognitive development involves changes in cognitive process and abilities.2 In Piaget's view, early cognitive development involves processes based upon actions and later progresses to changes in mental operations.

The Stages

Through his observations of his children, Piaget developed a stage theory of intellectual development that included four distinct stages:

The Sensorimotor Stage

Ages: Birth to 2 Years

Major Characteristics and Developmental Changes:

  • The infant knows the world through their movements and sensations
  • Children learn about the world through basic actions such as sucking, grasping, looking, and listening
  • Infants learn that things continue to exist even though they cannot be seen (object permanence)
  • They are separate beings from the people and objects around them
  • They realize that their actions can cause things to happen in the world around them

During this earliest stage of cognitive development, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and manipulating objects. A child's entire experience at the earliest period of this stage occurs through basic reflexes, senses, and motor responses

It is during the sensorimotor stage that children go through a period of dramatic growth and learning. As kids interact with their environment, they are continually making new discoveries about how the world works.

The cognitive development that occurs during this period takes place over a relatively short period of time and involves a great deal of growth. Children not only learn how to perform physical actions such as crawling and walking; they also learn a great deal about language from the people with whom they interact. Piaget also broke this stage down into a number of different substages. It is during the final part of the sensorimotor stage that early representational thought emerges.

Piaget believed that developing object permanence or object constancy, the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, was an important element at this point of development.

By learning that objects are separate and distinct entities and that they have an existence of their own outside of individual perception, children are then able to begin to attach names and words to objects.

The Sensorimotor Stage of Cognitive Development

The Preoperational Stage

Ages: 2 to 7 Years

Major Characteristics and Developmental Changes:

  • Children begin to think symbolically and learn to use words and pictures to represent objects.
  • Children at this stage tend to be egocentric and struggle to see things from the perspective of others.
  • While they are getting better with language and thinking, they still tend to think about things in very concrete terms.

The foundations of language development may have been laid during the previous stage, but it is the emergence of language that is one of the major hallmarks of the preoperational stage of development.

Children become much more skilled at pretend play during this stage of development, yet continue to think very concretely about the world around them.

At this stage, kids learn through pretend play but still struggle with logic and taking the point of view of other people. They also often struggle with understanding the idea of constancy.For example, a researcher might take a lump of clay, divide it into two equal pieces, and then give a child the choice between two pieces of clay to play with. One piece of clay is rolled into a compact ball while the other is smashed into a flat pancake shape. Since the flat shape looks larger, the preoperational child will likely choose that piece even though the two pieces are exactly the same size.

Tips For Teachers

As a teacher, you might feel enthusiastic and ready to go, but a little lost about how to turn enthusiasm into good practice.

Here are a few tips for becoming the teacher you want to be

Tips For Parents

How to make your child a genius

There are many ways in which parents try to make their adorable kid a master in various skills , and fundamentally we here mention you three important skills to make your child a genius

1.Self Control

Self control is one the key important skills that’s not at all addressed by many of the parents, its not because they ignore it , but its just hard to anticipate its greatness . We conducted a research on more than 200 parents, we asked them which skill is most important among these five imagination, communication, self control, focus and finally leadership and asked to write their order of preference , for our surprise many parents had set self control as 4th preference or sometimes the last.

But the fact is very simple the more your sense of self control the more you will have focus and focus leads to clarity of imagination, the better the clarity the better your communication and consecutively your leadership skills enhances .

Look at Marshmallow test. Given below

This experiment gave us a great insight about how delay gratification( Resisting ones temptations in order to achieve goal) can help kids in their future. This experiment is simple , four year kids are placed a marshmallow sweet in front of them and if they wait for sometime without eating the marshmallow, He will be given another marshmallow ,choice is left to the kids. They can wait or they can eat that’s their choice, After few years these kids are found in two cases one type kids who waited for sometime and got the other marshmallow were very successful and happy in their life than the others. So this one experiment made clear that delay gratification(resisting ones temptations in order to achieve goal) is always the important skill to practice .


Ever since this word aroused we can just like a drop of feather , can anticipate how crucial it is in any aspect of learning. Curiosity is the first pathway to learning any new skill.

Making your kid curios about learning, dancing, arts or in any filed makes them a master of that. Bringing curiosity in child is not a rocket science, A child becomes curios for only two things attention (appreciation) and love from parents. A small gift of appreciation and a small smile can make them curious.

But be careful, Never appreciate your child about his smartness. Never say your child “you are smart”, “You are very talented”, “You are good boy”, instead say “you did that work with great patience, good !”, “you practiced more good

These words will give a positive impact on your kid and improves their growth mindset. If you start to praise them they will fix to that priase and always try to achieve your appreciation not perfection in the work they do. So always try to improve their growth mindset by praising their effort or the skill they did.


Always remember practice is one of the best key to make your child a genius . Practicing the same writing , practicing the same work again and again , practicing the same shot again and again makes the kid more diligent.

This is the key factor between any ordinary person to extraordinary person. That extra practice makes them more than anyone less , every perfect practice needs discipline and focus which in turn produces massive results in mere future

How to make your child practice more ?

  1. Sit beside your child and say him how you practiced learning a skill by a gentle touch on him.
  2. Say him stories about how practice made huge difference in life of great people
  3. For children most of the learning is happened by observation, So keep you as a model and show them how practice made you perfect in sometime. This trick helps them understand how practice leads to mastery.

Additional points we can do:

As your child becomes more independent and spends more time in the outside world, it is important that you and your child are aware of ways to stay safe

  1. (a) Promote self-control, by using time wisely and balancing activities.
  2. (b)Reduce anxiety, as each day will have some predictability.
  3. (c)Foster confidence and independence, as children learn to manage tasks on their own.
  4. (d)Regulate energy levels, assisting in winding down after a busy day.
  5. If you want to start a routine, here are some best practices to keep in mind. Remember routines vary from child to child—what is important is finding what works and sticking to it.

  6. (a)Think about what your child needs to do every day and his routine. A successful routine should incorporate and prioritize what must get done every day Consider snack time, homework, chores, and bed times.
  7. (b)Make time for activities of daily living. Self-care activities like brushing teeth and bathing are also a priority and should be included in the routine. They are essential for every area of development, and creating a foundation for healthy habits.
  8. (c)Incorporate their hobbies and preferences. A routine doesn’t mean there can’t be fun—in fact, there should be time for activities that bring joy to your child. Consider outside play, imaginary play and other recreational activities.
  9. (d)Always be positive and encouraging. Praise your child for what they have accomplished. Don’t dwell on what didn’t get done.
  10. (e) Pay attention to how they respond. If your child seems overwhelmed, burnt out, or disengaged, talk to them about the activities they are involved in. Studies show that kids can feel stressed from not just having too many activities, but from doing activities that they don’t enjoy.
  11. (f)Be open to change. The routine that works best may not be the one you initially envisioned—and that is ok. Assess what is working and what isn’t, so everyone feels empowered by their evenings.
  12. (g)Be patient. Starting something new always comes with difficulties, but it can have great benefits in the long term.
  13. It may take time, patience, and practice, but establishing afternoon and evening routines can help your child’s functioning in the days and years to come.