Sensorimotor Period (Birth to 2 years)
The sensorimotor period is characterized by the idea of Object Permanence. This idea is basically that everything has a life of its own even if it is out of sight. So for example once kids start to realize that the person who is covering their face in a game of peek-a-boo is still actually there and hasn't "disappeared," they have developed a sense of object permanence. I walked and talked both around 10 months, but the odd thing about it was that even though I was just learning to take my first steps, it looked as if I was attempting to run. My reaction to peek-a-boo at a young age was always very "fun and energetic." With me having four older sisters I played very frequently. My parents described to me that yes I was surprised, but they believe I knew the person was still there even at a very young age because attempt to move their hand from their face to reveal themselves again. Also, I was not the type of child who would break out crying when my parents would exit the room. I was told that i simply waited quietly, anticipating my parents return, so separation anxiety was not entirely present at a young age.
Preoperational Period (2 years to 7 years)
The Preoperational Period is characterized more by formulating new schemas, but being able to differentiate and relate them. This is the period of time where children focus hard on the idea of animism by incorporating things like dragons, Santa, and imaginary friends into their life. Children at this age tend to be egocentric, meaning that they struggle to see things from another person's perspective. Also at this stage, conservation and reversibility are normally not very present, children struggle to understand equal volumes at different shapes and with the idea of subtraction. Imaginary friends played a very large roll in my life. I had around four that my parents and I could immediately remember, but there were undoubtably more. They played with me on the swing-set, slept in my room, and one (named Johnny) took the blame for anything wrong I did. I was told that at a very young age that I understood how different personalities exist and co-exist, and this was most likely due to me being the youngest of five children, so a lot of my time was spent observing. During this time period I established a very solid group of friends that I still keep in great touch with today. I never wanted to just be by myself so I spent a large amount of time with these guys growing up (probably a little too much to be honest).
Concrete Operational Period (7 years to 12 years)
The Concrete Operational Period is characterized by much less animism, everything is said to be much more black and white. Centrism is decreased and more care for others becomes more present. Grouping becomes easier, things are no longer just classified by a certain name because of their shape. Objects are no longer considered black and white, they become concrete because of the experience people have had by this time. Conservation and reversibility happen more easily, potentially because the introduction of school, so things like recognizing equal volumes in different shapes and subtraction are no longer difficult. I was, and still am, not a very big reader, but I did enjoy my fair share of picture books. I showed interest in books like "Where's Waldo," and the one chapter book i really got in to, strictly due to the humor, was "Captain Underpants." I never really obsessed over a random animal like some children do, but I did really love my cat. This time period is when my unconditional love for sports really began to escalate, was was playing around four or five sports all at once, and truly never had one that I was particularly bad at.
Formal Operational Period (12 years and older)
The Formal Operational Period is characterized by more theoretical thought. This is the period of time where more abstract thoughts such as values, beliefs, and politics become more prevalent and begin to consume the majority of thoughts. This time period is said to be when children start to become more opinionated, but in my case I showed signs of opinion around 18 months by picking out my clothes. But during this time I absolutely refused to wear any sort of pant no matter if it was the blazing hot summer or the snowy winter. I always valued objects such as bears and other stuffed animals as I was growing up, but around the age of 14 I started to really understand my faith and values at my own pace, I was never pressured by my parents in any way in this field. During this period of time I began to value family much more than I did in the past due to the fact that I now understood that all of my older sisters had either left, or would be leaving soon for college, and i needed to cherish every moment i could with them. Once I got into junior high and onward, my love for certain sports began to die off to the point where I was only about two. This number eventually went down to one, but not because I was struggling in any of these, simply just because I did not enjoy them as the one (basketball, and the irony is that probably my worst sport). Intellectually my development escalated the most going into high school where for some reason my grades all shot up to consistent A's with a lot less effort than the hardworking B's I achieved in middle school.
Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust (Birth – 1)
The Trust vs. Mistrust stage is characterized by children developing the ability to trust others. When trust is successfully reached, children develop confidence and security in their every day lives. Failure to reach this trust may result in fear of the world, being insecure, and full of anxiety. When I was alive and well during this stage it was said that I probably trusted my two oldest sisters, as well as my dad the most. My dad works a lot so he was frequently gone, so apparently when he would come back home I would want to only be held and played with by him. At this young age I developed an extreme fear of fireworks, which I believe has led to my hatred of them today, so I did not trust these frightening explosions in the sky.
Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt (ages 1-3)
This stage is characterized by children to begin to show their independence through things like leaving their parents are trying to decide for themselves what to wear. Encouragement of their independence will lead children to believe that can develop the ability to survive on their own in the world. If children are not supported during this stage of independence the could potentially develop the mindset that they are unable to survive on their own. As shown in the picture below, I absolutely hated being kissed on the cheek by anyone. I was not much of a hugger either, I just kind of liked to do my own thing when it came to the touchy "I love my baby/baby brother" stuff. Also, at about 3 years old, I got into a bad habit of calling people “Stupid.” One day my dad was leaving for work, and my mom was holding me at the front door. My dad said, “Now, Trenton, don’t call people “Stupid” anymore. It’s not nice.” I just looked at him. My dad walked out the door, and I as soon as my mom closed it, I said, “Okay, Stupid.” This shows my growing independence by rebelling against my parents requests.
Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt (Ages 3-6)
During this stage of development children begin to assert themselves into situations rather than being shy. Making up games, interacting with others, and developing skills for projects later in life are all present during this stage. Children feel secure being leaders and making their own decisions. If children are not encouraged during this time a sense of guilt may develop, and they will begin to lack self-initiative. I did not make up very many random games, but I did spend most of my time playing indoor basketball or riding scooters around my house with my imaginary friends. I was not characterized as being a guilty child because I rarely got in trouble, and for the most part my parents supported my decisions and actions. If I ever did get in trouble, I had a designated imaginary friend names "Johnny" that would take the blame for me, as I mentioned before.
Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority (Ages 6-puberty)
This stage is characterized by children beginning to develop a sense of pride in certain activities and accomplishments. Teachers play a large role in children's development at this stage through their repetitive or lack of encouragement while completing their school work. Encouragement is key in allowing children develop confidence and pride in their work. Without this proper encouragement children can develop inferiority, disabling them from reaching their potential. Early on in my career I took great pride in my athletic abilities, especially basketball and my innate ability to run fast. I would always want to test my pride and challenge others to see if my abilities were the real deal. Lets just say I may have been a little too prideful sometimes, I did my fair share of boasting throughout this time.
Stage 5: Identity vs. Role Confusion (Adolescence)
This stage focuses primarily on the transition from childhood to adulthood. Independence is key during this stage as children begin to analyze their own beliefs, values, and even goals for the future. This stage is all about discovering "who you are" to develop an idea of what you want to accomplish for the future. This can cause people in this stage to not understand their role in this world, which can result in both positive and negative things. For the past few years I have has a small sense of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, but I have just recently been openly discussing these plans. The main activity that I take part in that my parents and I both believe shapes my role is sports, due to the fact that they allow me to understand my limits and allow for serious emotion control. Also during this time period I have switched friend groups several times, sometimes not because I disliked it, but just because I wanted to try new things. This has allowed my to understand who I believe I want to be around, but also allowed my to have a fine array of friends that I know I would still love to spend some time with.
Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation (Young Adulthood)
This stage is characterized primarily with the introduction of more intimate, out of the family relationships. People are searching for long term commitments. Finding these intimate relationships can lead to a sense of belonging, love, and safety, while the inability to find can lead to depression, isolation, and loneliness. It is said by my parents that they believe that long term relationships is most likely my style, considering I have been dating a girl consistently for quite a while now. I am not the type of person to have a bad ending with an intimate friend, so I hope to maintain a great relationship with these people even if it does not work out. I believe these intimate relationships that I will build will affect my overall demeanor in a very positive way due to the fact that people have said that the relationship I am in right now has molded me into a much greater person than I was before, and has just enabled me to look into the brighter side of things.
Stage 7: Generativity vs. Self-Absorbtion/Stagnation (Middle Adulthood)
This stage is characterized by the establishment of careers, settling down in a relationship, and creating a family of your own. Children are raised during this stage. This is also the age of the working force, so most likely a person is working to support their family to the best of their ability. Community interactions become more prevalent. Some people may experience a mid-life crisis, where a person feels unsatisfied with their status or belongings, and turn their focus to material items to attempt to meet their satisfactory needs. My parents and I both agree that we see me getting married around the ages 26-29, and I will know when I meet the "one" whom I would choose to settle down with. I am normally seen to be someone who will be employed somewhere in the business or oil and gas field. If that falls through, which I hope does not happen, I would be interested in sports management, particularly NBA. My father wants me to try to get into the litigation business because that is the field he works in, but I am terribly uninterested due to the fact that I have lived through not being able to spend time with him because of his excess work/travels. This fact will make me want to find a well paying job that still allows time to interact with my family to the degree I would like to.
Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair (Senior Adulthood)
This developmental stage is characterized by curtailing productivity, and turning the focus to the life and activities of retirement. This is the time in life to look back and decide whether you believe you lived a successful life by analyzing your accomplishments and faults. Depression can be prevalent if the analyzation of life has been deemed unsuccessful. This stage can also be experienced if someone close passes and you reflect on their lives, as well as your life in relationship with theirs. This is also present when a near death experience occurs, and your "life flashes before your eyes." Your body does a quick analysis of past memories, both good and bad, to help you determine your life's success. My parent believe that I will look back and determine my life as successful because of the amazing family and unconditional love that they have and will provide me throughout my life. I don't necessarily see myself retiring, I will most likely always want some sort of work I have to do just to get my self going every day, as long as my elderly health permits. This past summer I was in a very bad car wreck and in my opinion was inches away from dying. In the terrible moment of sliding and spinning on the roof of my car after an airborne flip, waiting for it to just stop, my life absolutely flashed before my eyes. Memories I would have never been able to think up reappeared at an extreme pace, and after I exited the car I immediately had a feeling about how I felt about the life I lived.