Your child is going to go through a lot of changes during their development from a wholly dependent baby into an independent young adult. Throughout this period, there will be many milestones that will mark the end of one growth cycle and the start of another. There are many factors that will influence the healthy development of your child, and one of the key areas is psychosocial development.
When your baby is born, they are exposed to a vast range of external stimuli they need to process. As they develop, they will start to respond to the world around them. To see how this works in practice, here are a few things to expect during the different stages of child psychosocial development.
What Is Psychosocial Development?
Erik Erikson originally coined the term “psychosocial development” and explored the ways the external environment can affect the mental development of a child. Jean Piaget further explored these theories, and they still form a crucial part of educational practice in kindergartens and junior schools to this day.
The theories separate a child’s psychosocial development into distinct stages, which we will now take a closer look at.
Between birth and eighteen months, your baby will rely exclusively on their senses, and developing in a loving, nurturing environment will provide a strong foundation for their emotional and physical growth.
Things like being swaddled and comforted when they are upset help your child build trust, confidence, and an optimistic outlook. On the other hand, if the baby doesn’t get this, they will likely develop a poor level of self-worth.
When your baby becomes a toddler, they will want to grow more independent and explore the world around them. They will continuously test the boundaries and limits of what can and can’t be done, simply because everything is new and exciting. It a period marked by frustration and temper tantrums; however, it is a very crucial stage, so you will need to remain as patient as possible.
While you need to ensure that your child is safe, it is essential to allow them to have some level of independence and to try to do things for themselves. This helps them develop self-confidence and self-esteem. However, if they are always told no, and told that they can’t do things, they will internalize this, which can harm their confidence.
By this stage, your child will be starting to develop creativity and individual quirks. Throughout this period, your child will always be questioning everything as they try to build their own understanding of the world around them. They will also start to become more aware of the roles of gender and adults in general and will often mimic them.
Playtime and story time are essential ingredients of healthy development for kids at this age, as they will encourage creativity, initiative, and social skills. As a parent, you should always try to find as much time as possible to take part in these two activities with your kids.
This is a period that most parents dread—the moment their children go to school. It is a massive period of change for all members of the family but a vital one. School will help your child learn a variety of social and motor skills, which will help them later on in life. As a parent, you need to provide emotional and learning support at home so that your child builds a higher sense of self-worth and confidence to express themselves. Encourage them to play sports and to pursue things that interest them, as doing the opposite increases the risk of putting them in situations where they may feel shame or isolation.