Posted by: aboutalbion | July 16, 2012

Childhood (1)

One of my tasks in my (hopefully active) retirement is to write an account of my childhood.  And I suppose that I have in mind the stories that I might want to tell my grandchildren.

Apart from the childhood memories that I have, I feel the need to choose a published child development professional to be a psychological map maker for me to follow.  And I have chosen to read some of the work of Erik Erikson because (a) his theoretical frameworks have stood the test of time, and (b) he was a few years older than my parents and so his ideas could reasonably be expected to be representative of child-rearing issues as they were understood at the time of my childhood.

As I understand it, Erikson’s big idea – which he called ‘epigenesis’ – is that our personalities develop by passing through a sequence of predetermined stages.  In each stage, there is a particular issue to resolve.  And the way in which we resolve a stage issue is likely to influence our progress through subsequent stages.

I have been reading through the first five stages [from birth to late teenage years] of his human psychosocial development model because I would like a baseline which describes what normally happens when children are brought up in a home where love is present (and correspondingly what might happen when love is in short supply).


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