Sara Jones, age 4 monthsSara is often left to cry for extended periods with no consolation from her mother, who feels overwhelmed with the responsibility of having a newborn. As a result, Sara spends the majority of her waking hours crying. Sara's mother does not hold and console her often, preferring Sara to be in her crib.
In Erikson's first stage, Trust vs. Mistrust, the crisis is when infants are not well cared for, shown love and consolation. Children not shown these things do not learn to trust others.
Sara Jones, age 3 yearsSara is withdrawn and doesn't speak. Sara has become accustomed to feeding and dressing herself, though she often is reprimanded sternly by her mother for doing so. Sara avoids eye contact and often seems frightened of others.
In Erikson's Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt stage the crisis arises when children have no freedom of choice and are harshly monitored or reprimanded after attempting to exercise free choice. This results in children feeling shameful and second guessing their future choices.
Sara Jones, age 5 yearsSara began kindergarten the previous fall. In 6 mos. she has made tremendous progress in communication, building relationships, and self-assuredness. She feels connected to her teacher. Sara looks forward to school each week, planning her outfits and rehearsing school scenarios at home.
In Erikson's third stage of Initiative vs. Guilt, a child who can purposefully plan for events they look forward to will earn a sense of initiative. As long as receive no negative feedback, where guilt develops.