You see your kid growing. You laugh when they laugh, you cry when they had pain, you admire their every act. You teach them to walk, to talk. Their growth fills you with joy. You see them, growing up, physically.
You can notice all the visible changes. But, along with them, your child goes through a development not seen by your eyes, which is psychological development.
Erik Erikson, a child psychologist, says, when a child grew up, right from their birth, they go through several stages. Every stage is essential for their psychological growth. Even if a single-stage left without passing through positively, the child could have the consequences.
According to Erik Erikson, a child's age is an essential factor during each stage. Like, for the first stage, which is trust vs. mistrust, the child's age till the 18th month is so important. During this period, a kid learns to trust or mistrust the world.
Like this, the next stage for their growth is Anatomy vs. Shame and Doubt. This stage is so essential for a kid's mental development. The kid learns about a very crucial aspect of their life. Have a look at the details of the very vital phase of your kid.
What is Anatomy vs. Shame and Doubt?
According to the child psychiatrist Erik Erikson, Anatomy vs. Shame and Doubt is the second stage kid's psychological development. They say this stage is such a crucial phase for children that during the extent, they develop a high sense of self-control. This stage occurs in kids of ages 18th month to 2 or 3 years.
As I said earlier, the sense of self-control in a kid starts to grow, the willpower of a child plays a significant role in their overall development. They try to find out the answer to the question,
"Can I do it myself?" Or
"Am I reliable to someone for this work?"
The major event through which they learn the skills is toilet training. You can consider this stage as the foundation for the forthcoming steps.
What exactly happens during stage 2?
Let's have a quick look at the occurrence of the events at stage 2.
As, till now, you learn that, the kids of age up to 3 years wants to be independent of the world.
In stage 1, trust versus mistrust, kids were dependent on the other person for their every need. So, as they grow up to 3, they want to do their jobs independently.
If you are a parent, you may have noticed the change in your kid. They may probably cry for a particular toy, or dress, or food. It is because they want to make a selection independently. Even though you are not a parent, you might have seen this factor in the young kids.
With the increasing age, kids of this age grow mentally and physically. So, things are new to them. They want to explore the skills and abilities they have.
In fact, at this stage, personal control power should be developing in the children and, they also want to gain a sense of self-control. You can notice their intention of trying to get personal control often through various events.
Which are they? Have a look:-
Toilet training is the main event at this stage. This event plays an essential role in learning to control the self-body events. Also, with this, kids can feel a sense of independence.
Another example would be kids want to put their opinion during the selection of food, clothes, and toys.
Putting on shoes and clothes, etc.
Kids at this age get stubborn towards their selections for a specific thing. So, being a parent may not be enjoyable for you sometimes. But, it would help if you were supportive of them.
Kids, who successfully complete this stage, feel the encouragement, confidence, and security in the world. Whereas those who themselves not completely getting this stage done, left with self-doubts.
This stage may look normal, as some may think- if a kid is growing up, they will try to put the opinions naturally. The importance of this stage is such that this stage creates the building blocks of future events.
How shame and doubt can generate in kids?
I hope now you understand the importance of stage 2. Now, let's have a look at if this stage is ignored, what could be the result.
So, as I said earlier, when the kid acts stubborn, instead of feeling irritated, you should give your kids space and be supportive.
When you don't support your kids for their decisions, they may feel a sense of dependency. It may be highly possible that they could be over depending on someone, which is not a plus point for a kid's overall development.
Also, the kid may feel doubt about their abilities. They may have a feeling of shame that they can not do their work.
Being a parent, what is your role at this stage 2?
The straightforward answer to this question is, as a parent, your primary role and duty are to be supportive to them.
Erik Erikson suggests that being a parent, you should let your kid explore their limitations. It would help if you created a supportive environment around them.
To explain this, Erik Erikson gives an example. Instead of putting the clothes on your kids, let them try to put them on their own. You can offer assistance when they ask you to help them. Even if they fail, you are there with them to provide your service at times.
It would help if you were the first to courage them; simultaneously, you should be the protecting shield for them to avoid frequent failure.
A decent balance should be maintained between the kid and the parent. Also, as a parent, you should not do every single task for them. It would help if you even remembered that you don't have to blame your kids for their every failure.
How does social class impact your child in terms of Anatomy vs. Shame and Doubt?
Well, we all know that the human is a social animal. A human can not live alone. They need society and community to live. Instead, if a person lives alone, it has a significant impact on their mental health.
Taking about Erik Erikson's second stage of psychological development of a kid, which is Anatomy vs. shame and doubt, they say that if this stage doesn't get finished in the way it is supposed to get finished, the kid will face so many effects in their next phase of development.
According to Erik Erikson, every stage has importance. And each step needs to be completed. Only then, the kid can move to the other location.
Talking about the social class impact on the kid, if the second stage is not finished with positivity, and the kids are being stopped at every end, it will leave a bad idea on their mind.
They will not be able to explore the new things themselves. They will grow up underconfident. They will start to generate doubt about their abilities. They will begin to feel shameful from society and the way of living around them.
The reason behind feeling shameful would be, they won't be able to cope up with the competition around them. When they meet in the new world, out of their comfort zone, everything will be different and challenging for them.
Making a place in such a world will be a challenge for them. Also, another possibility maybe, they may find themselves depending on another person, even if for any tiny thing, which will make them feel shameful.
The Bottom Line
You, being a parent, want to make everything available for your kid, which is natural. You don't want your kid to suffer from any difficulty. Remember, you can give them a pen, but you can not write their exam. Isn't it?
Their life has a different challenge. And only they will have to suffer from it. Either it will be their decision, that, what they want, to suffer, or to shine by winning against their battle.
You can walk with them, but you can not always be there for them at every end of the race. It would be best if you also stopped and leave them to go ahead.
You realize this reality of life, and you do it also. But, you wait till a particular point to turn them to enter the competition. So, here is the chance for you.
You can sow the seed of confidence in your kid from their childhood. Let them make decisions. Let them get new things. Let them explore the unknown. It all will help them at the end of the day.
Their journey starts just after their birth. And you have to be the fuel for their life, that will only help them to go forwards. Don't take the steering wheel at your control. Let them take it into their hands. And then, see the magic.