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Attachment in our early years is foundational to how we live out our life.

When it comes to human development, most of us think back to high school psychology class and the shocking (at least for me) psychosexual theory of Sigmund Freud.

Personally, I tend to favor Erik Erikson's theory as his research is focused on how social interaction and relationships play a role in the development of human beings.

Based on age, Erikson breaks development into eight stages believing if each stage is handled well, the person will form healthy attachments. If the stage is handled poorly, the person will have inadequate development. Although all stages are fascinating, our parenting role is primarily focused around the first five stages.

Erickson believed the pivot point in mastering a stage happens through conflict.

If people successfully deal with the conflict, they emerge from the stage with psychological strengths that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

Erikson also believed that a sense of competence motivates behaviors and actions. Each stage in Erikson's theory is concerned with becoming competent in an area of life.

To help you navigate growing the broken attachments or missed pieces of your child's development, I have included a link to Very Well Mind which provides an in-depth overview of each stage.

The stages are:

1. Infancy - 0-1.5 years - Trust vs. Mistrust

2. Early Childhood - 1.5-3 years - Autonomy vs. Shame

3. Play Age - 3-5 years - Initiative vs. Guilt

4. School Age - 5-12 years - Industry vs. Inferiority

5. Adolescence - 12-18 years - Ego Identity vs Role Confusion

6. Young Adult - 18-40 years - Intimacy vs. Isolation

7. Adulthood - 40-65 years - Generativity vs Stagnation

8. Maturity 65+ - Ego Integrity vs Despair


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