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Relating Erikson’s Theory To My Life

1459 words - 6 pages

There are many different theorists with several different ideas. I have chosen to focus on Erikson’s theory of Trust vs . Mistrust. I have to strongly agree with his ideas because I believe that experiences that a person might go through as an infant can have a huge impact on their life. I must say that I chose to take in serious consideration his beliefs as I am raising my daughter.
Before I started nursing school I was an Early Head Start Home Visitor to families prenatal to three years of age. With this experience I have been in many homes with various different parenting types. I strongly agree with Erikson’s Trust vs. Mistrust theory . Seeing this first hand with parents who would not hold their baby because they were afraid of “spoiling” or just propping the bottle so the baby would not be so “dependent” absolutely blew my mind. I could not imagine having a baby that you did not hold. I always wanted to voice my opinion but I could not be judgmental so I actually would print out curriculum to take the following week on Erikson’s theory. Many parents would shrug it off as others would actually read it and be very interested. There was a difference in the way the children acted as they became older. It was very apparent to me on which parents offered the loving and nurturing environment that Erikson believed every baby needed.
I feel that if more parents were educated on the topic there would be a lot more loving and nurturing parents for infants in the world. Some people just do not know where to find or research the information. Many people believe that anything that an infant goes through in life does not matter because the child is so young and will not remember. Little do they know that the first year of the child’s life is crucial to their development? In fact it is very true that they early experiences an infant has will determine their feeling of trust or mistrust.
Erikson’s stages were from birth to death while other theorist only focused on early childhood. His views were that personality traits come in opposites. Erikson believed that we think of ourselves as independent or dependent, unemotional or emotional, cautious or adventurous, follower or leader, passive or aggressive, and optimistic or pessimistic. Some of these are inborn temperament traits, but other characteristics, such as feeling either competent or inferior, appear to be learned, based on the challenges and support we receive in growing up. (Erikson Stages, 2006) (Developmental Stages, 2009).
The first stage of Erik Erikson's theory centers on the infant's basic needs being met by the parents. The infant depends on the parents, especially the mother, for food, nutrition, and ease. The child's virtual understanding of world and society originate from the parents and their collaboration with the child. If the parents expose the child to warmth, regularity, and dependable affection, the infant's view of the world will be one of trust. Should the parents...

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