Erik H. Erikson created the theory of psychosocial development that breaks the human life cycle into 8 different levels of maturity. The different levels to this psychosocial theory are infancy, early childhood, childhood (play age), childhood (school age), adolescence and young adulthood, young adulthood, mature adulthood, and old age. Each stage provides a challenge for the individual and once that challenge is answered they are enabled to move on to the next stage.
I feel that I find myself to be in the mature adulthood stage as I have already answered the challenges to all of the previous stages. At first, I felt it appropriate to list myself in the stage of young adulthood since this seems more accurate for my age (typically). However, I have already answered the question of “how can I love?” I am in the process of getting married and I also have a son and the both of them I love unconditionally as I would place their needs before my own.
The question to the 7th stage of Erikson’s psychosocial theory is “How can I fashion a ‘gift’?” In our text it reads, “The generative adult commits him-or herself to some activity that is larger than his or her own life, investing significant time and creative energy into an endeavor that will ‘‘live on.’’ (McAdams 2009). Basically the gift we are giving is that of life, generally it is concerned with raising of the person’s children. I have a son and I am in the process of doing many things for him to try and ensure his childhood while growing up is more fruitful that the childhood I had growing up. I am in the process of answering this challenge and will more than likely remain so until I have completed the task of raising my child, doing everything I can for him benefit and helping him to find who he is.
I have a nephew who has recently started school (last year). He was rather a handful so we all knew he would give the teachers a run for their money. At the beginning of school he found it difficult to behave appropriately in school and in the beginning suffered low grades and behavioral issues that lead to him going to see the principal. Once he became accustomed to the environment of school he started becoming a much better student as he began to answer his challenge question of “How can I be good.” Now he does not get in trouble nearly as much as before (boys will be boys) but his grades dramatically improved as he ended up making the Dean’s list at the end of the school year.