According to psychologists, each child faces a developmental crisis, and this is the main turning point in his or her life. The main stages that children go through include identity vs. confusion, industry vs. inferiority, initiative vs. guilt, doubt and autonomy vs. shame, and trust vs. mistrust. The first stage or conflict is trust vs. mistrust, and it is one of the most important ones for each person. Are mom and dad always there to comfort the child when he or she is frightened or scared? Are they always around when the baby is crying, sick, or hungry? It is important that parents create a secure and safe environment for their children. The second stage is shame vs. autonomy. This is the stage during which the child masters better self-control. He or she learns what their personal boundaries are. Children develop food, clothing, and other preferences. Those who are successful at completing this stage are self-confident and secure. Children who fail to complete it are insecure and lack self-confidence.
The third important stage for children is initiative vs. guilt. This is the stage during which children explore their surroundings and play role games. It is important that parents play role games with their children. They complete this stage between the ages 3 and 5. And this is the time when children assert their control and power through communication, interaction with others, and through games. In fact, games are an important part of the early stages of development. The next stage is industry vs. inferiority, and children complete it at the age of 11. During this stage children learn to take pride in their skills, abilities, and accomplishments. When teachers, parents, and family encourage children to learn and master new skills, this helps them to develop feelings of pride and competence. The last stage of development is identity vs. confusion. This is the stage during which children and adolescents begin to develop a sense of identity. It is the period during which they explore their sense of self and how they fit in different groups and society in general. Adolescents experiment with different behaviors, situations, and roles. A final stage occurs between the ages 19 and 40, and it is called intimacy vs. isolation. The focus here is on forming close and intimate relationships. Persons with poor self-confidence often suffer from depression and loneliness.