Handled well, the theory suggests that the child will learn to be independent or autonomous. But, when they are shamed or strongly reprimanded for doing things incorrectly, they may develop shame or doubt.
An important activity during this stage is toilet training.
Stage 3 – Initiative vs. Guilt (3 to 5 Years)
At this point of Erikson’s 8 stages of development, children begin to become more independent, and thus, assertive. They copy adults and initiate situations like play pretend.
Handled well, this stage gives kids a sense of capability. When mismanaged, they might feel self-doubt or guilt.
Important activities at this stage include those that develop independence.
Stage 4 – Industry vs. Inferiority (6 to 12 Years)
At this point, the child is already usually in school. They continue to master skills and learn new ones, helping them develop a sense of industry.
If kids have problems with their skills or competence, they might develop a sense of inferiority.