The Preschooler and Family : Psychosocial Development

  • Psychosocial Development
    • Erikson: Initiative vs Guilt
      • Goal is developed behavior that is appropriate and self-directed while potential problem is a child who is guilt ridden 
      • Because of “magical thinking” preschool children believe that they are bad or have caused bad things to happen because they have thought them 
      • When punished for appropriate behaviors, preschoolers think “I am bad” rather than “I have acted inappropriately” 
      • Children often masturbate at this age. If reprimanded or punished, they may develop feelings of guilt
      • Preschoolers become energetic learners, despite not having all of the physical abilities necessary to be successful at everything
      • Guilt can occur when preschoolers believe they have misbehaved or when they are unable to accomplish a task
      • Guiding preschoolers to attempt activities within their capabilities while setting limits is appropriate
    • Kohleberg: Moral development
      • Early preschoolers continue in the good-bad orientation of the toddler years, and actions are take based on whether or not it will result in a reward or punishment
      • Older preschoolers primarily take actions based on satisfying personal needs, yet are beginning to understand the concept of justice and fairness
      • They have little concern about why something is wrong 
      • Preschoolers behave because of the freedom or restriction that is placed on actions
      • Children judge whether an action is good or bad depending on if the results end in reward or punishment 
      • From age 4-7 year of age, children are in the stage of naive instrumental orientation
    • Social development
      • Preschoolers generally do not exhibit stranger anxiety and have less separation anxiety and have less separation anxiety
      • Changes in daily routine are tolerated, but they can develop more imaginary fears
      • Prolonged separation (during hospitalization) can provoke anxiety. Favorite toys and appropriate play should be used to help ease preschooler’s fears 
      • Pretend play is healthy and allows preschoolers to determine the difference between reality and fantasy
        • Language
          • Vocabulary increases from 300 words at 2 years old to more than 2100 words and the end of year 5
          • Between ages of 3-4 years of age sentences are still short (“telegraphic”) 
            • During this age start talking more 
          • From 4 to 5 years of age 
            • Vocabulary is becoming larger 
            • Start using longer sentences and speak using all parts of speech 
            • Frequently use irregular verbs incorrectly (“I seed a kitten”)
            • Can follow simple directions and answer questions 
            • Sometimes use “bad” language and look for a response
          • Speech problems
            • Most critical period for speech development occurs between 2 and 4 years of age
            • Stuttering is fairly common in preschoolers 
            • Best therapy for speech problems is preventions and early detection 
            • Parent education
        • Play
          • Associative play: group play in similar or identical activities but without rigid organizational rules 
          • Preschoolers enjoy many kinds of play 
          • Many preschoolers have imaginary friends