Humanbeings have a complex life that result from the combination ofdifferent aspects of their biological make-up and the environment.Their lives begin at conception, and they embark on the long journeythat transforms them from a tiny embryo into big-framed persons. Aspeople develop, they grow holistically due to the impact of thephysical and social environment. Human growth is a combination ofphysical, social and psychological development (Santrock, 2009).Thetheorists have come up with an explanation of the changes that takeplace in individuals. They provide both scientific and socialexplanation of why people behave the way they do in the differentstages of life.
Themajor scholars who have played a great role in providing answers tothe human behavior are Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Eric Erikson andKohlberg. Freud uses the psychosexual theory to explain humandevelopment across their life, and Erikson counters it with thepsychosocial theory (Boyd et al., 2006). Piaget developed the motordevelopment theory that explains the development of human behaviorwith relation to their senses while Kohlberg looks at developmentfrom a moral point of view.
Inthis paper, I will look at my personal development and try to explainthe different changes that have occurred in my body both physicallyand socially. My psychological development has also changed, and Iattribute this to the changes that have taken place in myunderstanding of the environment. I believe that I have enoughbackground information from the information gathered from the course.I will use the theories to point out important aspects of my life andthe possible reasons why I behaved in a particular way.
Theonly picture I have in my mind of my early childhood was when I wasfour years old. I cannot recall any other moment before this age.However, from my mother I gathered a lot of information about how myneonatal age was like. According to my mother, her pregnancy thatbore me went up to full term, and she did not have any unusualcomplications during birth. I took my father’s blue eyes, and mymother can clearly remember the first harsh cry I made after beingushered into the world. At the age of one and a half years, mymother reminded me about crying behavior that I developed whenever Iwanted to suck from her breasts. The behavior was unlike in my eldersister who, according to my mother never turned violent whenever shewanted my mother’s attention. Reading the development theories mademe settle for the opinion that I had a powerful oral stage. Thethought of my mother’s milk-dispensing nipple against my tendergums may have been the reason I cried.
Accordingto Freudian theory of psychosexual development, children in theneonatal stage have their pleasure concentrated on their mouth, andthey are likely to open it to anything that comes near them. However,this might have been beneficial to my physical development because,according to my mother, I gained weight and height faster than myelder sister did. Erikson also observes that it is during this stagethat children develop an attachment to their caregivers. They arelikely to shy off from people whom they do not trust or attracted(Santrock, 2009).
Backthe time from when I can give my account, I can recall admiringadults and older children who went to school because they couldperform complex duties. My sister who was three years than me used tonarrate stories from her class, and I could not wait for her to comehome. I would sometimes wander outside to wait for her withoutconsidering the tome of the day, and this irritated my mothersometimes. When offended she would be harsh to me, and I would resultto crying. After going through the various explanations of behaviorfrom the course, I can no understand why I would wait until my mothergave me permission to go and wait for her near the gate. Unknowingly,I was avoiding punishment. Piaget’s theory of motor developmentcould explain behavior. It is the age whereby children use thepreconvention approach not to please someone but to avoid punishment(Van Hasselt & Hersen, 2013).
Ican vividly remember a behavior that earned me criticism from mysister at this age. Unlike her, I would wet my bed almost everynight. My mother would be more understanding than my sister. I couldalways wait for her to get up so that I could stuff my clothes in thebasket before she came to realize that I had wet my bed again. Iavoided any discussion about bed wetting from my young neighborssince most of them had outgrown the behavior. The behavior continuedeven during my early school years. Boys who knew that I wet my bedoccasionally would make fun out of me, and I remember one instancewhen they refused to include me in their football game. In Erikson’spsychosocial theory, I find the explanation why I felt inferior tothe other boys. My lack of autonomy to control my flow of urine wasthe result of shame and inability to mingle with the other playmatesfreely whenever they raised the topic. I also felt interior to mysister who had outgrown the behavior at a very young age. Luckily Igradually reduced the instances of bed wetting and by my fifth grade,I stopped completely.
Itis also during this time that I started accompanying my parents tochurch, and they allowed the name to attend the Sunday school. Thelessons we learned are still fresh in my mind and feared that if weinsulted each of them, we would end up in a fiery place called hell.We, therefore, avoided sin at any cost. At this point, my moraldevelopment took shape due to the fear I had of encountering amultiple-horned creature waiting to throw into the fire with acrooked fork. Today, I realize that I could have asked so manyquestions regarding God, heaven and hell but any intellectualdevelopment at the time could not allow me. I gather that I was stillin the pre-operational stage, which according to Kohlberg childrenfollow instructions without necessarily having to ask questions. Theytrust the word of their teacher and guardians (Bornstein, 2010).
Mypictures while in sixth and seventh grade depict an athletic boy withthe inquisitive blue eyes. I had grown bigger and stronger than mostboys of my age. The lesson learned at this stage brought about arevelation of new things in the environment. It was interesting tolearn about the solar system, the environment and solve complexarithmetic problems. I still remember the spirit of competition thatwas there in our class, and I always showed my mother my results andshe would appreciate me with a gift or a pat on the back. Eriksonattributes this stage with initiative and hard work. When childrensucceed in completing a task, they feel satisfied and whole. Anybodywho recognizes their achievement instigates them to intensify theirefforts (Santrock, 2009).
Onthe same note, children begin to think critically and question theaspects of their surroundings. I can attribute our eagerness to learnabout the existence of other worlds to accommodation (Payne &Isaacs, 2012).The search for sufficient information to quench myeager brain helped me to dispel some myths I experienced during myearly childhood. An unforgettable truth I learned during this timewas that children emerged from the body of parents and not given ataccost from the hospital. The term refers to taking in new ideas. Ourplaygroups involved both boys and girls, and we could interact freelyuntil when we learned about our sexuality in class. I can vividlyremember that it was during that time we started avoiding each otherand almost became enemies.
Myadolescence just like I any other child had a lot of changes, and Ilooked forward to the day I would show the slightest signs of anemerging beard. As mentioned earlier, I was taller and stronger thanmost of my classmates and always felt superior to most of them. Theyall feared me and no one could raise a conflict with me. I developeda high sense of self-esteem which I have up to date.
However,my esteem always led me to seek self-gratification n both at schooland at home. For this reason, I was always at loggerheads with myelder sister and occasional quarrels from my mother. With time, Istarted losing my younger playmates and whenever my age mates werenot around to play with I would remain indoors mostly watching thetelevision. I believe it was during this stage that I wasexperiencing identity confusion. The elder boys were a bit too oldfor me, and I could not accommodate the young ones. At fifteen years,I had already started feeling like an adult, and I started to shedsome behaviors like playing games I considered as childish likerunning after butterflies. My search for self-gratification was acharacteristic Piaget’s stage of formal operation stage wherebyadolescents do not necessarily have the thought of other people inmind. I was neither an adult not child, and I believe this attributemade my relationship with the elder and the younger membersunfavorable (Feldman, 2014).
Inhigh school, I developed a particular interest in members of theopposite sex, and I almost laughed my past behavior of developingenmity with them. In my second year in high school, I had gottenmyself a girlfriend, and we could spend time together after school.By then I could not understand where the sudden interest sprouted.After undergoing this course, I understand that the early and latechildhood years have suppressed the sexual urge. Piaget referred tothe early childhood age as the latency stage whereby children do notunderstand their sexual difference. The oblivion fades away inadolescence and children start developing interest towards theopposite sex.
Tothis point, one can note that I have talked about my encounters withmy mother and sister and not with my father. The reason behind thisis that I just found out that I was so close to my mother, and wecould discuss immense things in my life. Whenever I had a problem, Icould run to her but not always to my father/ for my sister, well, Icannot confirm the same. The Oedipus complex was manifesting itselfwithout my knowledge. Freud describes it as a result of thecompetition that exists between the son and the father towards themother. The attachment has no prospects of declining since up to dateI am more close and open to my mother than to my father (Santrock,2009).
WhenI joined college, I was a full grown young man with all the featuresthat I yearned to develop. I had a well-developed beard and frame. Iwas very content with my athletic body, and one could note that frommy gait. Of course, I knew this from a friend’s observation, and Idiscovered that I had developed a confident gait unconsciously. Thewelcoming speech during the orientation day poked me from a lifereverie. I still remember the exact words of the speaker whoindicated that we were on our way to career life, and I immediatelyknew that life would change. The everyday activities in the schoollike club meetings and lengthy lectures occupied my mind and all Ithought was about my career. I developed strong social ties andidentified myself with different groups in the school. What I enjoyedat that time and what I still take the time to do is attendingcommunity service like cleaning the alleys along the streets. Fromthese activities, I got a certain feeling of satisfaction of havinggiven back to the community. I discovered that it was during thisperiod that I shed the attitude of self-gratification and started tothink about the implications of my actions to other people’s lives.
Accordingto Piaget’s theory of motor development, this stage marks thebeginning of a conventional life whereby one strives to liveaccording to the socially acceptable behaviors. At this point, onecan face criminal charges if he/she goes against the laws. The sourceof morals usually gets a bigger definition, and it extends from thefamily to rules laid down by the state. I learned to control my idand the ego (Hoffnung, 2009). Before satisfying my needs, I stillconsider the long-term effects on me and other people as well.
Currently,I have started to think about my future family life and the need toinstitute a stable relationship with my girlfriend with the prospectsof getting married after studies. A major change that has also takenplace in my life is that Ido not visit home as regularly as I usedto some years back and I now make independent decisions about mylife. Consequently, the control that my parents had over hasdrastically faded, and they now let me decide what is good for me,but they always give me their support. Of much importance for meright now is developing social networks with friends who can be ofimportance in my life. As I advance in age, I will have people tocome to my help whenever I am in problems, and I will also get achance to play a part in other people’s lives.
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