Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development describes the mental capabilities of humans through various ages. This theory is made up of four stages; sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational, and formal operational. The sensorimotor stage deals with development from birth to about two years of age. Here, we mainly experience the world through our senses. A baby may want to touch and taste everything to understand what it is. For example, when my parents would buy me toy cars, I would always put the car in my mouth first before trying to “use” it. Stranger anxiety is common as well. In the preoperational stage, logical reasoning is lacking. This involves children from ages two to six. Imagination is proficient and mental operations are not yet learnable. Children enjoy playing pretend, drawing, coloring, etc. During this age, I loved playing “pirate ship” and “explorer” with my sister. This is when I would never get bored during summer vacation because I would always come up with a new imaginary game. From seven to eleven, there is the concrete operational stage. Logic is more prominent, mathematical operations are possible, and the idea of conservation is present. A child here will be able to make logical decisions and also understand addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division more thoroughly. In the later part of this stage, the concept of variables may become understandable as well. During this stage is when I first learned the concept of a variable, and also when I began to master basic mathematical operations. Finally, from the age twelve to adulthood we enter the formal operational stage. This is the stage where we are able to grasp abstract concepts as well as mature reasoning. Concepts such as infinity are understandable. This was true especially for me since for the longest time I could not understand how infinity could exist.
Although Lawrence Kohlberg agreed with Piaget’s theory, he took a different approach to explain the stages of development In Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development, three stages describe morality characteristics: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. In preconventional morality, an individual’s morality is linked to reward or avoiding punishment. For example, when I was younger I would do my homework so I could watch thirty minutes of television. Next, conventional morality explains how an individual’s morality is based on other people’s view of the individual. If an individual doesn’t take a little kid’s lollipop because they might think their friends will see them as a bully, then this individual would be displaying conventional morality. Part of the reason I never cheated on tests was because I did not want my friends to think I was a cheater. Finally, postconventional morality is based on the fact that there exists certain ethnic principles and a definite right and wrong. An individual would make decisions based on their own morals, not necessarily of what others believe. If anyone asked me for answers on tests when I was younger, I would feel morally obligated to not provide any answers because I did not want to help someone cheat.
Erickson’s Psychosocial Stages has eight stages in his model. The first stage starts at infancy. Here, the conflict involves trust and needs. When I was a baby, I only trusted those who fed me, like my mom and my dad. The next stage is the toddler stage. This stage deals with independence and doubt. For example, when I was two years old my mom would scold me for crossing the street. This created a feeling of shame and doubt, and I had to learn to act responsibly. The third stage is preschool. In this stage, curiosity is prominent and so is guilt. In kindergarten, I would sometimes be afraid to ask questions if they were discouraged. Next is the elementary school stage. Children learn to apply themselves or feel incompetent. I dealt with this many times when I was in elementary school. I only tried to raise my hand when I knew the answer so I would feel competent. If I raised my hand and gave a wrong answer, I would feel inferior. After elementary school is the adolescence stage. The role of the identity is prominent here. This is the stage I am currently in. As of now, I have not experienced any confusion of who I am or my likes and dislikes. Young adulthood follows adolescence. Here, the struggle of intimacy is emphasized. In my future, I hope I will not have any trouble finding close relationships nor do I hope to be socially isolated. I have never been socially isolated and I would not like that to start in the future. Following young adulthood is middle adulthood. This is when one finds themselves helping others or lacking purpose in the world. Of course, I would like to find myself with a purpose in the future with a decent career and family. The last stage is late adulthood where one reflects on their life. This is the stage where one may realize if they succeeded or failed their life goals. Again, I plan to look back at my life with content, hopefully fulfilling all my life goals.
Kubler-Ross’ Stages of Death and Dying describes how we cope with death and loss. She has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In denial, one can simply refuse to believe whatever has happened is true and is usually temporary. I have never dealt with a loss like this and I feel if I were to deal with this type of loss I would not deny it. The next stage is anger. In this stage, one may feel anger at God or others and may wonder why this had to happen to them. This is a stage I could see myself going through if I ever have to cope with loss. Hopefully, though, this will not happen for a very long time. The third stage is bargaining. When people are in this stage, they tend to bargain with God to postpone their death. Again, I could probably see myself in this stage as well trying to live longer. Depression is the stage where one mourns for their losses. I do not see myself going into depression in the future simply because I seem to be able to move on, even though I never really have dealt with a major loss before. The final stage is acceptance, where one accepts that death is inevitable. I am not sure if I would ever be able to fully reach this stage, whether it is a loved one’s death or my own. I feel like I would continue to try harder to prevent any major loss.
When my mother was pregnant, I moved and kicked a lot. She does not remember the first time she felt me. According to my mother, I moved and kicked a lot when loud music was playing and when she lay down. When I was born, I was twenty-one inches and weighed seven pounds. I was born at 9:30 in the morning. When I first came home, my sister was very excited to see me. She was three at the time. My grandmother was there as well. She was extremely excited as well. My parents’ dog at the same was also enthusiastic to meet me since he was very friendly with babies. Out of everyone there, my sister was the most excited. As a baby, I did not cry much. I did not sleep all night but I had a very particular sleep schedule. It only took about four months for me to get into a regular sleep schedule. I was very calm and happy as a baby and considered an easy baby to take care of. At seven months I was crawling, at a year I was walking, and I started talking when I was six months I said my first word. One of my favorite words was “no”. As a baby, I never sucked my thumb. It took me a year and a half to be potty trained. I wasn’t potty trained until I was three years old.
I only liked one type of toy when I was younger, and I still am fascinated with them today. My favorite toys were toy cars because I liked collecting them and pushing them off tables to see where they would land. I did have a special blanket/cloth when I was younger. I do not think I still have it and only remember that it was blue. I did not usually experience separation anxiety when I was with a babysitter because whenever I was with a babysitter my sister was there with me. When I first started school, I was very excited. It is one of the memories that I remember the most of. I remember seeing my friends there and looking at all the different things in the classroom. I went to a Montessori school, so the experience was more hands-on than most schools. There were so many different learning tools I was thrilled to be there. Growing up, I did not usually receive physical rewards. They would usually reward me with many compliments, which I feel is the best type of reward. As a toddler, I would be punished by sitting in a corner for time out and having to go to my room for a certain amount of time. I always hated going to my room when I was younger because I did not have anything to do. In elementary school, I never really got punished. Sometimes I would get yelled at for talking rudely or I may have been sent to my room. The rewards were the same. In middle school, I hardly got punished. If I ever did get “punished,” it would be a small scolding but I did not have to go to my room. I never lost any privileges although my mom did threaten me sometimes that I would lose either TV watching time or computer time.
My parents say living with kids and teaching them has been the most joyous part of having kids. They say watching us grow up and seeing life through our eyes has changed their perspective on life. Their biggest surprise as being parents is how much work parenting actually is. They say that parenting has made them calmer and more patient.
When I have to punish my kids, I will probably give them a scolding and then a time out. I do not agree with physical punishments. Over the last few years, I definitely feel I have developed greatly from the cognitive perspective. Actually, I feel I have developed much more socially as well. I don’t ever feel smarter until I look back at my old work. Whenever I learn a complex topic, I do not “feel” smarter. But when I look back I realize how much I actually have developed mentally. My memory might be a little worse right now because of all the different things I have had to remember lately, but I think this will actually strengthen my memory. I seem to do better in English than I used to. My writing skills have improved, as have my speech skills. In fact, in 2009 I won the Tropicana Speech contest in Pinellas County. Since then, my speech skills have improved even more. I have always been pretty well rounded, though my stronger subjects have been math and science. I feel like I have always been strong in math and science. I feel my mind has definitely developed for the best, as now I am doing much better in English and history, the latter being my least favorite subject.
Today, I aim to be hardworking, studious, and healthy. Everyday, I try my hardest on all my work and I maintain a balanced diet with all of my meals. I think if someone lives their life following these three simple goals, their life will improve tremendously. When I am sixty years old, I am sure my goals will not change. I feel no matter what age it is important to be hardworking. When I am sixty, I may prioritize health over work. But I hope in the future I still value these three morals as much as I do today.
If someone were to witness my life for a week, I think they would be able to see how much I work. Everyday, I try to work hard in work, creativity, and athletics. I think they would be able to assume I do not value laziness and that I do value high effort and patience. They would probably assume this because I always get my work done when needed and do not procrastinate most of the time. In everything I do, I put all my effort so everything is valued equally. Finally, I try my best to be patient with everyone and listen when people need to talk to me. I feel I am patient with everyone and that everyone should value patience in their lives. When I am sixty years old, I am not sure if I will value patience as much. I still believe I will value high work effort and not stand for laziness. I think depending on whether I am working or not during that time and what my work is, my values will change.
My family is the most supportive group of people I have today and will probably be the most supportive for the rest of my life. I love my family’s patience, determination, and love. Their patience for me and everything I do allows me to feel needed and aim higher. They are always eager to support me and are determined when they set their goals. Their determination influences me to pursue my goals. Their love, of course, shows their support and care and shows me that they value what I do. At the same time, they can tell me what I am doing wrong or show their disagreement, which I feel in a way is also showing their love by trying to do what’s best for me. When I am thirty or forty years old, I think my family’s love, their own happiness, and generosity will make me happiest. Of course, just their love, I feel, will be enough and as long as that exists I will be happy. If my family is happy where they are, I feel that will make me the happiest because at that point the chances of me still living with my parents will be slim and I will probably not be there to see how their life is by themselves. Finally, my family is always generous to everyone and is not judgmental of anybody. This will make me happy because I feel it is important to see the good in everyone and to always give second chances.