From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Going Through a Stage? We All Are!

What does it take to grow up strong?

Beginning at birth, life is filled with developmental challenges which affect us all. Although we tend to think of our major growth period as the first 20 years, the truth is that growth continues throughout life... each stage affecting the next. As a result, it is not uncommon for members of the same family to be undergoing important personal changes simultaneously, which can create quite a bit of confusion at times. Back in 1963, developmental psychologist, Eric Erickson identified 8 developmental stages across the life-span. Some 35 years later, his ideas have withstood the test of time. In the effort to better understand the individuals in your family, consider the following developmental tasks which we all must face.

In short, family members are constantly negotiating specific developmental tasks which affect their mood, self-esteem, and interpersonal relationships. From the very youngest to the very oldest members of a family system, each of us is involved in a constant state of growth and change, which at times brings us closer together, and at times, moves us further apart. Thus, at each stage, healthy family relationships are built on flexibility, tolerance, interpersonal support, and a healthy respect for similarities and differences between people

Copyright 1998, 1999 by Jane R. Rosen-Grandon, Ph.D.

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Last Updated February 27, 1999 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.