Stage 3 Play Age (3-6 years) Initiative vs. Guilt According to Bee (1992) it is a time of vigor of action and of behaviors that the parents may see as aggressive". Central to this stage is play, as it provides children with the opportunity to explore their interpersonal skills through initiating activities. Conversely, if this tendency is squelched, either through criticism or control, children develop a sense of guilt. They may feel like a nuisance to others and will therefore remain followers, lacking in self-initiative.
A B C D Stage 4 Stage 4 School age School age (6-12 years) (6-12 years) Industry (competence) vs. Inferiority Children are at the stage (aged 5 to 12 yrs) where they will be learning to read and write, to do sums, to do things on their own. Teachers begin to take an important role in the childs life as they teach the child specific skills. Childs peer group will gain greater significance and will become a major source of the childs self esteem. The child now feels the need to win approval by demonstrating specific competencies that are valued by society, and begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. If children are encouraged and reinforced for their initiative, they begin to feel industrious and feel confident in their ability to achieve goals. If this initiative is not encouraged, if it is restricted by parents or teacher, then the child begins to feel inferior, doubting his own abilities and therefore may not reach his or her potential. If the child cannot develop the specific skill they feel society is demanding (e.g. being athletic) then they may develop a sense of inferiority. Some failure may be necessary so that the child can develop some modesty. Yet again, a balance between competence and modesty is necessary. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of competence.