My Thoughts About Role Of Mother In My Personal Development In A Childhood

My childhood started off okay because my mother seemed to be by taking care of my needs. However, as time went on, things changed, not always for the better. In this paper I will analyze my life through three different developmntal theories which include; attachment, Erik Erikson’s developmental model, and Freud’s psychological development in childhood.

John Bowlby proposed one of the earliest theories of social development. Bowlby believed that early relationships with caregivers play a major role in child development and continue to influence social relationships throughout life. This attachment theory suggested that children are born with a strong need to form attachments. Such attachments aid in survival by ensuring that the child receives care and protection. Children want to stay close and connected to their caregivers who in turn provide safe haven and a secure base for exploration.

This attachment theory named many different attachment styles. Children who receive consistent support and care are more likely to develop a secure attachment style, while those who receive less reliable care may develop an anxious, avoidant, or disorganized style. I think that when I got to an age where things started to scare me such as the dark, I grew to have an anxious attachment with my mother. I slept with her until I was 13 years old because I was terrified of the dark and sleeping alone. I think I often feared that my mom would die or leave which made this attachment more severe. I never left home overnight and if I ever got the courage, I would end up calling my mom in the middle of the night to pick me up.

I believe that my attachment style to my mother was much more noticeable as I reached adolescence into adulthood due to the fact that my mother was struggling financially and forced us to live with a man who was very abusive. I never knew if I would be sleeping at night, or even have a roof over my head. I was constantly abused by this man and my mother never tried to stop it. When my father died when I was 11 years old my mom finally decided that she and I would move to Maine from North Carolina to live with her parents. After we got our own place, I was diagnosed with the same mental illness as my mother, bipolar disorder. Which made us clash even more.

My mom was never consistent in the way that she was raising me. I remember when I was in the 6th grade, I got suspended from school for snorting ibuprofen (trying to act cool) on the school bus. My mom originally grounded me but after lots of begging, she allowed me to go to the local YMCA dance and have fun with my friends. My mother allowed me to sleep at my boyfriend’s house all the time for about a year and then once I got another boyfriend I was no longer allowed to do that. I also remember when I would get upset, my mom would either comfort me or blame me and scold me. Therefore, I was very anxious to ever share my emotions or thoughts with her because I did not want to feel worse about myself.

As I got older, I found myself not wanting to show my true emotions in lue that someone would judge me, however, I was very clingy and felt that I needed constant reassurance and attention which often came from my muliple intimate relationships later in young adulthood. I believe that a lot of my problems with relationships, social anxiety, and low self esteem definitely has to do with my anxious attachment to my mother. However, there are so many theories that could help analyze my life.

When I look at my life thus far through the eyes of Erik Erikson’s developmental model I know that I have gone through six of the eight stages. I believe that I made it through most of the stages successfully with some minor obstacles.

The first stage is trust versus mistrust which is where trust is gained through healthy caregiving the early years of life. My parents divorced when I was at a young age of 2. The divorce was messy and I was thrown through court for custody with my mom and dad. For a while mother had me. Then eventually my dad was allowed to have me every other weekend. While talking with my mother I found that she did take care of me in a healthy way by breastfeeding, snuggling, and caring for me. She did however say that I had colic which made it hard for her to pick me up every time I cried because I was always crying.

The second stage of Erikson’s developmental model is autonomy versus shame and doubt. This stage occurs between 18 months and 3 years. At this point, the child has an opportunity to build self-esteem and autonomy as she learns new skills and right from wrong. The well-cared for child is sure of herself, carrying herself with pride rather than shame. While talking to my mom she said that I was always a very good learner and never really got frustrated. She also said “your terrible two’s were not that terrible.” However, around this time I told my mother that my dad did some inappropriate things to me and was not able to see him for a while. I was confused by this because I loved my dad dearly. I was full of shame because how dare I tell on my dad.

Next is initiative versus guilt where during the age of 3-5 years a child experiences a desire to copy the adults around us and take initiative in creating play situations. During this age I was very adamant to play “baby and mommy.” I carried around a baby doll no matter where I was going. My mom was always so supportive of this. I remember her buying me the new and improved doll everytime I saw it at Walmart. However, my father would often try to guilt trip me into living with him. He would always make my mom out to be a bad person.

During my adolescence years I was bullied a lot but still had a good group of friends. I was able to be resilient in most scenarios but during the age of 11 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder which I believe made my mood and emotions so much harder to deal with. During this time I would cut myself and i often felt inadequate. This stage is the industry versus inferiority and typically happens between the ages of 6 and 12. During this stage people are capable of learning, creating and accomplishing numerous new skills and knowledge, thus developing a sense of industry. This is also a very social stage of development and if we experience unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among our peers, we can have serious problems in terms of competence and self-esteem which was seen in my life a great deal.

After this stage I entered the identity versus role confusion. This stage is from the ages of 12-18 years. At this point, development now depends primarily upon what a person does. An adolescent must struggle to discover and find her own identity, while negotiating and struggling with social interactions and “fitting in’, and developing a sense of morality and right from wrong. When I got into highschool I decided that I was going to make something of myself. I forced myself to study hard and get good grades. I got heavily into art and extracurriculars. I loved high school for the most part. However, I definitely had and still have some identity issues. I feel like I never truly found myself because when I was younger I had to grow up faster in order to take care of myself as I was stuck in an abusive home with my mother and her boyfriend. As a young adult I experimented so much with sex that I feel ashamed of it as an adult in my 20s. I dyed my hair every color in the rainbow. Went through phases like the “emo” phase and the rainbow child. But still to this day I am always changing myself. My looks, my dreams, etc… I spent more time in my life wanting someone to love me and show me attention that I never truly got to love myself. I will talk about this more in the attachment section of this paper.

The sixth stage that I am currently in is intimacy versus isolation. In this stage people in ages 18-35 often tend to seek companionship and love. Some also begin to “settle down’ and start families. As I said before, I have had a lot of intimate partners, however, throughout the years I have found myself putting up more and more walls because I am constantly feeling like I am being judged. I do not share my entire self with someone until I am able to see that they are trustworthy. I find myself shutting out my friends because of that constant fear of judgment. I often lie to them and tell them that I am busy instead of hanging out with them. At this point, nearly none of them contact me anymore to hang out because I typically always say no. However, I do have a fiance of 5 years and we plan on getting married in 2019.

I have not reached the seventh stage generativity versus stagnation which is during 35-55 years of age. During this time, people feel that their career and work are the most important things, along with family. This is also the time when people can take on greater responsibilities and control. For this stage, working to establish stability and Erikson’s idea of generativity is attempting to produce something that makes a difference to society.

The next and final stage will be during 55-65 to death which is integrity versus despair where Erikson believed that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage involves a lot of reflection. As older adults, some can look back with a feeling of integrity which is the feeling of contentment and fulfillment by having led a meaningful life and valuable contribution to society. Others may have a sense of despair during this stage, reflecting upon their experiences and failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering “What was the point of life? Was it worth it?’ Who is to say that I will be successful in these stages? However, I feel that I am getting there by getting my master’s degree, owning a nail salon, and being happily engaged.

. Looking through another lense of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality. Which argues that human behavior is the result of the interactions in three parts of the mind: the id, ego, and superego. According to Freud, personality develops during childhood and is critically shaped through a series of five psychosexual stages, which he called his psychosexual theory of development. The five stages of Freud’s psychosexual theory of development include the oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital stages. During each stage, a child is presented with a conflict between biological drives and social expectations; successful navigation of these internal conflicts will lead to mastery of each developmental stage, and ultimately to a fully mature personality.

In the first stage of personality development, the libido is centered in a baby’s mouth. It gets much satisfaction from putting all sorts of things in its mouth to satisfy the libido, and thus its id demands. Which at this stage in life are oral, or mouth orientated, such as sucking, biting, and breastfeeding. Freud said oral stimulation could lead to an oral fixation in later life. We see oral personalities all around us such as smokers, nail-biters, finger-chewers, and thumb suckers. Oral personalities engage in such oral behaviors, particularly when under stress. I do not know exactly what went on during this part of my childhood, however, I do know that my mother did breast feed me and she took away my binki when I was 1.5 years old so that I did not get too to it. If I analyze myself as an adult, I do find myself biting my lip or fingers when under a lot of stress. I also pick at my skin a lot. However, I do not get the feeling that I constantly need something in my mouth.

During the anal stage of 1-3 year olds, the libido now becomes focused on the anus, and the child derives great pleasure from defecating.The child is now fully aware that they are a person in their own right and that their wishes can bring them into conflict with the demands of the outside world (i.e., their ego has developed). Freud believed that this type of conflict tends to be seen during potty training, where adults make restrictions on when and where the child can poop. The nature of this first conflict with authority can determine the child’s future relationship with all forms of authority. In adulthood, an anal-expulsive personality is also messy, disorganized and rebellious.

My mother told me that I was actually “the easiest potty training ever.” I asked her if she ever forced me to and she said that she didn’t because I caught on very well. She said that I never pooped and played in it or anything like that. However, the one incident that I remember as a child is that I was in my friend’s tree house and had to go to the bathroom but my excuse was that I did not want to go home yet. So therefore, I pooped in the corner of my friend’s treehouse. I cannot directly relate this to my personality however, there could be a correlation as I am messy, disorganized and rebellious in nature. My apartment and car are always a mess. I am very disorganized and seem to have to try much harder than others to keep my life in shape. I also seemed to rebel against society and my mother has a teenager.

The next stage is the phallic stage which happened around 3 to 5 or 6 years of age. Sensitivity now becomes concentrated in the genitals and masturbation becomes a new source of pleasure. The child becomes aware of anatomical sex differences, which sets in motion the conflict between erotic attraction, resentment, rivalry, jealousy and fear which Freud called the Oedipus complex (in boys) and the Electra complex (in girls). This is resolved through the process of identification, which involves the child adopting the characteristics of the same sex parent. For girls, the Electra complex is less than satisfactory. Briefly, the girl desires the father, but realizes that she does not have a penis. According to Freud, this leads to the development of penis envy.

The girl resolves this by repressing her desire for her father and substituting the wish for a penis with the wish for a baby. The girl subconsciously blames her mother for her lack of a penis and this creates great tension. The girl then suppresses her feelings and identifies with the mother to take on the female gender role. A fixation at this stage could result in sexual deviations (both overindulging and avoidance) and weak or confused sexual identity according to psychoanalysts. As a child I played “mommy” a lot. My entire room was filled with baby dolls. I carried them everywhere I went. In a more personal sense, I did start to “discover myself” when I was around 4 years old. My mother has told me many embarrassing stories about this. I could connect this to the fact that my father did some inappropriate things to me. If I analyze this as an adult, I definitely would consider myself as sexually deviant especially when I was between the age of 13-20.

No further psychosexual development takes place during the latency (hidden) stage which is occurs between the ages of 5 or 6 to puberty. The libido is slowed down at this point in childhood. Freud thought that most sexual impulses are repressed during this stage, and sexual energy can becomes more socially acceptable and turns towards school work, hobbies, and friendships. Much of the child’s energy is turned towards developing new skills and gaining new knowledge, and play often involves children of the same gender. During this time in my childhood I always played with girls. I had a group of little girls in my neighborhood that I would spend so much time with. In school, I also had a girl only group of friends. As I got closer to puberty I viewed boys as more of “boyfriend” material compared to friend material.

The genital stage is the last stage of Freud’s psychosexual theory of personality development and begins in puberty. During adolescent sexual experimentation happens and often individuals of this age have a successful resolution of this which means they settle down in a loving monogamous relationship with another person in our 20’s. Sexual instinct is directed to partner/ mutual pleasure, rather than self-pleasure like during the phallic stage. I do now have a fiance in which this is where my pleasure comes from. However, I do feel that I had many struggles getting to this point as I really liked having many sexual partners.

According to Freud, the proper outlet of the sexual need in adults was through intercourse. Fixation and conflict may prevent this with the consequence that sexual perversions may develop in adulthood. For example, fixation at the oral stage may result in a person gaining sexual pleasure primarily from kissing and oral sex, rather than sexual intercourse.

I think that throughout all of these theories, I had some struggles in each of them. However, as an adult I am becoming more successful and happy. I think that for some people, they are able to be successful if they push themselves and gain healthy relationships in adulthood. I think that no one theory can define any one person. 

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My Thoughts About Role Of Mother In My Personal Development In A Childhood. (2022, May 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/my-thoughts-about-role-of-mother-in-my-personal-development-in-a-childhood/