- Personality development in children is the process through which a children’s personality is groomed and enhanced. This grooming process is to be done in such a way to bring positive changes in the children’s life which would him a better person. Children are born with different personality traits. From childhood to the time when they become adults, they are influenced by various factors and circumstances which all contribute to their overall personality development. As we know, when we talk about personality development, we refer to the process by which certain attributes and behavior that are unique to a particular child are developed.

The Stage of Children’s Personality Development
The Stage of Children’s Personality Development
On their journey to be adults, children also go through the normal process of growth in every area which includes spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Parents should also realize these so that there will be less tension in the family. Everyone can have more enjoyable time together. Children will not remain little forever, just like everything grows, they also will go through the growth process and become adults soon.
This article throws light upon the five overlapping stages involved in the process of personality development of children. The Stage of Childeren’s Personality Development: 1. The Oral Stage 2. Anal Stage 3. The Phallic Stage 4. Latency Period 5. The Genital Stage.

1. The Oral Stage

The oral stage continues from birth up to the 2nd year. After birth the new born baby has to breathe, search for food and to keep his body temperature. He has no idea of self, ego, conscience or super ego. For the satisfaction of his physical needs, he has to depend upon others. When his physical needs are not satisfied, he expresses a feeling of psychological dissatisfaction.

2. Anal Stage

The anal stage is divided into two parts:

a) Anal expulsive

The anal expulsive stage continues from 8 months to 3 years and hence, overlaps with the oral biting period. In the anal expulsive stage the area of getting pleasure changes from the mouth to the anus. The libido is localized in the anus and buttocks and the child gets pleasure in passing stools and urine here and there.

b) Anal Retentive Period

At this stage which starts from the 12th month, and continues up to the fourth year, the child gets pleasure by retaining and controlling feces and urine.

It is like the anal expulsive stage here the chief area of pleasure is obtained by retaining stools. The child now does not pass stool and urine here and there, but learns and realizes the social value of retaining, possessing and controlling them. By social enforcement like praise and other verbal rewards proper toilet habit is developed in the children.

3. The Phallic Stage

Between the age of 3 to 7 the sex energy or libido is localized in the genital organs which play the central part in adult sexual life. At this stage the children are interested in their own genital organs and get pleasure by stroking and manipulating it. At the same lime, the child’s sexual longing is intensified. This initiates a number of crucial changes in his object catharsis. This is a significant period where many of the normal sexual behavior of human personality develop.

4. Latency Period

When the infantile sexuality is repressed for the fear of castration, at the age of about 6-7 years, the period of latency onsets and it continues up to the onset of puberty i.e., 12th, 13th year. During this gap of 5 to 6 years, the sexual energy of the child remains in a subdued state. This is called the latency period.
During this period the individual is not consciously concerned with the sexual matters. Infantile sexuality is repressed and reaction formation strengthens this repression. The libidinal urges are sublimated in the process of education. During this period most rapid formal learning takes place. Most children undergo all the schooling they are to receive at this time. The super ego is established during this period.

5. The Genital Stage

The three stages of psycho-sexual development, i.e., the oral, anal and the phallic stages are called the pre genital period. As already discussed the sexual instinct during the pre-genital period is not directed towards reproduction. Following the interruption by the latency period, the sexual instinct starts to develop with the aim of reproduction. The adolescents begin to be attractive to the members of the opposite sex. This attraction eventually culminates in sexual union. This is known as the genital stage which starts with the onset of puberty.