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The Identity & Power Stage
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IDENTITY AND POWER (Visited the first time round between 3- 6yrs)

Finding out more about ‘Who am I?’ characterises this developmental stage. Having developed a sense of who she is in the family unit, he begins to extend this to his place in the wider world. Experimental play enables him to discover more about what it means to be a girl. There is often a fascination for stories – with the same ones perhaps being requested time and time again. These serve as an important source for finding out about the different roles people play – goodies and baddies; heroes and villains etc etc.

Related to this, the child is also concerned with finding out just how much personal power she has. She might test this, for example, by ‘bribery’ – ‘Give me that toy or I won’t be your friend any more’

Too many restrictions and admonishments/a lack of the appropriate affirmations can discourage the youngster from finding out more about themselves and, in some instances, lead her to internalise the messages ‘Don’t be who you are’/Don’t be you’

Older children and young people who, for example, play fight too aggressively, or who frequently lie, may well benefit from revisiting the Identity and Power stage and ’hearing’ some of the associated affirmations.

 
Boys dressing up as girls and vice versa is not untypical during this stage. It helps children to answer two questions – "When I dress up as a boy/girl, do I feel any different?" and "When I do so, do other people treat me differently?"
Prevouis Fact 5/5 Next Fact
Developmental Task Affirmations for the Being Stage Helpful adult/carer behaviours Indicators of possible need to revisit this stage
  • To assert an identity separate from others
  • To acquire information about the world, self, body and gender role
  • To learn extent of personal power
  • To learn to exert power to affect relationships
  • To practice socially appropriate behaviour
  • To separate fantasy from reality
  • To continue learning earlier tasks
  • You can explore who you are and find out about others
  • You can try out different ways of being powerful
  • You can be powerful and ask for help at the same time
  • All of your feelings are OK here
  • You can learn the results of your behaviour
  • You can learn what is pretend and what is real
  • Expect learner to express feelings and to connect feeling and thinking
  • Teach clearly that it is OK to be who you are, and that both sexes and all cultures are OK
  • Answer questions accurately, providing information and correct misinformation
  • Be clear about responsibilities
  • Encourage fantasy while being clear about what is fantasy and what is reality
  • Acknowledge and respond to appropriate behaviour

  • Difficulties in distinguishing between play fighting & aggression
  • Lying
  • Manipulation
  • Issues re: gender identity
Need help understanding the table above
The developmental tasks are the jobs the child/young person needs to begin to get under their belt in order to optimise their growth. This is facilitated by the adults around him/her providing permissions via the affirmations. These tend to be communicated primarily non-verbally, examples of which are given in the ‘Helpful adult/carer behaviours’ column.

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