Building Confidence Through Stages of Childhood Development

As a parent, you can begin building confidence in your child by understanding the four stages of development and assigning appropriate tasks at each stage. According to the renowned psychologist Jean Piaget, there are four stages of childhood development. Knowing these stages can help you parent your children in a way that fosters love and confidence. 

Stages of Childhood Development

  1. Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 years old) – Infants learn about the world through their senses by touching, tasting, through different reflexes, and from interactions with others. It may appear that not much can be done in this stage for building confidence, but by exposing your child to different environments, textures, and sounds, you can lay the groundwork for success in other stages.
  2. Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 years old) – Children begin to use language and think symbolically, however they are still centered on themselves. You may often find in this stage that your child is overly “selfish” or thinks only about themselves. This is natural, however, it provides an excellent opportunity to begin teaching the virtue of generosity!
  3. Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 11 years old) – Children begin to think logically about events and are able to understand the idea of conservation. They are able to sort items into categories and complete more difficult tasks that require multiple steps.
  4. Formal Operational Stage (11 years and up) – Adolescents develop abstract reasoning and hypothetical thinking. They are able to think deeply about a subject such as their faith or concepts in school and draw conclusions from experiences and knowledge. At this stage, they have a stronger ability to problem-solve and develop solutions for difficult tasks.

Appropriate Tasks for Each Stage

  1. Sensorimotor Stage
  • Handing child items to hold 
  • Picking up toys
  • Wiping surfaces
  • Throwing away diapers
  1. Preoperational Stage
  • Setting the table
  • Sorting laundry
  • Feeding pets
  • Watering plants.
  1. Concrete Operational Stage
  • Folding and sorting laundry
  • Making their bed
  • Helping with cooking
  • Taking out the trash
  1. Formal Operational Stage
  • Cleaning bathrooms
  • Babysitting siblings
  • Cooking simple meals
  • Completing yard work 

When you give appropriate tasks based on the stages of childhood development, you begin building confidence in your child’s abilities to complete those tasks. This confidence then translates to other areas of their life and encourages helpfulness and unity within the family.