1. Trust vs. Mistrust- This mother displays affection, and adequate care giving to her child. By providing a child with this throughout their first year of life, you show that they can depend on you. This forms a bond of trust between mother and infant, rather than mistrust.
2. Autonomy vs. Doubt- This child is three years old; he has progressed from diapers to the adult sized toilet. After going to the bathroom, he knows he must wash his hands. His mother sees that he wants to do it himself, but is slightly frustrated that he is not tall enough. This mother could just pick him up and assist him, making him feel like he couldn’t do it. She buys him a small step stool, and supervises him washing his hands also providing positive reinforcement.
3. Initiative vs. Guilt- This set of parents notice that their five year old boy greatly enjoys wrestling with his older brothers. They sign him up for karate lessons so he can enjoy himself, but do it in a safe way.
4. Industry vs. Inferiority- A mother is sewing inside her living room. The mother tells her ten year old daughter she is making a scarf. The phone rings, and the mother answers and leaves the room. Her daughter, wanting to be just like mommy, cut up the curtains to make her mother a dress. Her mother re-enters the room, smiling and thanking her daughter for picking such a pretty fabric for her dress. The mother continued to help her make the dress.
5. Identity vs. Identity Confusion- This seventeen year old girl has had a very good life. Her parents have always been supportive in everything she has done. Now that she has reached her adolescence, she believes she might know who she is. Throughout her life, she has taken dance lesson, art class, done musical theatre, painting, singing lessons and many other things in the artistic field. She feels her true passion in life is for art and painting, and she may want to pursue a career in that field.
6. Intimacy vs. Isolation- Now that this woman has reached adulthood, she wants to begin searching for a lifetime partner. She meets a nice man in the mall, though he doesn’t call her for two weeks she doesn’t get discouraged. They go on many dates, become a couple and eventually after two years of dating decide to get married.
7. Generatively vs. Stagnation- After getting married, a man and a woman discuss what they plan to do with their lives. They decide he will continue working, and they want to have a child. She does not want to stay at home forever though, so they agreed that when the time is right she would get a part time job.
8. Integrity vs. Despair- A man is in his late sixties, and gets called an “old man” for the first time. He realizes that he wasted his whole life working and not enjoying himself, he wants to feel young again. He sells his house in New York and moves to Florida. He finds himself a young girlfriend, and parties like he’s in his twenties again.