According to Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development, a child of 12 years old falls under the elementary school age stage of the larger childhood stage. Developmental crisis associated with this stage is industry versus inferiority. Children in this stage develop a sense of industry, a feeling of proficiency, and self-esteem when they succeed in learning new skills and knowledge. On the other hand, children in this age who fail to learn new skills and expertise feel inferior, inadequate, and incompetent.
Theorist Jean Piaget developed a theory of cognitive development which proposes that children move through four stages of mental development. These stages are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. The first stage starts from birth to 2 years; the second from ages 2 to 7; the third from ages 7 to 11, and the last phase from ages 12 and up.
Using Erikson’s theory, Vlad, who is 12 years old, is in elementary school age stage. This phase is very sensitive and delicate as children start seeking their identity. His deteriorating performance in school is likely to have been caused by the instability of his family in terms of settling. Changing schools do not allow Vlad sufficient time to make friends and create strong relationships with them. Children in this stage seek to belong to a group to identify with.
Additionally, changing schools often disrupt his learning. He does not get enough time to embrace a different teacher’s style of teaching. Subsequently, his grades worsen.
Living next to his uncle who teaches him about computers and car engines makes Vlad happy and excited. In this stage, having close relationships with relatives is instrumental in shaping a child’s personality and building confidence. Learning about car engines and computers provides Vlad with new knowledge and skills which gives him a sense of competence, confidence, and industry. These feelings are translated into good performance in school.
Using Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Vlad is in formal operational stage which is associated with deductive reasoning, thinking about morals, ethical, and social issues. He starts to plan for the future by working hard in learning new skills and knowledge substantiated by his improved academic performance. His social relationship gets better by having his uncle closer, and this uncle-nephew relationship influences his relationship with his younger brother significantly that he starts helping his with his studies.
In conclusion, theorists Erikson and Piaget ideas can be used to explain Vlad’s changes. His transformation is mostly influenced by his relationship with the uncle. At his age, he needs to feel confident and competent to succeed in his endeavors.