Erikson’s psychosocial theory and parenting
There are several aspects of parenting that can contribute to a sense of trust between a child and their caregiver. These include:
- Physical comfort: Responding to an infant’s physical needs, such as holding and cuddling them, can help them feel secure and develop a sense of trust in their caregiver.
- Consistency: Providing a consistent and predictable environment, such as establishing regular routines for feeding, sleeping, and playtime, can help children feel safe and secure.
- Lack of fearful situations: Avoiding exposing children to situations that may be frightening or overwhelming can help build trust in their caregiver.
- Feeding: Responsively feeding an infant when they are hungry can help them learn to trust that their caregiver will meet their needs.
- Parental attentiveness: Being responsive and attuned to an infant’s needs, such as responding to their cries, can help them develop a sense of trust in their caregiver.
It is generally recommended that caregivers respond promptly to an infant’s cries, as this can help them feel secure and develop trust in their caregiver.
There is no clear evidence to suggest that trust is developed more easily by later-born children because their parents are more confident. However, later-born children may benefit from their parents’ experience in parenting and the confidence that comes with it.
Being the firstborn can come with its own advantages, such as having more attention and resources from parents. However, firstborn children may also face higher expectations and pressure to succeed, which can counterbalance these advantages.