What are the different dimensions of maturity through the lifespan?
The Developmental Line
|0 – 18 months||Infant|
|18months – 4 years||Toddler|
|5 – 12 years||School Child|
|13- 24 years||Adolescent|
This is a list of a ‘typical’ developmental line. Each of these categories is distinct and follow in a chronological order. No infant can become an adult without first going through the other stages of life.
The progression here is indicated by age, which is something that happens simply as time passes. While this time is passing, we are having experiences that we will build upon and strengthen.
Take movement for example. As infants, our movement is limited, but much of our experiences help us strengthen our muscles and coordination so that we can eventually learn to crawl, then walk. Once we can walk, we move into a new life stage (toddler) and our experiences there will eventually help us learn to run, climb and jump. An infant who does not get these experiences, perhaps due to illness or otherwise, will typically be more delayed in moving on to the next stage.
The more experiences we have and the more appropriate they are for our developmental stage (not too difficult and not too easy), the more equipped we become to move onto the next developmental stage. This, in essence, is how we mature.
Dr. McKinnon outlines four dimensions of maturity
- Thoughts– learning how to think abstractly and understanding the concept of time
- Self and Other– recognizing that we are separate from our parents or caregivers and still having empathy for them
- Social Ethic -learning how to internalize right and wrong rather than it being enforced by someone outside of us
- Ego Strength– learning how to “self soothe” which can only happen if we are soothed by others when we are developing