Salamat Dok: Identity Crisis

by Yam dela Cruz, Multimedia producer, Salamat Dok

Posted at Feb 13 2012 05:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2012 04:49 PM

Playing with dolls, wearing girl’s clothes, flirtatious hips while walking, girl playmates, longer time in the mirror -- these are normal for your daughter but what if it’s your son? Or the other way around – your girl is behaving like a boy. How do you deal with this?  Are you ready?
Don’t fret! Child “Identity crisis is normal. We all go through this stage, ” says Child Development expert Dr. Jocelyn Eusebio.

Identity crisis was first coined by Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst. He explains that this stage is a time in a person's life when they lack direction, feel unproductive, and do not feel a strong sense of identity.”

In his eight psychosocial stages that humans encounter throughout life, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Erikson states that “during adolescence, the transition from childhood to adulthood is most important. Children are becoming more independent, and begin to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, families, housing, etc. During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. This sense of who they are can be hindered, which results in a sense of confusion.”

What to do

Not only the child gets confused, parents do. If you are a parent or guardian and worried about your kid, Dr. Jocelyn Eusebio recommends these tips:

  • Spend quality time and talk with your child
  • Make them feel your support
  • Explain fully what gender is
  • Be open-minded
  • Be ready for acceptance 
  • Show love and understanding

This is not an easy task and not a simple thing to accept instantly. Here’s the catch! Erik Erikson believes that these crises do not necessarily represent a negative but can be a driving force toward positive resolution. – with reports from Jerome dela Cruz, Segment: Family Matters, aired December 4, 2011