Lifespan Map

Plan your life and the next important steps and goals to proceed with a happy life

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Lifespan Map by Mind Map: Lifespan Map

1. 1. Prenatal and Newborn

1.1. Major Stages of Development

1.2. Physical

1.2.1. Many dramatic changes occur between the point of conception and the first couple weeks after birth. Within the stages of prenatal development, a baby will develop physical attributes, senses, and gender. As time goes on, senses (including eyesight) are sharpened, movement become more dextile, and muscles are strengthened. Towards the end of the newborn stage, babies start to move and roll over on their own.

1.3. Social

1.3.1. As newborns continue to develop, they gain the abiity to recognize others (like their parents) and can visualize what is occuring in the world around them. Newborns are able to respond to social interactions with laughter, smiling, or crying; and, they will explore a wide spectrum of emotions during this stage. During this stage, it is imperitive that newborns recognize the dominant people in their lives and their surroundings.

1.4. Cognitive

1.4.1. At this critical age, newborns are able to learn by several different processes. In classical conditioning, a newborn learns to respond in a particular way to a neutral stimulus that normally does not bring about that type of response. For instance, a hungry baby will stop crying when his/her mother picks him/her up. In addition, newborns learn through operant conditioning. In operant conditioning, a voluntary response is strengthened or weakened, depending on a positive or negative conseqiuence. An example of this is a newborn learning that smiling and laughing will bring about more attention from parents. The final learning process is habituation. In habituation, there is a decrease in response to a stimulus that occurs repeatedly. For example, a baby may be excited the first time they play with a certain toy, but may become uninterested in that same toy when seen several times.

2. 2. Infancy and Toddlerhood

2.1. Major Stages of Development

2.2. Physical

2.2.1. Infancy and toddlerhood is an extremey important time for the development of physicalities. In this time, toddlers make dramatic improvements in their mobility. During this time, toddlers develop the abilities to talk and walk. In addition, toddlers obtain the ability to start paying attention to their body signals and can become potty-trained. I'm not sure when exactly I developed these skills, however I do know that I was right on track.

2.3. Social

2.3.1. During this time in a child's life, social skills are beginning to further develop. Toddlers develop the ability to decode others' facial expressions and translate those into emotional meaning. In addition, smiling is a more prevalent response to all sorts of stimuli. Babies stop using smiles just for inanimate objects, and begin smiling as a response to social situations known as "social smiling". At this time, toddlers experience separation anxiety from their parents and stranger anxiety when introduced to new people. I was always a very shy baby, so both separation anxiety and stranger anxiety were someting I experienced on a regular basis.

2.4. Cognitive

2.4.1. Changes during this time period included a transition from the sensorimotor stage to the preoperational stage of cognitive development. At this age, I was very eager to learn. Whether it was putting together legos, exploring the house, learning to run, or pretending to read, I was always participating in activities that would build my cognitive abilities. By exploring my own talents and abilities, I gained my sense of autonomy, as discussed in Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development.

3. 4. Middle Childhood

3.1. Major Stages of Development

3.2. Physical

3.2.1. A big part of the physical development for me during this time was in muscle coordination and physical skills. I learned to play several sports including soccer, softball, and tennis. In addition, the muscle coordination involved with tasks like writing became more second-nature.

3.3. Social

3.3.1. In this stage, I learned to develop my self-esteem and my social standing. On the playground, I tended to be a ring-leader, and I befriended "weaker" individuals so I could dominate the social circle. I gained a sense of self-worth from acting as the leader and getting others to listen to me. I want to say that making friends provided me with emotional support and challenged me intellectually, but at this age, I was so young and carefree, I didn't actually need any emotional support; I didn't even get crushes on boys yet. And if I ever did need any support in any way, my family was always very present and helpful.

3.4. Cognitive

3.4.1. During this stage, my intellectual abilities concerning language, memory, and music began to grow. I became really involved in both choir and playing piano, and both of those helped to develop so many of my cognitive skills. Not only was I able to read words on paper, but I could read music as well. I was able to develop my language skills through reading fluency and comprehension, and I would practice reading to my mom aloud whenever I got the chance.

4. 3. Preschool Years

4.1. Major Stages of Development

4.2. Physical

4.2.1. During my preschool years, I greatly improved my motor abilities, both fine and gross. I was always running around the playground, attemping monkey bars, or pretending I was some kind of animal. At this age I could read and spell several words, and I would sometimes spend hours just writing those words down on a piece of paper. In addition, by the end of this period, I could successfully ride my bike without training wheels, and I would spend my days scooting around the neighborhood. Like most children this age, I was always hurting myself, falling, and scraping my knees. In fact, during this stage, I ended up breaking my wrist while wrestling with my younger brothers. And, being a young child, I healed pretty quickly.

4.3. Social

4.3.1. The preschool years were definitely a mile-marker in my life when it comes to being social and making friends. I was always a shy child, but always seemed to make friends. Most of the friend interaction included all aspects and types of play. I would use constructive play to build sand castles or lego houses, and I would use functional play when running around the playground and riding our bikes around. I would definitely use parallel play when playing with my stuffed animals next to other children, and I would use cooperative play when organizing games and "roleplay" games with other children. We often pretended we were puppies or kittens. When it comes to discipline, I was always a very well-behaved child who was deathly afraid of breaking the rules or getting in trouble.

4.4. Cognitive

4.4.1. In this stage, I was able to further my cognitive development. During this time in my life, I started learning the basics of how to read and write. I became extremely interested in the world around me and couldn't help but ask "why". I wanted to learn how things worked and why they worked. I could often be found taking toys apart and putting them back together. At this time, I was speaking rather fluently. In addition, I was part of a church choir and had to use my memory abilities to remember songs and perform them in front of an audience. Finally, I was able to start to developing my own identity and realizing my own likes and dislikes.

5. 5. Adolescence

5.1. Major Stages of Development

5.2. Physical

5.2.1. Adolescence was such an awkward time for physical changes. I went through puberty just like everyone else. In fact, I was a bit of an early bloomer. I'm not sure how much taller I grew, but I got a lot curvier and started to actually care for my body. So many of my friends and aquaintances began experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but I never did join in. I was too busy playing sports and developing my music skills.

5.3. Social

5.3.1. At this age, friends were so important to me. They were my second family. I got a chance to experience all of that wonderful, catty girl drama, but I never really let it get to me. I always seemed to get along better with guys than with girls (probably because I grew up with two brothers). With that being said, I was never really boy-crazy and never cared if I had a boyfriend or not. I was constantly trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do, so I was always trying new things. I ran cross-country, played water polo, sang in the choir, and participated in drama, so most of my socializing revolved around those groups. I always had a great, intelligent group of friends who kept me away from drugs and alcohol and kept me challenged mentally and physically.

5.4. Cognitive

5.4.1. In this stage of my life, my cognitive development mostly involved how I participated in school. I became a better memorizer, problem solver, and test-taker. In addition, I was able to discover myself and figure out what really made me happy. Participating in these activities is probably what kept me away from drugs and alcohol.

6. 6. Early Adulthood

6.1. Major Stages of Develpment

6.2. Physical

6.2.1. In this time of my life, I can clearly see how my lifestyle affects my body, as well as my overall quality of life. During this stage, I have definitely done my fair share of drinking and partying, and I can see how it affects my body and attitude. It's crazy to watch how simply eating healthy and working out dramatically changes how I feel and makes me a more positive, productive person. I realized that getting adequated sleep also affects my health and my mood. Stress has started to affect me, and it's up to me to cope with it and relieve it. Furthermore, I have become sexually active during this period, and I am able to educate and protect myself.

6.3. Social

6.3.1. I've heard that we are supposed to start thinking about serious relationships in our 20's, but I am still not really interested in anything serious. I am more interested in building lasting relationships with my friends and family than I am in finding a mate. I have excelled at building friendships based on common interest and compatibilty, instead of on social standing. I enjoy friends who like to come to the gym or go on adventures with me. I do go to the bars every once in a while to make friends and socialize, however I do prefer sober activites when getting to know others. In addition, I am part of a sorority, and that provides me with many social acitivies. I haven't had to deal with finding a career yet, but I know it's right around the corner.

6.4. Cognitive

6.4.1. So far, cognitive milestones I've had to cross involve dealing with stress, time management involving work and school, and analyzing complex issues, including school and relationships. As I've grown, I can see how my emotional intelligence has grown, as well as my self-worth and identity. Like I've said, I haven't had to deal with a career yet, but when I cross that bridge, I'm sure some sort of cognitive development will arise from that, too.

7. 7. Middle Adulthood

7.1. Major Stages of Development

7.2. Physical

7.2.1. As I age, I need to make sure I keep up with my diet and exercise. As people age, their metabolism slows, and weight it more easily gained. Especially if I have children, my body will change dramatically. In addition, I need to make sure I have regular doctor's visits and examinations to make sure my health is up to par. Cancer and hypertension are both a part of my family heath history, so I need to make sure I am doing everything possible to prevent both of those. In addition, I will have to prepare myself for the unfortunate bodily stage of menapause.

7.3. Social

7.3.1. During this stage of my life, I hope to either focus my social energy on my family or my career. If focusing on my career, I need to make sure to socialize and build relationships with those that will help me further my career and succeed. But if I choose to focus on a family, I will not only need to strengthen relatioinships within my own family, but I will be required to reach out and build relationships with teachers, coaches, friends, etc. I hope that when I am this age, I am still a very social person, and that me and my husband remain a social couple with lots of friends. My parents are amazing role models when it comes to continuing to socialize, and I hope I can follow in their footsteps.

7.4. Cognitive

7.4.1. In this period I know there will also be many changes in my cognitive abilities. However, not all of these changes will be negative. For example during my middle adulthood my crystallized intelligence will grow as my fluid intelligence declines. This means that although I may forget how to do the same algebra I did in high school I will be able to solve my crossword puzzles more easily. Along with increased crystallized intelligence I will have a wider set of schemas based on the life I have lived. I will gain competency in my work, and hopefully this brings me continued success in my career. In addition, I will definitely gain more practical intelligence.

8. 8. Late Adulthood

8.1. Major Stages of Development

8.2. Physical

8.2.1. In this stage of life, I plan to continue the healthy lifestyle that I will be practicing since young adulthood. I want to be considered the "young old" and remain "young at heart". I want this idea of staying young to be reflected in both my appearance and my activities. Even though I will choose to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I still need to worry about all the health concerns that come with old age. I hope to avoid Alzheimer's and other physical and phsychological disorders associated with old age, but those aren't always avoivadable.

8.3. Social

8.3.1. I believe that late adulthood is a great time to expand one's social circle and re-emerge as a social butterfly. My grandparents are well into late adulthood, and they are some of the most social people that I know. They are always attending parties, playing tennis, and meeting friends for dinner and drinks. They appear to have such a fun, relaxing lifestyle. Without having to work anymore, social circles change, and I hope I can join some clubs and organizations to keep me socially active. I hope I can continue to live at home, but living in a retirement community (not a nursing home), could be a great way to make friends and enjoy the final years of my life.

8.4. Cognitive

8.4.1. At this age, I will most likely be rich in crystallized intelligence, and I will be able to amazing people with my storage of information, skills, and strategies. Obviously, I will have to use stimulation and motivation to maintain my mental abilities. I hope my memory doesn't start to fade, however, decline in autobiographical memory is realistic.

9. 9. Death and Dying

9.1. Major Stages of Development

9.2. Physical

9.2.1. I do hope that living a healthy, active lifestyle will pay off in this aspect of my lifespan. I don't want to pass from some kind of slow painful disease or ailment. I want to go peacefully, maybe in my sleep. I never want to live in an assisted living home. I hope to remain independent as long as possible and not be a burden on my family.

9.3. Social

9.3.1. Before my death, I hope to truly connect with my family and friends. I want them all to know how important they are to me and how much I love them. My husband will probably be gone before me, so I will be forced to deal with that emotional pain. At this stage, I hope I have put away enough money for funeral expenses; I really don't want to be a burden on my family. Speaking of funerals, I don't want mine to be depressing. I want everyone to celebrate my life, not mourn my death. I want to have a set plan for my passing. If there is one thing I have learned in this class, it's that plans are important!

9.4. Cognitive

9.4.1. As I approach this final stage of my lifespan, I hope to pass successfully through each of the steps of dying. I don't want to die from a devastating illness, I want to be present and conscious for my final days. I need to remember to make all of my own life-or-death decisions, including planning my funeral and preparing a Last Will and Testament. If I am, in fact, suffering from some kind of dabilitating disease, I would consider the idea of assisted suicide. But if I have a choice, I wouldn't choose a hospital as the place I die.