Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh of eight stages of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development. This stage takes place during middle adulthood from ages 40 to 65 years old. Generativity refers to making your mark on the world through creating or nurturing things that will outlast an individual. In this scenario, the mother feels the need to offer something for the greater good by being active and cooperative at home or in the community. Raising her two children on her own, she concerned with her new purpose in life after seeing her teens off to college. As an empty nester, she has more time on her hands and initially has trouble finding ways to replace it. If she doesn’t fill her time and find a purpose, she will conform to the role of stagnation. Adults believe that their important purpose is to preserve and continue the values in their culture by giving unconditional love and care for their children, which also extends outside their homes as they become participative in creating a stable environment for future generations. Success in this phase usually depends upon one’s effort to give something for the betterment of many, but it isn’t necessary to have offspring in order to achieve generativity. By overcoming this stage successfully, the person develops the virtue of care, which is shown by giving unconditional support for children and for others in the community, society, and even the wider world. If I extended the comic strip I would include a scene of the mother working at the local church and doing volunteer work. This expresses her overcoming this stage of generativity versus stagnation.
It's bedtime, I'll help you get ready for bed and then I'll read you a bedtime story.
Good night and sweet dreams my loves. I'll make pancakes for breakfast tomorrow morning.
I can't believe my babies are off to college. I remember it like it was yesterday when I was walking you to kindergarten. Now I'll be an empty nester, all alone.