Purpose The Basic Strength of the Play

The conflict of initiative versus guilt produces the basic strength of purpose. Children now play with a purpose, competing at games in order to win or to be on top. Their genital interests have a direction, with mother or father being the object of their sexual desires. They set goals and pursue them with purpose. Play age is also the stage in which children are developing a conscience and beginning to attach labels such as right and wrong to then behavior. This youthful conscience becomes the "cornerstone of morality" (Erikson, 1968, p. 119).

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