The conflict in the first stage which occurs within the first year is between trust and mistrust. Caregivers must be protective of the child throughout the stage because of that way the child develops trust in others. If the phase is accomplished the child will feel secure if not the child will feel fear and a sense of the unpredictability of the world.
During early childhood, the child experiences the second important conflict which is between autonomy and shame. The crucial event is toilet training, more precisely the ability to control one’s bodily functions. Having completed this stage successfully, the child will feel confident and autonomous, and failing to do so will result in self-doubt.
The third stage lasts during pre-school age and is centered on social interaction. The conflict in this stage is between guilt and initiative. During this stage, children get involved in games with others and they try to choose the games that they like. If they succeed in persuading others to follow them, they will acquire a sense of leadership, if not they will exhibit a lack of initiative.
The fourth conflict is between industry and inferiority. While at this age children will be exposed to a variety of activities in school and they must develop a sense of skill and ability in at least one of those activities. This is important for achieving the feeling of pride and accomplishment. If that does not happen, if children fail to achieve a sense of mastery in at least one domain, they will feel inferior to others.