Significance of Developmental Tasks are as follows:
1. Direction to Individual
The list of tasks appropriate to various stages of life given earlier clearly shows to an individual what the society expects from him at various stages of life.
2. Prediction about Future
The knowledge of the developmental tasks tells a person in advance as to what physical and mental changes to expect in future. For example, the middle aged person who knows that will be his state of affairs after retirement, he can prepare in advance for all exigencies. He can save more or start side-business to be taken up fully later on.
It is always difficult to make adjustment with new situations and this gives rise to great deal of tension. However, if one is mentally prepared for the change, difficulty will be less.
Facts helping adjustment
The development psychologists have found out certain facts which would help a man to make better adjustment. Following are the significant facts in this regard:
1. Childhood is the Foundation of Life
It is well said that the coming events send their shadows before. A strong foundation laid in the childhood will surely ensure happy and prosperous adulthood. It is generally found that the physical and mental characteristics observed in the childhood persist throughout. An honest child is likely to grow an honest adult. A study of fat adults has revealed that in childhood they were over-protected.
As Alder has shown, alone child displays specific characteristics throughout his life. Similarly it also matters whether the child is first or last. The roles children play in their family later on determine their basic personality traits.
If the experiences in childhood are positive and favorable the child grows into a healthy, moral and happy adult; but if these experiences are negative the child tends to develop abnormalities. The causes of a number of mental diseases are to be found in childhood experiences.
The most important influence upon the child is that of his parents. If the child is taught to be tidy and clean, it develops in them a habit of cleanliness. Besides if there are some inborn defects in the children they can be best rectified in childhood.
The child is a tender creeper. He must be zealously cared for and good habits inculcated in him. This will help him to become a healthy and moral adult.
2. Development is Dependent upon Maturity and Learning
In the past there was a controversy among the psychologists as to what is more crucial in the development maturity or learning. Some opted for maturity and the others regarded learning to be the crucial factor.
Now it is settled beyond doubt that there is an interaction between the two. It is also proved that in the absence of certain level of maturity there can be no learning.
The interaction between maturity and learning can be seen in three ways. It tells us about individual differences. It tells us why some individual cannot learn beyond a certain point. Thirdly, we know what age is most appropriate for a particular type of learning.
Educational psychologists have made special investigation in this regard. Upon the basis of these studies individual differences have been noted. No two persons are equal and same. Individuals therefore differ in tense in their reaction.
A situation which may be ridiculous for some may be serious for others. Briefly, differ in their level of maturity and learning and they therefore have in different ways.