Children are some of the most interesting creatures on Earth. At any moment they may do something that makes you laugh. The next moment they may do something that makes you want to crawl under your seat in embarrassment. That’s what drew me to them. I’m around adults all day and all night since starting college.
I wanted to sit and observe God’s most precious creation in action. My mother-in-law’s home was the most obvious choice for my observation. She keeps several children, including my sixteen month old son, in her home daycare business. All of the children who are kept there are little boys ages three or under. I chose Friday, August 28, 2009 to analyze how the children interact not only with each other, but also with their environment.
Upon beginning my initial observation, there were six children playing on my mother-in-law’s front porch.
When I walked up to the porch, the children greeted me with the usual, “Hey Mr. Jeff.” I replied with, “Hi boys, what are you doing today?”(Boyd). The boys did not have a clue that I was about to embark on a quest for knowledge about them, but one of them did ask me, “What are you going to do with that pencil and paper?” As I started to take notes, Reid, age 7 months, was in the stroller on the porch. Karson, my sixteen month old, was pulling on the gate, Gage and Austin both there, were sitting on the top of a container and were pretending to cook me some lunch. Brayden, the other three year old was sitting in one of the rocking chairs.
As I looked down at my paper and then looked up again it was as if the whole scene was changed in an instant. Karson had ventured off to the rails on the porch and had managed to stick his head through them, turn his head to the side. .in the road and saying some other lingo that only he is able to interpret.
In sitting here watching these children for only an hour I have pondered many ideas about how children communicate, how they build relationships, how they play and interact with other children of the same gender and age. Child psychologist Kenneth N.
Condrell, Ph.D. states in his book Wimpy Parenting from Toddler to Teen, at this age the average toddler is a whirlwind of activity, and everything is an adventure. The world is all brand new to them and they don’t know where to begin. Toddlers are free spirits and since they are still babies everything is smelled and tasted. They have not interest in toilet training, and forget self-control, because toddlers have no conscience yet.
They operate on the pleasure principle: if it feels good and it is fun, they want to do it (Condrell).