For this assignment, the child I am observing for this assignment is a seven year old, African American, male. This child graduated from kindergarten in May and moved on to 1st grade in August of this year. The boy is due to attend elementary school in Lawrence Township with other neighborhood kids.The child primarily lives with his mother and visits with his father a few times a week and on weekends. His father is an authoritarian parent because he is strict and there is no negotiating anything he says. Strict physical punishment happens when he misbehaves. (Berger, 2016).
He lives with his mom and grandmother because his mom and father split up and are not together because of the long night shift hours his dad worked and was not ready for the family life. This then left his mom to take over all responsibility by herself causing a financial hardship, which then led to his grandmother moving in to help out.
The child lives in an urban area; he and his family currently live in an apartment complex located in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the oldest of five children; he has four younger siblings; two brothers and two sisters. His parents split up when he was about six months old, which is one of the reasons for the back and forth between homes. His hobbies consist of playing video games, playing board games, playing basketball and going bowling.
I was originally going to interview a four year old female, but had to switch it up so late into it because of her parent’s views of the situation, even me telling them her information would not be given. I chose the six year old boy as a subject because I wanted to observe someone other than a family member whom I already knew a lot about because I see the child around quite often. Also, I was interested in writing about the child because he seemed very intelligent for his age.
I was told by others that the boy is a pleasure to be around and is generally well behaved when in my presence. He pretty much stays to himself when not playing with his siblings and best friend. I have not encountered any problems out of him besides doing what other do, such as his best friend although it may be wrong. I expect kids to follow others’ actions, but once they know that certain actions are wrong they should not repeat them.
He has an expanded vocabulary; he uses correct grammar and tons of big words in the correct form. I am sure his great grammar skills and expanded vocabulary is due to his mother and grandmother working closely with him on homework and additional learning activities. The child is a friend of my sons.
They became friends from the neighborhood despite the age difference. They had common interest in games and basketball. He comes to visit at least twice a week to play. Due to me working full-time observing my sons’ neighborhood friend was easier to do because the child was in my home and did not have to travel to observe the child. However, I am not disclosing the child’s name or personal information, I received approval from his parents to observe and write about him in my paper.
I observed the child while he plated, watched tv, and ate dinner. He does not eat much at dinner; he enjoys eating more for breakfast and lunch. The child was very observant of everything; he even thoroughly examined his food before eating it. Questions were asked about whether certain ingredients were in the food because if they were ones he did not like he would say he did not like the food.
Although my son and him are boys and like many of the same shows they both fought over the remote because they wanted to watch different shows/ movies on netflix or cable. He liked to do things on his own, he did not want help even if the task was difficult. He had strong feelings on what shows, toys, and songs were for girls and boys. The boy is aware of the gender schema. According to the textbook , gender schema is “ the child’s’ understanding of the male-female differences” (Berger, 2016). He is also aware of sex difference; he knows that male and females have different private parts.
The seven year old is in the preoperational stage of Piaget’s cognitive developmental periods. The gain of this period consists of growing imagination, language becomes a major way of self-expression, and are influenced by others (Berger, 2016). Language is being used to understand the world and causing children to perceive their world from their personal perspective (Berger, 2016).
The theories of Erickson’s psychosocial stage relates to the boy that I observed. Erickson psychosocial stages were described in eight separate developmental stages (Berger, 2016). I noticed autonomy vs shame and doubt stage in the child; he is self-sufficient at many tasks. He uses the bathroom, walks, feeds himself, makes sandwiches, and able to hold a conversation.
I have also witnessed him doubt his own abilities while participating in sports with other children. Initiative vs guilt is also a stage that I have witnessed in the child. The child likes to do everything independently; there have been several times that I offered my assistance and the child declines because he wants to complete tasks by himself.
The example I used previously was the child having a hard time opening a carton of milk, but did not want my help because he wanted to prove to my that he was able to do it himself. He is very independent; he is only two years older than my son, but far more independent than my son, also because he is older and his mind is more developed because he is older then my son. I think this is because he spends a lot of time with his father. Mothers seem to baby children more often than fathers; usually fathers are more stricter parents.
The boy feels both adventurous and guilty at times; majority of the time he is adventurous and full of energy. The times that displays guilt it is usually because he did or said something he was not supposed to do. When he does something that is not right while he is with me, taking away toys or privileges is his punishment, but when he is with his parents he receives both whoopings and punishment as discipline.
The child is in Freud’s phallic stage. I have overheard him talking about his private growing and becoming like his dads. He has knowledge that his private part is growing and makes him different from females. My son is also starting to notice his private area more; this is a big deal to boys.I have talked with several parents about whether or not their son has mentioned their privates during general conversation. Due to male children noticing their private area more than females adults and parents need to explain to them about good touch and bad touch so that they know what kind of touches are acceptable.
I learned that every child’s cognitive development varies; some children are more advanced than others, some slower, and others may be stuck at a cognitive certain level. Some children may be in an earlier stage and not the stage that is appropriate with their age.
The theories are not specifically saying that all kids in a certain age group are within a particular stage, but typically children around that age start to experience things of that stage or are currently experiencing them. A specific learning disorder is a marked deficit in a particular area of learning that is not used caused by a physical disability or stressful home environment’ (Berger, 2016). For example, children with autism.
I was surprised that he did not allow me to help him with the carton of milk after several failed attempts. It seems as today’s kids rather have things done for them rather than them doing it themselves. When I offered my help he replied “I am not weak, I can do it myself”. I believe his association with being weak if you struggle with something came from his dad because some actually believed that.
For example, many view a male that cries as being weak rather than just a human being that has feelings. My son who is four would have tried a few times, but eventually let me open the milk carton for him. The six year old boy has an understanding of both sex difference and gender roles. Due to society gender roles and sex differences are often known at a young age such as four years of age (Berger, 2016).
Both Piaget and Erickson’s theories were helpful regarding human development. These theories give an explanation of both cognitive and psychosocial development.I witnessed some of their findings while observing the six year old boy I chose to observe.
The boy had a strong imagination and always wanted to share his thoughts regarding whatever specific topic we would be discussing amongst each other. He had a lot of questions and was curious about many things. I thought as a child gets older they stopped asking questions, but apparently is not the case. It seemed like after examining one subject, additional questions came about that landed on a different subject that initiated more questions.
I think it is quite interesting how these theories are from years ago still apply to human development today. I would think that these theories would change with the generation because it seems that every generation is different although there are some similarities that exist.
These theories are helpful because they provide a better understanding of stages and periods of human development. Before taking this course I knew little about the theories of Erickson and Piaget although I have heard of the theorists in a previous psychology course. I find it interesting learning about these theories because they provide background and information needed to understand human development.
The theories cover all age groups not just a specific age group. Each age group experiences different developments, some developments are more advanced than others. I was not aware of the emerging adulthood was a period of developmental category. I remember being younger and learning about many developmental periods except for emerging adulthood.
The theories have been a tremendous help in society. An understanding of human development is a curiosity. Theories that provide insight are helpful because adults are able to answer questions to provide others and children with an explanation on human development and cognitive development. Children ask questions all the time pertain to human development, cognitive development and the earth. As time progresses, new research is conducted and new findings appear and improve or add to existing theories.