Child Development: Observation Of Siblings

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When observing children, the observer can gain a perspective of children in their natural environment. One can witness certain behaviours, personality traits, and their interaction with others. Observing children can benefit one’s skills when working with children because it contributes to experience and one can become familiar with a child’s wants and needs; socially and emotionally. Throughout my observations, I have gained skills in understanding a child’s behaviour, needs, and how they behave in certain environments.

Between my siblings, they regularly showed excitement, activeness, and overall positive attitudes throughout Journal #1. They also tended to act curiously and maintained sociable traits. On October 12th, I observed Captain Marvel (pseudonym) and Elsa (pseudonym) around 11:30 am. Both children are 6-year-old females and the observation took place at my family member’s house. During my observation, both children exemplified the Pyscoanalitical theory. Within their behaviour, conflict occurred and compromises were made between one another. These behaviours can prove Freud’s ideas on the “superego”, “ego”, and “id”. In connection with my journal, the conflict can be associated with “id” because it is based upon and relies on instant gratification. In conflict, one feels the need to be correct for gratification. The compromises made between Captain Marvel and Elsa illustrated “ego”. As well, the observation can be viewed as a “nature” aspect because it is based upon the psychoanalytical theory. These characteristics of conflict are hereditary meaning they are passed from parent to child; which is also known as “nature”. More importantly, the behaviour the children represented is seen as a discontinuous aspect of the theory. Within the discontinuous aspect, the behaviour occurs with steps and stages to confront conflicts such as social expectation and biological drives. Since the child is in control of their behaviour, the child plays an active role as it moves through the various stages. Moreover, Journal #1 exemplified Freud’s ideas and the Pyschoanalitical theory.

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When observing and writing journal #2, I witnessed the parenting style of Assertive Democratic. Discipline techniques included… removal of privileges and “time-out”. On November 22nd, I rewatched Elsa who is a 6-year-old female and her mother interact with one another. During this event, Elsa and I were staying at a family member’s house around 1:10 pm. When observing Elsa, she demonstrated cognitive theory. In the house, she contained complete access to her environment in order to do homework. Since Elsa was dependent upon the environment this can be seen as a “nurture” aspect; reliance on the environment. Elsa’s behaviour also was based upon the theorist Montessori and her beliefs on access to surroundings. Through her ideas, her cognitive theory occurs in steps/stages and the child plays a crucial role although environmental factors are also the main contribution. Throughout the Journal, Elsa had her own routine and priorities and whatever was needed could be easily accessed. As for her mother, the mother possessed an Assertive Democratic parenting style. When the mother would remove privileges and Elsa apologized or made up for it, privileges were given back to. Also, when Elsa was sent to time-out, refused the punishment, and threw a fit, the mother offered her a choice to either clean her room or sit in her room by herself. A compromise was made and Elsa cleaned her room quickly. With these occurrences, I believe the mother portrayed the Assertive Democratic parenting style. In my opinion, I believe the mother’s parenting style was beneficial in the situation but if I was the mother, I would have not offered the second choice because I believe the child would have not learned from their mistakes. Her disciplines as well were beneficial because Elsa was able to learn from her mistakes and they did not occur again within the time being. Within Journal #2, the mother acted upon her Assertive Decromatic parenting style and the child was able to compromise with her mother.

In Observational Journal #3, Captain Marvel’s needs are met and it is presented through her actions and behaviour. Captain Marvel was observed at our local park, around 4:00 pm, on January 13th. The other subjects consisted of 5 or 6-year-olds, both male and female. Through my observation, I have come to the conclusion that Captian Marvel actively represented the Behavioral and Social Learning while at the park. According to Bandura’s ideas on observational learning, children learn from their models and portray the same behaviour or actions. In my Journal, this is seen when Captian Marvel started new games like freeze tag or when she started to count woodchips and drop them into her shoes; the other subjects observed and modelled her actions. Although their actions were modelled by Captain Marvel, her role in the situation is “active” and the theory is environmentally based or classified as “nurture”. This aspect is also one of the three theories that are viewed as continuous; meaning that it does not occur in stages but rather nonstop and everlasting. Which can prove why children often behave or act similarly to their parents. While at the park, Captian Marvel was active, playful, and happy. I believe her emotional needs were met because Captian Marvel felt comfortable singing out loud in public and she was excited and content, especially when receiving ice cream. She was also playing and communicating with many other kids which met her social needs and physical needs due to her activity. To help her develop socially, I would try to encourage her to talk to other kids she does not know, in order to create more connections or bonds because she is happier when surrounded then alone. I also believe this would help her develop emotionally because of bonds she would create with others. Developing new friends encourages her social activity and it could contribute to physical activity. Nonetheless, Captain Marvel’s social, physical, and emotional, needs were met at the park due to environmental factors and social learning skills.

I believe my fondest moment observing a child would be witnessing Elsa hand her mother a drawing of them holding hands. Elsa was sitting at the table drawing when finished, she got off her chair and walked into the kitchen. She then tried to hand the picture to her mother who had her hand fulls, and she asked Elsa to hold it for her until she was done cooking. When she was done, the mother walked over to Elsa and the picture was handed to her. Immediately, a huge grin cracked onto the mother’s face as well as Elsas’. She stated that she regreted not looking at it when it was first handed to her. She then took the picture, hung it onto the fridge, took a picture from her phone, and set that picture as her wallpaper. I believe this moment was important because it demonstrated the strong bond between the mother and her child. It also showed how mankind tends to take all things for granted but when the mother admitted she was wrong, it gave Elsa a sense of confidence and she illustrated the way her mother made her feel through her smile.

From observing the children I have learned that children display innocence and childhood is meant for development. I have been able to witness this through their behaviour and development of their needs throughout the observations. The children I observed encouraged my understanding and how to help the development of a child’s needs through their environment, behaviour, actions, and characteristics. I have connected this with my interaction with children by classifying what the child needs, demonstrating and trying to encourage the behaviour, or by changing it in order to help them meet their needs semi-independently.  


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