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Observation of a Toddler (Lifespan) Essay

Abstract

I observed Harper, a 23 month old little girl that is full of energy. Also participating in the interaction with Harper was her mother and five year old sister, Mya. Harper is very friendly and outgoing. She is very interested “reading books” and loves to be read to. She enjoys helping her mother clean and do simple tasks. She seems to be very confident with and without her mother in her sight. Harper’s father is not actively involved in her life because he lives in another state.

Observation of a Toddler

1. Harper is a 23 month old little girl. She is 34 inches tall and weighs approximately 27 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and a very pretty smile. 2. Harper’s gross motor skills are normative. She is able to walk, squat and run with ease. She can go up and down stairs one at a time all by herself and according to her mother she is “reasonably bowel trained” although she has nighttime accidents. Harper’s fine motor skills are also normative. She can throw a ball overhand, handle a spoon well, turns pages in her book and washes her hands. The skills Harper has are normative because they are in sync with other toddlers her age. Our book states “By 18-24 months, toddlers can walk quickly or run stiffly for short distance, walk backward without losing their balance, stand and kick a ball without falling, stand and throw a ball and jump in place”(Santrock, 2011, p. 129).

a. Harper ZPD was in the upper limit. She had to be told to pull down her pants when she went to potty; but didn’t need to be told to wipe and pull her pants up. Her mother scaffolded by telling her what to do initially and letting her figure the rest out for herself. 3. Harper has mastered five substages. She is currently in Piaget’s sixth substage of sensorimotor development, Internalization of schemes. She loves to play with her kitchen and pretends to do dishes. She has learned this from watching her mother. She also engages in imaginative play with her sister. 4. Harper is very vocal and expresses herself very well. She has trouble with the L phenome and pronounces the letter L as a W. Example: She says wap instead of lap. She likes to listen to stories and responds with “what’s that?” and “Why”. She uses syntax. She understands the meaning of most words.

Example: Her mother said “do you love mommy” and Haper replied “yes” the mother asked “how much” and Harper replied “sixty dollars”. 5. Harper had an easy temperament. She was very happy and easy to please. She was also easily redirected when her sister took her toy. 6. Harper was gender type was supported because she loves to wear dresses, play with dolls, loves the color pink, and loves princesses. While Harper is quite the girly girl she also likes to get dirty and kick the ball with her neighbor. 7. I would describe Harper as a securely attached child. When her mother left to run to the store to give me some alone time with her she seemed a little scared and wanted to go with her mother. Her mother was gone for approximately 15 minutes and Harper was fine after her mother was out of sight and didn’t seem to notice much when her mother returned.

She continued to play with her toys and barely looked up. 8. When Harper hit her sister Harper’s mother used negative punishment to discipline her. She made her sit in a time out for two minutes and she was unable to play with her sister or her toys. She was also told if she hit her sister again she would have to go to bed immediately and would not be able to play with her sister for the rest of the night. Harper’s mother also used positive punishment by telling Harper that only mean girls hit and that she was being bad. At first, Harper responded by crying. However, she displayed compliance by sitting her in time out chair by herself and staying there until her mother told her that is was okay for her to get up.

This combination of negative and positive punishment seemed to work as there no more episodes of bad behavior during my observation. 9. Harper is currently in the stage of Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. In this stage “The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile. Between the ages of one and three, children begin to assert their independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about what they like to wear, to eat, etc”(McLeod, 2008, para. 4).

Harper likes to pick out her own clothes and expresses that she likes dolls and the color pink and that she does not like to eat beans. She is on her way to achieving the virtue of will by expressing her likes and dislikes. Harper has mastered the previous stage of Trust vs. Mistrust and has achieved the virtue of hope. She is very comfortable with her surroundings and a very easy child. She does not appear to have a heightened anxiety or agitation even when her mother in out of her sight. She easily warms up to others and has a very sunny disposition.

References
McLeod, S. A. (2008). Psychosocial stages. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html Santrock, J. W. (2011). Life-Span development (13th ed.). Ny, Ny: McGraw-Hill.


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