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Running head: MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1My Virtual Child Update 1Madeline WebbIvy Tech Community College – Central Indiana1

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-41.2How does your baby's eating, sleeping and motor development compare tothe typical developmental patterns in the first 9 months?According to our book the average newborn's sleep cycle means they will wakeevery three to four hours around the clock (Kail, 2012). Around the 4 month mark the babybegins to follow the day-night sleep pattern that we consider to be the normal sleeping pattern forhumans and by six months the text state that babies may sleep through the night in their owncribs (Kail, 2012). Bryson was a fairly good baby and didn't have too many issues with sleeping.At three weeks Bryson seemed quite lethargic but the doctor said it was nothing to be concernedabout. He would sleep for about two hours at a time, but then is awake and quite active. At 3months old Bryson the program reported that he was awake more than other babies at the ageand constantly moving. By 9 months he had established a typical sleeping pattern for a child hisage. In terms of motor development, Bryson was reported to be more active than other babies at3 months old and liked to move around a lot. At 9 months he had developed motor skills typicalof a 9 month of child. Bryson did seem to get lots of digestion issues and also had diarrhea quitecommonly.2.How is your Child's attachment relationship to you or your partnerdeveloping? What is happening at the 3-month and 8-month periods that might affectattachment security according to Bowlby and Ainsworth and various research studiesThe attachment relationship between an infant and its parents can influence thechild's social and emotional relationships for the rest of its life. Because of this it is an extremelyimportant part of an early child's life to develop this attachment. There are many studies onattachment that show how the initially contact and relationship forms has an impact not only onemotional and social growth of the child but also on the mental development of the child (Kail,

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-432012). Bowlby & Splitz (1953), studied children who grew up in institutions and the results ofthe study showed that even though the children were given excellent health care and nutritionother aspects of their development was damaged (Kail, 2012). A study performed on monkeyslater by Harlow & Harlow (1965) further confirmed that an infant monkey who does not developan attachment to a parent figure or adult struggles in social, emotional and mental developmentlater in life (Kaio, 2012).Bowlby and Ainsworth's work describe the stages of attachment and how thedevelopment of secure attachment increases the survival for a baby. Secure attachment can beidentified by a baby that“May or may not cry when the mother leaves, but when she returns, the baby wants to bewith her and if the baby is crying it stops.” (Kail, 2012)In terms of Bryson’s development he was described has being very attached to me andmy partner. The specialist said it was clear that Bryson had a strong and secure attachment to youand was beginning to develop such an attachment to my partner. The importance of thisattachment is that many of the theorists believe that it provides the basis for all otherrelationships for the child. A child that has securely attached can feel more comfortableexploring, socializing and experimenting as they know they have their parents there to look outfor them.3. Describe and give examples of changes in your child’s exploratory or problemsolving behavior at 8 through 18 months and categorize them according to Piagetian andinformation processing theories.According to Piaget there are four major stages of cognitive development. These aresensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage and the formal operational

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-44stage (Kail, 2012). Children are curious beings and Piaget recognized this. He theorized thatbecause of this natural curiosity the way children make sense of their surroundings andexperiences as they develop involve three methods of creating understanding of their world. Thethree stages are assimilation, accommodation and equilibration (Kail, 2012). Assimilation occurswhen a child experiences something new and then connects the new information with theoriesthey already have about similar experiences (Kail, 2012). Accommodation refers to when a childmodifies their theory after recognizing that not all experiences fall into one category. Finallyequilibration is where a child will reorganize their theories to bring about a state of equilibriumand understanding rather than disequilibrium (Kail, 2012).At 8 months of age Bryson was given the object permanence test. According to his ageand Piaget’s four major stages of cognitive development, Bryson fell into the sensorimotorcategory of development. This stage lasts from birth to approximately 2 years old. Around 4-8months Piaget explains the child’s thought process as “out of sight, out of mind” when referringto object permanence. A child will reach for an object at this stage but if you put a blanket over itthey won’t search for it as they believe it vanished. At 8 months this idea changes and the childbegins to recognize that the block is object is still there just hidden. When Bryson was given thetest at 8 months he could find the block as long as it was placed under the same cloth anddemonstrated multiple times. However, when the block was moved under a secondary cloth nextto the original, Bryson failed to understand the change of location and continued to look underthe first cloth. This is described as an “A not B error” and shows a lack of understanding aboutobjects and more of a mimicking behavior (Kail, 2012). By 18 months Bryson was administeredthe test again. This time he successfully found the object whether it was under cloth 1 or cloth 2signifying in Piagetian terms that he had a full understanding of object permanence.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-45The information processing theory uses the analogy of how humans process informationsimilar to that of a computer. It focuses on how information gets stored in your memory. Thereare three key components to your “mental hardware”. These are sensory memory, workingmemory and long-term memory. Within the development of these three memory components arestages that represent development in mental processing. These changes include children usingbetter strategies to process information. An example of this is how younger children have tosound out each word; however older children can retrieve it simply from memory (Kail, 2012).The other stages are an increased capacity of working memory, greater inhibitory control andexecutive functioning, increased automatic processing, and increased speed of processing (Kail,2012). This theory differs from Piaget’s explanation of Bryson’s test results as the theoristbelieve that our memory and processing strategies build upon previous information built in andas our brains and bodies grown these process become faster and automatic processes rather thanhaving to think about every step (Kail, 2012). Information processing theorists believe thatPiaget’s work does not fully explain the mental processes that go into developing the cognitivegrowth in enough detail.4.Analyze your baby’s temperament in more detail at 19 months than you didat 8 months. How would you describe your baby in terms of the five aspects oftemperament utilized by the Virtual Child program (activity, sociability, emotionality,aggressiveness vs. cooperativeness, and self-control). Has your child’s temperament beenstable over the first 18 months? Explain goodness of fit.At 8 months Bryson really wanted to use his motor skills and was very active that I had to keep aclose eye on him from wandering off. At 18 months the report stated his activity level is normalfor a child his age. It also mentioned however, that I need to stimulate his cognitive and problem

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-46solving skills more. Bryson now has a regular sleeping pattern and is not as restless as he was at8 months. I think that his activity level is normal but I may try to choose more activity basedtasks to ensure that he does not become lethargic or less developed in his motor development.Bryson's sociability has changed a lot since 8 months old. He was extremely shy,especially when meeting new people and liked to play by himself more than others. By 19months he is ready to start preschool and even though he is still a little shy with strangers heseems more open and less afraid to get to know people. I do not believe he is extroverted bu hedefinitely has the skills to get along with other children and adults.In terms of emotionality and the intensity of emotions that Bryson feels, I would say he isless emotional then others. On occasion he will become upset, but this behavior is short lived andhe returns to his happy social self fairly quickly according to the program.At 18 months Bryson seems to be getting along well with other children, and in thereport he was described as being unusually cooperative for a child of his age which means hewould adapt well to a preschool type environment. The report made one comment about Brysonbecoming slightly aggressive toward another child when they tried to take his toy. After a fewminutes he then gave the toy to the other child and found something else to play with. For a childof his age and the tendency for these children to be very focused on themselves I believe thisshows his advanced cooperativeness with others.I also think this shows that Bryson has good self-control of himself. At 8 months Brysonhad typical emotions and reactions for his age and in the report some of this still showed throughwith his reactions towards strangers. But he responds well to our direction and I haven't noticedany signs of hyperactivity.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-47I believe Bryson's temperament has changed over the last 18 months. Early on he wasquite restless and would get upset more regularly. As he has grown older he is not as fussy andhas become quite relaxed and comfortable obeying rules and getting along with others. Goodnessof fit is important and I have tried to encourage Bryson to go outside his comfort zone but not somuch that he withdraws from situations. I want him to be exposed to many different experiencesso that I can foster his curiosity and creativity.5. Is your child delayed or advanced in any area of development according to the 19month development examiner’s report? Based on what you have studied, do you think thisis most likely a result of specific biological or environmental factors?The 19-month report for Bryson came back very positive about both his physical andmental development. Bryson scored above average in all aspects of language development and Iwas told that he is ready to be read aloud to more frequently as he can follow story lines morereadily. His memory functioning was pretty good and we were encouraged to ask him to recountexperiences to help develop his memory more but also encourage more language growth. Brysonwas above age-norms for building a block towers that model ones made by the examiner and theexaminer also noted that his spatial skills were also above age-norms for doing things likecopying shapes, coloring within the lines and solving picture puzzles. In terms of motordevelopment, Bryson was average and we were encourage to play more outdoor games with himand provide more opportunities for physical activity to further develop this. His concentrationlevel was also normal for his age with Bryson being able to stay focused on a task for 10-15minutes.When starting the virtual child program we were asked to take a quiz about ourselves.When I look at how Bryson reacts to things and how he is developing I feel as though his

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-48temperament and outlook is very similar to the way I am. I do believe that biology plays animportant part in laying the foundation for development and growth. However, I definitely thinkthat the environment your child is in and the opportunities they have to fully explore, experimentand communicate with others is essential for them to develop to their full potential. After the 19month examiners report I realized that I had been focusing more on reading, talking and buildingcognitive function with Bryson and not as much time taking him out and being active with him. Ibelieve I will try and choose more active options in the future to try and increase his motordevelopment skills. The nature-nurture theme discussed in the text describes how virtually allaspects of development in affected by both heredity and environment combined (Kail, 2012). Asstated earlier I also believe that both aspects are critical in determining how your child willdevelop. Once the child is born, you as the parent cannot change their genotype so you have toprovide them with a safe, caring and encouraging environment to foster their creativity andcuriosity as they grow.6. Describe your child’s communication and language development in the first 30months. Is your child developing at a typical or atypical rate?From the moment that Bryson was born he was making lots of noises. When asked thequestions in the beginning though I didn’t realize that this meant his language skills will developas they have so far. He was also a very active baby so my initial thoughts to the questions werethat perhaps his motor development skills would be more advanced. At eight months Bryson wasmaking lots of new sounds and I would encourage him by responding to him and talking aroundhim a lot. At nine months old, Bryson began to understand a few words and point to somethinghe wanted. Typically this behavior is seen when the child is about 12 months old and therefore Irecognized that Bryson was advanced in his language development already. At twelve months

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-49old, he clearly understands a couple of dozen words and he also spoke his first clear word andpointed at the object in question. I also found in the program that Bryson had a tendency to tryand mimic other languages. At 12 months old he tried to speak mandarin and at 18 months hehad learned a few words in Spanish from a neighbor child. All reports on Bryson's languageskills are that he is developing rapidly. He wants to talk all the time and the reports also state thathe knows an unusual about of names for things. At 19 months he scored above average in allaspects of language development. In his last examination on his development Bryson scored inthe above average range on tests of language comprehension and production, and providedunusually complete and grammatically mature sentences in a conversation with the examiner. Ibelieve that Bryson is developing at an atypical rate in his language development.7. How is your child progressing on typical toddler issues, such as learninghousehold rules, learning to follow routine, listening to you, developing self-control andlearning to get along with other children?I believe my child is progressing well in terms of toddler issues. At the 18 month mark Iwas concerned with some of his behavior and also potty training. I realize now that a lot of hisbehaviors were from him trying to gain more independence and after noticing this I began toencourage him but made sure to let him figure problems and experiences out for himself. Thisseemed to help a lot and he did not see as argumentative and grumpy as I was not smotheringhim. He listens to both me and my partner on the program and Bryson has above averagelanguage skills which helps us to communicate clearly and effectively. At 2 years the reportstated he was unusually cooperative with others for a child his age. Sometimes he can show alittle aggression when there is a certain toy he wants but shortly after he is fine sharing the toy orstarts playing with another toy so the other child can use it.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-4108. Analyze your own parenting philosophy and practices. What principles fromlearning or social learning theory, Bowlby, Ainsworth, Piaget, Vygotsky, Informationprocessing theory, neuroscience or other theories do you appear to have relied on in themaking your parenting choices or interpreting your child’s behavior? Include threeprinciples and identify one or more theorist who promoted these principles in your answer.Each theory that is presented on the topic of child development have their pluses andminuses. They all have different ideas about what takes place and how a parent can influencetheir child’s development and growth. My parenting philosophy is to be encouraging andsupportive but not to be overbearing and overly protective of the child. I want the child to feelattached to me and have a good bond, but I also want them to feel secure enough to explore andbe independent as I think this is an important life skill for any child to develop early on. I triednot to give Bryson the answers straight away and encouraged him to experiment or gave him thetime to figure out problems on his own while still encouraging him to stick with it.To teach my child good behaviors and self-control I believe I did use the learningperspective theory as my approach. When Bryson did something good and that I wanted thatbehavior to continue I would reinforce it by giving him a small reward or words ofencouragement and celebrating the achievement. When he displayed undesirable behaviors Iwould withdraw my attention and ignore the behavior as a form of punishment to decrease thebehavior from reoccurring.Bowlby and Ainsworth discuss how children need to develop a good attachment to theirparents or guardians so that they feel comfortable to explore because they have a safety net tofall back on. They describe that there are four types of attachments that can occur and what thatmeans for a child who forms such an attachment (Kail, 2012).

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-411I believe that my child has developed well and from all the reports stating hiscooperativeness with others, his want to experiment and explore as well as his determination tosolve problems all show that he feels secure to attempt things. The reports stated that he had asecure attachment to both me and my partner in the program and I was happy that he feels securewith both parents. Because of this I firmly believe that is why my child is able to get along wellwith others and has little anxiety when he does meet new people, problems or situations.Vygotsky believes that social interaction plays is the basis in the development ofcognition. Vygotsky (1978) states: "Every function in the child's cultural development appearstwice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people(interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological)” (Kail, 2012). I am a strongbeliever that socializing and making sure your child interacts with as many people as possiblyhelps them to develop. In terms of building culture, the connection made between the parents,close family and the child is important in carrying on traditions and learning morals and valuesof that family. I look at how even though my mother and I have different personalities we usemany of the same mannerism and I also share the same values as my family even though therehave been lots of outside influence.In the same way I like Vygotsky's theory of the importance of social interaction incognitive development I also like Bandura's social cognitive theory. This is similar to the rewardand punishment learning perspective, but it also has a social interaction side as well. He believesthat the influence and importance of others also have an effect on child development. I agreewith this as I have seen how children and adolescents can change when hanging out withdifferent crowds. When they are young they can be influenced readily by groups or other peers.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-412ReferencesKail, R. (2012). Children and their development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-413Virtual Child Update – Part 2Madeline WebbIvy Tech Community College

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-41.14What activities and experiences have you and your child engaged in thatmight be promoting healthy behavioral practices and an interest in physical activity?Healthy behavioral practices refer to how to the behaviors children present in terms ofemotional and physical health. One of the main learning methods of small children is throughimitation and mimicking their parents. From an early age children will look at their parent’sbehaviors and follow them, so it is important that parents mirror their actions with what they sayso that the child will not get confused.Healthy behavioral practices may include exercising regularly, eating a well-balanceddiet with lots of fruits and vegetables, controlling anger and outbursts and trying to lead anoverall healthy lifestyle. Once the child sees a parent who is in control, stable, and follows ahealthy lifestyle, they will follow this positive example more readily then if these behaviors arenot presented.According to The Center of the Study of Social Policy there are three main root causesthat can impact a child’s social, emotional and behavioral health. These three causes are poverty,trauma and inadequate treatment (2012). Many children who live in environments that may haveone or all of the above causes will struggle to develop healthy behavioral practices as they maynot have strong role models that are able to show them how to develop those healthy behavioralpractices. Children who are in situations as stated above tend to focus on acquiring basic needssuch as food, shelter and safety. This is not to say that all people in that position will not be ableto provide their children with healthy behavioral practices but it is harder to model the behaviorsthemselves if they have to worry about providing basic care for their children with minimalresources.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-415Families who are well off and are able to provide good modeling for their childrensometimes fail to do so also. Many are unaware of how children imitate their parent’s behaviorsalmost all the way through childhood and adolescents until adulthood. If a child observes theirparent modeling unhealthy behaviors, such as avoiding exercise, skipping breakfast, abusingalcohol, tobacco, and drugs, the child is more than likely to adopt some if not all of thesebehaviors at some point in their life (Center for the Study of Social Policy, 2012). There arealways exceptions to the rules but as stated in the first paragraph it is important to make sure thatthe words spoken to the child match the actions a parent is portraying to ensure that the behaviordoes not become a habit.I believe that my partner and I have done well in nurturing positive healthy behavioralpractices and encouraging Bryson’s interest in physical activity. He really enjoys riding histricycle and either my partner or I will join him or invite friends to encourage him to exerciseregularly while having fun and developing social skills. We also encourage him to continuetrying many different sports to further develop his motor skills and build up his confidence. Thereports show that Bryson has a very good temperament and gets along with other children well. Ibelieve one turning point in this behavior was how we involved Bryson in looking after his littlesister. Signs of jealousy and aggression began to show when she was first born, but byencouraging him to be a good big brother and trusting him with different responsibilities allowedhim to feel comfortable that we still care for him just as much as we did before. I focused moreon language development and reading in his first two years but for years 3-4/5 I really did start tofocus on more physical activity and healthy behaviors as I want to ensure that he gain confidenceand will live a healthy lifestyle for his whole life.

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-42.16Describe the development of your child’s language and cognitive skills anddiscuss how these might be affecting his or her interactions with you and your responses.There are four major forms that are used to describe language and its development. Theseforms are phonology (sounds of language), semantics (word meanings), syntax (rules in formingsentences), and pragmatics (focusing on communication between others) (Kail, 2012). Infantsmake many noises and usually begin making vowel sounds which is termed cooing (Kail, 2012).This will then progress onto babbling and after time intonation can be noted in the young child.At the age of about 18 months children start to memorize words learning at rate of approximately10 words per week (Kail, 2012). This pattern continues to occur and as the child grows sentencesstart to take shape as their basic understanding of syntax and semantics develop.A typical 3-4 year old milestones in language development include telling a to story,having a sentence length of 4-5 words, develop a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words, name at leastone color, understands words such as “yesterday” and “lunchtime”, begins to obey requests andknow his or her last name and even several nursery rhymes (PRO-ED Inc., 1999). There aremany disorders that may cause a child to not reach this milestone in language development.Some of these disorders include stuttering, speech sound disorders (articulation and phonologicalprocesses), and dysarthria. Also certain conditions such as autism, cleft lip and palate attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder could also contribute to problems in language development of achild.Bryson’s reports have also come back positive regarding his language development. Thereport from when he was 18 months stated that Bryson was above average in languagedevelopment. At two years of age he was reported as being in the average range of a child his agein language comprehension and production. At nearly 5 years of age the report stated that Bryson

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-417could read a few short words and write his name and could name most of the letters of thealphabet. He has an age appropriate understanding of phonological awareness and performedabove average on tests of vocabulary and his ability to retell a story.Cognitive growth discusses different areas of mental development. These includethinking, reasoning, problem-solving and understanding (3- to 4-year-olds: Developmentalmilestones, 2010). As stated above, Bryson is developing age-appropriately in languagedevelopment. This helps in his cognitive development also and allows him to attempt problemsolving and reasoning more readily as he has the underlying semantics of many words to helphim make sense of these new scenarios. A typical 3-4 year old cognitive milestones includecorrectly naming colors, understand the idea of same and different, remember parts of a story,understand time better, count and understand the concept of counting, sort objects by shape andcolor, and complete age-appropriate puzzles 3- to 4-year-olds: Developmental milestones, 2010).Not all of these milestones need to be met at this age, however you should notice aprogressive growth in the child’s development to ensure there are no cognitive or languagedevelopment issues. Similar to the disorders and conditions that may cause problem in languagedevelopment some characteristics that could signify an issue in cognitive and languagedevelopment include not understanding simple commands, avoids making eye contact, lacksinterest in interactive games and doesn't engage in fantasy play, persistent drooling and troublespeaking, inability to stack four blocks and has trouble handling small objects, being unable touse a sentence with more than three words and uses "me" and "you" inappropriately (PRO-EDInc., 1999).In terms of cognitive development and after my research I believe that Bryson isdeveloping well. The reports stated that he showed an advanced ability to count, use numbers,

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-418understand quantitative relationships and classify objects. It also stated that he had a “real knack”for art projects involving working with blocks and geometric shapes.I believe that Bryson’s average to above average language development has beenbeneficial in how he responds and interacts with others and ourselves. He has made many newfriends and due to his strong ability in language he is considered ready to move on tokindergarten and has a fantastic base to build upon. Even when Bryson was younger the reportsstated he had great problem solving skills and was good at categorizing and working withpuzzles. To further develop his cognitive and language development I have to ensure that Ipresent him with activities to stimulate his curiosity and problem-solving abilities as well ascontinue to develop his vocabulary by reading and having conversations to him and with him ona regular basis.3.How well is your child adapting to social situations in the home and outsidethe home? Does your child have any behavior or emotional problems at this point? Why doyou think these problems are occurring and what are you doing about them?As language and cognitive skills start to develop rapidly, children are also learning howto use these new found skills to interact with others and communicate what they need or want.Typical social and emotional development milestones for a 3 year old includes following simpledirections, recognizing own limits, does not cooperate or share well, may play alone but nearother children, ability to make choices between two things and the ability to register otherpeople’s moods and feelings (3- to 4-year-olds: Developmental milestones, 2010). At four yearsof ages social development and inter

MY VIRTUAL CHILD UPDATE 1-4 3 2012). Bowlby & Splitz (1953), studied children who grew up in institutions and the results of the study showed that even though the children were given excellent health care and nutrition other aspects of their developme