Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bonus Assignment

1. Are there any issues you had with your parents, your school work, your friends, or your romantic involvements in the last year of high school that continued to be issues for you in college?
First of all, don’t all teenagers have issues with their parents? I didn’t have a ton of issues with them as most kids did when I was in high school. My school work has always been pretty consistent with me staying on top of things and doing my homework when I was suppose to. My last year of high school is when I had my first real relationship and that continued into my first year of college, but it was no big thing. I really didn’t have too many issues in high school, I’m not saying that I was perfect, but I was very quiet and I only had one really good friend in high school. The only big issue that I had was I had a tough time having a good work ethic. I started working when I was 16 and let me just say I had terrible work ethics. My parents had to help me come to like to work and appreciate what I was working for. By the time I got into college, this wasn’t a problem anymore.

2. Reflect on your own personality, interests and cognitive abilities at the time you graduated high school. How did these personality characteristics and abilities manifest themselves in subsequent years? How have they changed since your high school days, if at all?
Oh my gosh, yes. I think I’m a totally different person than I was in high school. I had to get out of my little bubble. I had to take a speech class, which in high school was my absolute worst fear was having to talk in front of class. I talk to people, I use to never talk to people; I was extremely shy, but I work in a church office so my job doesn’t allow me to be shy. This in my opinion is not a bad thing. I have had to really grow up, I’ve had a lot of things happen in my family and in my life that have made me grow up very quickly and realize that the world does not revolve around me. For example, I am going to be moving away to Chico State in January; meanwhile my grandma has Alzheimer’s and I haven’t been getting the attention that I would like to have because I am moving away. I mean this is just one thing that I have had to go through and learn how to grow up and realize that the world really does not revolve around me. There are too many things that I have gone through to explain it all on here, but I can guarantee that I’m not the same person I was back in high school.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

17 years - 18 years 1 month

1. As the program ends, what pathways does your child appear to be on in terms of physical, cognitive, social, emotional and moral development? To what extent could you have predicted these pathways based on what you knew of your child's earlier development?
Not to brag or anything, but the pathways that Peyton is on are great. Physically, Peyton wants to eat healthy and stay in shape. Socially, Peyton did stumble a couple of times with experimenting with sex, drugs, and alcohol, but each of these things only happened once. She also has good stable friends and has always been great with talking to people. Emotionally, she is doing well, I believe she is happy and enjoys life; she does have her ups and downs, but then again, who doesn’t. Her morals I think reflect my own morals and beliefs, we have a good relationship and she is able to talk to me about things whether she’s happy about it or upset or sad. Overall, I think Peyton is doing great and if she wants to move then I believe she’s ready.

2. Describe some specific ways in which you think your parenting mattered for your child’s development, based on evidence from the course regarding the contributions of parents to child development.
There are many different times I can think of that my parenting mattered in my child’s development. I think the most important thing I did was stayed consistent when disciplining her. There was one time when Peyton was around 14 years old and she noticed I was being inconsistent and she was using it against me. So I realized that staying consistent with her is very important. I rarely had a lot of trouble with her not listening to me. Also I believe that I helped her not be so shy. When she was an infant and toddler she was a little too attached to me so I realized I needed to socialize her a little bit more, so I put her in a daycare and she ended up making lots of friends. I encouraged her to bring over her friends, not only to have fun, but it was also a chance to meet her friends and their parents then I know what kind of friends she was making. There was another time when Peyton was 16 and she was experimenting with drugs or so I suspected, she smelled of marijuana one night and she told me she didn’t have any, but even though she said she didn’t have any there were signs that said otherwise. I grounded her for two weeks along with taking away driving privileges; I never had another problem with her experimenting with drugs again; however, when she was 17 she got drunk and called me up to come pick her up. I stayed consistent with her and grounded her and took away driving privileges along with giving her the trust talk and I never had to deal with that again.

3. Describe some specific ways in which your child developed that appeared to be influenced by factors outside your control, such as genes, random environmental events or the general influence of contemporary middle-class American culture.
There were several times that genes or environmental events have come into play. When Peyton was younger she was very shy and sometimes had a temper. When I was younger I was very shy, I believe she got that from me. My ex-husband had a temper when he was younger and when I was married to him, and I believe Peyton got her temper from him. However, I helped her overcome these genetic quirks. There was another time that my ex-husband and I were going through our separation and Peyton was acting out. She was talking back, arguing, not listening and very mad, but because Peyton and I have a good relationship we talked about it and she changed her attitude and actions. There weren’t too many occasions to where genes or random environmental events took play in Peyton’s life. I think I got very fortunate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

16 years - 16 years 11 months

1. Think about your teen’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses and how they are reflected in his or her school grades and activities from 14-16 years of age. What careers or courses of study might be best suited to your teen’s abilities and interests?
Peyton is very good at English, Science, and Math. English and Science have been her strengths for quite some time now and I think in the long run could come of good use. Some career options that I think she might find interesting is because she loves reading and writing so much maybe she could go into some kind of journalism type major. Because she loves science and has taken to a new liking of Physics I think that maybe she could become a doctor or a nurse or something in that nature. Those are the types of careers that I think Peyton would enjoy doing, but in the end it’s up to Peyton and what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

2. How important have your teen’s relationships with peers been to his/her social development, emotional well-being and school achievement from 14-16 years of age?
As far as her friends, it seems like she’s able to get out enough to where she’s not an introvert, she likes to go to parties, go camping, or taking trips and stuff like that. I think it’s been good for her to explore these new adventures and it has also helped her become more independent. She has had a couple of problems with a bully that wasn’t being nice to her and picking on her, but so far she has been handling that situation very well and it doesn’t seem to be bugging her all that much. She’s doing very well in school and I don’t think the relationships that she has made have had a bad impact on her when it comes to schooling. She seems to have a very stable emotional well-being and overall seems happy and positive.

3. How has your teen adjusted at 14-16 years of age to typical adolescent issues such as risk-taking, drugs, alcohol, and sexual interests, and how have you responded to your teen?
Unfortunately, I have to deal with all these issues with her. One night she came home and she smelled like marijuana and I asked her if she had any, but I could tell that she was lying and I grounded her for a week because she knows better than that. Another night she was at a party and ended up calling my partner to come and pick her up, but he called me and I went to pick up, again I grounded her and took away some driving privileges because as long as she is under my roof that kind of behavior will not be tolerated. She has also been dating someone for 2 months and has said that she’s in love and has been showing signs of either having sex or wanting to have sex. I dealt with this situation with informing her on what my beliefs are and that I trust that she will make the right decision and that I have taught her good morals and values.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

14 years - 14 years 11 months

1. What activities and experiences at age 12 and 14 years has your teen been involved in that might promote healthy behavioral practices, physical fitness and skill in sports?
I think that it’s good that Peyton is hanging around her friends, for me personally I think that’s healthy for her. When she’s in a bad mood, I ask her if she wants to take a walk with me and usually she says yes and then ends up talking about whatever is bothering her the whole time we are walking. Not only is she getting exercise, but she’s also talking about her feelings and not bottling them up. At this point in her with just starting high school and everything she’s just getting use to everything so at this point she’s not really interested in sports. I think that might change soon though.

2. Have there been any changes in your teen’s behavior toward you or your partner? Why are these occurring and how are you responding?
It’s kind of been on and off type of a thing. She likes to talk to me when I don’t push her to talk. She likes to spend time with me and has told me that I am more supportive and approved of her than other parents are towards their kids. She also mentioned that I was more strict than the other parents; however, that wasn’t really a complain, at least I didn’t take it as that. Peyton does still have her ups and downs when it comes to moods, but that’s just when I give her space and then after some time has passed she usually comes to me to talk about whatever it was that was bothering her.

3. Do you see any examples of how cognitive and physical changes in early adolescence (ages 12-14) relate to your teen's social or emotional behavior?
The only changes I have seen lately is that she’s more moody. Because she is going through puberty and she is also in Middle School right now and there’s a huge change right there. Going from elementary school to Middle School, it’s scary and there is a lot to get use to. Peyton is staying pretty consistent with her behaviors since she was kid. There’s really nothing new to report on this part of her life right now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

12 years - 12 years 11 months

1. Describe any physical or behavioral signs of incipient puberty.
Peyton has definitely started in on the mood swings and doesn’t want to be around me very much. In the summer after her 7th grade year she would get bored and then I would make suggestions; which of course she would turn down right away. However, as the weeks went on she would use my suggestions, but act like it was her idea to begin with. She definitely has those attitudes of being a smart-alec and talking back sometimes. I’m trying to handle this as best as I can, but I know that when she’s in her not-so-good moods I just let her spend time in her room and give her her space. I know that when I was her age I did the same thing and it was best for my parents just to leave me alone until I got over my bad mood.

2. How would you characterize your child at this point in terms of the under-controlled, over-controlled or resilient categories? Have there been any changes since the preschool period and why might they have occurred?
So far I would say that Peyton is still pretty resilient. Even though Peyton had a huge accident 2 years ago, and she has been doing very well with that. She’s made a huge effort to do everything that she needs to to get back on track and be back where she needs to be with school and everything. The definition of resilience is “the ability to adapt effectively in the face of threats to development.” I believe that’s exactly what Peyton had to do with her development. However, Peyton has always had this determination since she was in preschool and I knew that she would be able to overcome this threat to her development. Peyton use to be really bad with anything that had to do with music, now she’s in the average bracket in that area.

3. Using the 7th grade report card and your own observations, summarize your child’s academic skills at this point. What specific activities might promote some of these skills?
Peyton’s report card says that her reading, spelling, and writing skills are still very strong. She got an A in English, Spanish, Social Studies, and Art. She got a B in Math and in Science. The thing that probably has helped her get an A in English is that she absolutely loves to read and write; I think those are her strongest skills so that would definitely reflect her getting great grades in that area. To be honest though, I’m a little surprised that she didn’t do better in science. I put her in science camps and everything; maybe she’s just burnt out on that subject. Peyton is doing very well in school and I’m proud of her.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10 years - 10 years 11 months

1. Describe your child’s academic skills between ages 6 and 10 and assess how well these skills are developing. The 5th grade report card will be useful for this but you should also incorporate your own observations. What are you doing to help your child?
Since the age of 6 Peyton has been very interested in reading and writing and does very well in that area. Ever since she was little I made sure that I talked to Peyton about everything even when she was a baby; I wanted her to have a good vocabulary and be able to be sociable. I think because of that she is sociable and does very well with reading and talking to people. When she started school she learned and gained more interests in science, because of this interest I enrolled her in some science camps and I think that has been very beneficial to her. Peyton has always been good with math but she never excelled in it, but the report said that she’s at the appropriate grade level. Actually in my surprise Peyton is at grade level for music, I remember when she was in kindergarten she had no musical abilities at all, but I wanted to work with her on that so I enrolled her in some things that got her up to scale on this particular subject.

2. How well is your child adapting to social situations in the home and outside the home? Does your child have any behavior or emotional problems at this point? Why do you think these problems are occurring and what are you doing about them?
I think that Peyton has two different behaviors when it comes to school and home. At home she cooperates really well and only needs a little discipline when it comes to cleaning up or if she just doesn’t want to do something. In her report card it said that she gets upset in stressful situations but it only lasts a short while. I don’t necessarily see that behavior in her around the house. The only emotional behavior that I’m seeing is the stress thing, I have a feeling that that behavior could be because my partner and I have had some problems and have been arguing a lot more, so that could have an effect on how she’s behaving. That’s the only thing that I can think of that could cause that behavior.

3. Has your parenting changed since the preschool period and if so, why do you think it has changed and what effect might this have on your child? Refer to your textbook or lecture notes for evidence on typical changes in parenting that occur in middle childhood.
To be honest, I think I have stayed very consistent with how I parent. I try and stay that way to make sure she knows that she’s in a stable and sturdy environment. The only thing that I can think that I changed is that I’m a little tougher on her now than I was when she was in preschool. I believe that if you stay consistent then you’re kids won’t test you as much because they already know what you are going to do if they do a certain thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

8 years - 8 years 11 months

1. How smart is your child, and in what areas? Think back to the blurb on multiple intelligences that appeared at age 6. Find specific evidence regarding your child’s verbal, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence from your observations of your own child as well as the psychologist’s report at age 8 years, 11 months.
Actually, I’m really surprised in what I read about Peyton’s report back from the psychologist. According to the psychologist, Peyton scored either average or above average on all the different areas. I think she scored above average on vocabulary, comprehension, and similarities. A lot of the math subjects she scored average on; the copying of designs and spatial rotation was above average and the best news of all Peyton doesn’t have any of the typical signs that she has ADD or ADHD. Peyton is really smart when it comes to science and reading. She absolutely loves to read (I have no idea where she got that, because to be honest I hate reading). She can’t get enough of science, that’s why I signed her up for science camp so she can have more fun with it. She seems to grasp concepts really when it comes to math, and she even seems to enjoy it at times. When Peyton was younger she wasn’t very good with instruments or music or anything like; however, she is taking an interest in learning how to play something, we picked the violin. Peyton has very good communication skills and loves talking to people. Because she likes to read so much I think it has really helped her learn vocabulary and it has even helped with her communication. I don’t mean to brag about my kid, but she seems to be doing very well for her age.

2. Describe some examples of your child’s behavior of thinking that you think are due to typical American gender role socialization and explain why you think so. Several examples can be found at ages 6 and 8. How closely does your attitude toward gender roles correspond to typical American attitudes, and if there is a discrepancy, to what do you attribute this (e.g., cultural background, attitudes of your own parents, etc.)?
Right now Peyton is very into playing sports at school with the other boys and when she comes home she likes to build things. At this age, I don’t think this is a bad thing; actually for me personally, I didn’t want Peyton to be a girly girl because I think it’s good for girls and boys to experience some things that the opposite sex does. I was more of a tomboy growing up, and I love playing sports and hanging out with my dad and older brother. I think my attitude towards this is pretty laid back and so it reflects that if Peyton wants to do something like play catch or play sports, more power to her. I think this will only make her stronger in the end. American attitudes toward this can be kind of 50/50 because some people are worried that if the girl is too masculine then they are going to turn out to be a lesbian or if boys are too feminine then they are going to be gay; I think there are certain limits that you have to draw a line at, like for boys they probably shouldn’t be dressing up in girls clothing, it’s not meant for them and I think it’s only confusing them, for girls it’s the same thing, they shouldn’t wear boys clothing for the same reason. I think this way of thinking all depends on the parents and where you ultimately grew up around. My parents had no choice about me being a tomboy, I was very stubborn and I hated everything that stood for being a girl, luckily I grew out of this and now I’m content with being a girl and I have even found some perks to being a girl.

3. How might your child’s development have been different if she was raised by people with a different socioeconomic, ethnic or cultural background? Base your answer on specific evidence of SES/cultural differences from the textbook and class lectures.
I think that there would be a ton of differences. Her memory might be better if she was living in a non-Western culture. According to Berk Australian and Guatemalan kids have a better memory than Americans do. They have to use more of their memory skills than we do because we use strategies and so they don’t learn other techniques like spatial location and arrangement of objects. Americans are so spoiled sometimes, that we don’t realize how easy we have it and sometimes take it for granite. I think that Peyton could have better memory skills if she lived in a different culture. I’m not going to complain or anything because Peyton is either average or above average on all the important skills that she’s learning.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

6 years - 6 years 11 months

1. How well is your child adapting to social situations in the home and outside the home? Does your child have any behavior or emotional problems at this point? Why do you think these problems are occurring and what are you doing about them?
Peyton is one of the most popular kids in her class, so I would have to say that she’s doing really well in the social aspect of things. Inside the home, she’s very sociable and loves to read and interact with both of us including her little sister. She has a little bit of emotional problems when it comes to getting frustrated. She gets mad for a little bit and then gets over it pretty quickly. She did have some troubles cheating in board games that we would play, but I didn’t tolerate that for very long. I think she has these problems because she sometimes feels neglected because we have to pay a little bit more attention to her little sister, so I think she wants our attention, plus she tends to mimic me; I can react like that sometimes. I make sure that I take care of what’s she’s doing and make sure she knows that it’s not ok to do that.

2. Do you notice any improvements in cognitive and language skills since age 4? Give specific examples. Does your child have any special needs with regard to cognitive or language development at this point and what do you plan to do?
Her cognitive and language skills are above average I would have to say. She can hold conversations with adults very well and uses big words that you wouldn’t expect her to know what they mean. The only special need I think she needs is that she needs higher reading level books. She loves to read and learn about new things; however, she doesn’t like to do a lot of musical things.

3. Which aspects of your child’s behavior and personality reflect continuities from earlier behavior (e.g., at ages 3-4 years) and which seem to be novel for this age level?
The only thing that I notice that has stayed consistent since she was younger was she has always had some type of a temper and she hasn’t gotten over that. For the most part, she’s always been musically challenged and has never been interested in it. The same thing goes for playing sports; she’s never shown any real interest in sports or playing catch, that hasn’t really changed. So far it seems like she has changed all of her other things, she use to be really clingy now she’s independent and on her own. She use to be behind in talking and reading, she has way over passed that and has become above average in those areas. I’m really surprised on how much she has come since just 3 years or 4 years old.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

4 years - 4 years 10 months

1. How would you characterize your parenting style? How have your specific parenting techniques changed since infancy? In what ways do you think your parenting style, or any other aspect of your parenting, has been influenced by your cultural background or other experiences?
My parenting style is staying consistent with her. I try and choose to do things that match the stage that she’s in. I realized that her moods, needs, and actions vary with every stage that she’s going through. I’m not very easy on her, I believe that if you’re easy on a child, especially at the age, then they will try and test you and see how far they will be able to test their limits with you. I have never liked it when parents would caudal their children when they would make a big fuss about something or if they were really attached to the parent and crying. I think that if you explain to them that you will be coming back in a couple of hours and if they behave during that time then you can go and do something fun like to go to park. I think at that particular age it’s a good learning tool to have a reward or doing something fun like going to the park. I don’t really want to spoil my kid with toys, candy, or electronics or anything like that. I want to raise my kids to play outside whenever they have a chance and to play with cardboard boxes and make the best out of things. My parenting styles really reflect how my parents parented my brother and me. Not to be conceded or anything, but for the most part my brother and I have turned out pretty good. We are willing to change when we need to, we both are hard working, neither one of us is very spoiled, we are both responsible, and we have always had good morals and values. The only real reason my brother and I got in trouble was because we were goofing around. I really take after how my parents raised my brother and me.

2. Describe two specific examples of changes in your child’s behavior at age 4 that seem to stem from growth in cognitive and language ability since the period of infancy (e.g., improvements in symbolic thinking, reasoning, knowledge of the world, theory of mind).
I would have to say that the biggest change I have seen in Peyton is that she is able to socialize with people and I’m able to let her go on her own. She’s much more independent and likes making friends. In the beginning she was very shy and didn’t want to go to anyone but me or my partner. She’s very comfortable in her preschool that she is attending right now; she’s made a couple of friends and is able to talk really well for her age. Speaking of which that’s another thing that she has really approved with; she has really built up her vocabulary and is even above average on her speaking skills. Before she didn’t even want to really speak and she was below average. It’s amazing how much she has changed in just 4 short years.

3. How would you characterize your child’s personality? Would you say that your child is primarily overcontrolled, undercontrolled or resilient? Support your argument.
Peyton is actually laid back for the most part. When I had my second child she responded really well to that, with the occasional feeling ignored and acting out once in a while, but other than that has been adjusting to it very well. She cooperates very well with us when we discipline her or tell her not to do something. She responds very well to others and does really well in preschool and does really well with direction. She’s very independent and likes to learn on her own, I think that’s how she learns best. I guess I would say that Peyton is resilient because she can bounce back really quickly if she’s get out of alignment for a second. For example, when she started getting jealous of the new baby and having little tantrums to get some attention, but my partner and I decided that we would try and spend more time with her and include her in taking care of the baby she went back to acting like her old self when the baby first arrived. It’s very nice to have that in a kid.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

3 years old - 3 years 10 months

1. What activities and experiences that you and your child engage in might be promoting healthy behavioral practices and an interest in physical activity?
I make sure that I play and interact with Peyton as much as possible. When she is trying to solve a problem and gets frustrated, I sit down and ask her questions that could help her figure it out on her own on how to solve it. With her last evaluation and all her other ones she has been below average on her motor skills. She needs to be kicking a ball around or playing catch; I need to change that with how I interact with her on that and make sure she gets out more. I try and make all of her experiences rewarding and educational in some way. She seems to learn a lot when I have her do things that I know will help her develop in other areas, but she doesn’t know it; she just enjoys doing it.

2. Describe development of your child’s language and cognitive skills and discuss how these might be affecting his or her interactions with you & your responses.
Peyton is doing extremely well in this particular area because I make sure she gets out and that we do things that interest her and makes her want to learn. She knows how to have a conversation with someone, well for a three year old. She likes to talk and I make sure I ask her lots of questions and always having her explain things to me so then she can build up her vocabulary. It can be somewhat frustrating because now she understanding things better and asks questions that I’m not sure exactly what to tell her or how to answer her. I love talking with her and asking her about everything that she sees and experiences and I think it really helps her develop her cognitive skills.

3. How well is your child adapting to social situations in the home and outside the home? Does your child have any behavior or emotional problems at this point? Why do you think these problems are occurring and what are you doing about them?
Fortunately, Peyton has grown out of her “shy” stage and is now able to interact with kids at her preschool. She can sometimes become the leader of activities that she plays with other kids, but so far that hasn’t become a problem. According to my friend that evaluated Peyton she has a likable personality. She used to have more emotional problems when I would leave her at daycare and now she loves going to preschool and I haven’t had any problems for a while. The way that I took care of that problem is I would explain where I had to go and that I would back in a little bit to pick her up and take her home. I wouldn’t caudal her too much when she would cry so I think that really help her understand where I was. At the moment, I’m not having too many problems with her. She’s being really good lately. According to my friend that evaluated Peyton, also gave me a questionnaire about how I’m well I’m disciplining her and how well I’m helping her develop and on both of those I got that I’m doing about average, so I’m thinking I’m doing something right.