Observing a Child and Relating to Child Development

Topics: Developmental psychology, Play, Reinforcement Pages: 2 (707 words) Published: October 28, 2012
Observing a Child and Relating to Developmental Theories

While sitting on a bench at the park, I observed a female child on the playground. She was about 5 years old. Her energy was very evident, as she was running around, playing on the playground toys such as the slides, and also playing with other children. I found out that the child’s mother and her older sister, who looked about 10 years old, was also there because the child kept running back to a woman and child who were sitting on another bench nearby. Most of the other children that she was playing with looked as if they were the same age as the little girl. There are several theories in development that I have learned about that relate to this child and her playing on the playground.

The child was full of massive amounts of energy. When playing with the other children, she took the upper hand. She was always the first to climb the steps up to the top of the slide, or to climb to the top of the jungle gym. She was planning most of the silly playground games and directing other children. This example can be related to Erik Erikson and his psychoanalytic theory of his psychosocial stages. The stage that describes this perfectly is the initiative versus guilt stage. This occurs between 3-6 years old. The girl was organizing activities and would devise ways to accomplish the goals she had set up with the other children. She was fairly assertive and confident for such a young age.

Every now and then the little girl’s older sister would come over and play. With an older child, the little girl would follow her sister around and copy what she was doing. Repetition and observing can help a child learn. The little girl was proud when she accomplished a task that her older sister had showed her. This act can be related to Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. Vygotsky used the term scaffolding to describe this. Her older sibling was guiding the child on the playground. At one point the girl...
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