Virtual child summary 2

6 June 2016

Once you have raised your virtual child through age 5, respond thoroughly to the following questions.

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1.Describe your child’s language and cognitive development throughout early childhood. Discuss how his/her language and cognition has affected interactions with you by giving specific examples.

Olivia has always seemed to be ahead in her language abilities, such as in vocabulary and in advanced thinking skills of creating sentences and understandings of what someone is asking. At three years old, Olivia scored above average in her skills of language comprehension and production.

She could tell a detailed story about a picture, in which we thought we could continue to help her develop by reading aloud at home, talking about Olivia’s interests by broadening her vocabulary on the subject and going places that involve that area of interest. In cognitive development, she was becoming more skilled in logically placing shapes to where they would fit and in quantitative relationships. For example, she could show the difference between more or less and longer or shorter in relation to certain objects and classifications. She was also becoming more skilled in reasoning at this age of three.

By the age of four in preparation for kindergarten, she was adequate in same sound words, such as picking out the vocabulary that rhymed from a list of words. She was developing her language and was adequate in this skill, in my opinion, since she was becoming more interested in reading and in learning more about different topics and words. She always wanted to know about everything around her. In her cognitive skills, the testing teachers thought it would be best to provide some stressful situations in education.

This is so they could figure out if she could handle the new information thrown at her in preparation for kindergarten. She became very nervous and stressed out in some of these situations, which became a concern for me. I wanted to work more on her self-care skills at home, so that she would be able to be more prepared for kindergarten. I worked on trying to get her to clothe herself, Velcro her shoes and work on activities at home that would be presented in homework-form at kindergarten. This problem of becoming anxious
in new and challenging situations has proven to affect interactions between others of her age group and has caused her to become clingy with authorities that she feels comfortable with. Even though she has started to warm up to new people, she is still shy in going into a new situation.

2. In your own words, briefly summarize what the program has to say regarding your child’s engagement in sociodramatic play and your parenting decisions related to this topic. Using information presented in the textbook, describe the advantages of this type of play during the early childhood period.

At the age of three, Olivia was beginning to enact scenes with toy animals and cartoons, which has shown that she was developing in her engagement of socio-dramatic play. As a parent, I knew that this was a major developmental stage for a three-year old in advancement of creativity and I supported her by stopping what I was doing and playing with her in the tone of dramatic play. I knew that she generally did not think these were real, since she sort of became embarrassed when she said something silly, in the tone of the characters she was playing with. She smiled in these cases, and I knew that I need not worry that she was taking these situations to heart and thinking that these toy animals were real-life.

When Olivia was four, she was starting to develop an imaginary friend. I was sort of concerned, since she has been known to be anti-social in some situations, having only a few friends. And when she started to blame accidents and bad behaviors on the imaginary friend, I thought for some time that the friend might be some cause for concern. In this case, I intervened and watched her play with her imaginary friend. I did not want her to resort to relying only on a companion that was not real. But as in the same situation with the toy animals and cartoons, she laughed when talking about the acquaintance becoming real. In this, I knew that she was only using this imaginary friend for free-time play and was not using it for all of her social situations.

According to the text, children who partake in socio-dramatic play at an
early age may become better at following classroom rules and regulating emotions in self-control (p.322). When I saw this information, I had such relief in that she would be developing her self-control abilities with make-believe play, which would be readying her for kindergarten. Also, children that participate in make-believe play would be developing skills and competencies for when the real situations arise in development, such as pretending to go to sleep at a certain time and pretending to make a big meal for a family. In recent studies, socio-dramatic play has helped preschooler’s interactions to last longer with playmates, to show more involvement in some activities, and to become more cooperative (p.319).

I was really excited to hear this statement, since Olivia has always seemed to be more of an outsider, related to others of her age-group. But with the development of dramatic play, she might have become more involved with the people around her that were of the same age. Since she was starting to have an imaginary friend, I was becoming concerned. I wanted her to interact with real people, rather than someone who was not really there, but it has not seemed to affect her social development in school up until today. It was good to see that she dropped the use of this friend around the age of 4 ½.

3. Describe any behavioral or emotional problems your child experienced during early childhood. Why do you think the problem(s) occurred and what did you do about them?
At the age of three, Olivia was having emotional outbursts, such as temper tantrums, when she did not get what she wanted at stores or local restaurants, which was so embarrassing. I really wanted to start to go to family-style, more elegant restaurants, but I did not know if she was going to break into an outburst during dinner. So we could only go to fast food-style restaurants for the longest time. She would never sit still and would become squeamish and loud during dinner. After some time, an event changed the way she was acting. My husband and I were having an argument about something, and Olivia witnessed it. She began to cry as my husband walked out the door and she thought he was running away. After reassuring her that he would never run away from her, she started to act better and began to listen to our requests of how we wanted her to behave, with stricter rules. She might have also had some emotional issues, since she was
shy and reluctant to be a leader in a group. I witnessed this when some of the other children were pushing her around, since she always was real passive in certain situations.

So to fix this emotional deficit, my partner and I started to have play-dates at our house, where other children could come over and play with Olivia. This seemed to help her emotionally in relation to making friends and being more confident at daycare. As time went on with her making new friends, she started to regress in her proper skills of listening and being compliant. She was becoming more aggressive at daycare, but not at home and was starting to forget certain rules that were supported at home. By applying more rules and positive reinforcement for her good behaviors, this regression resolved very quickly. When she was four, she was starting to become more behaved in these public settings, which I felt had something to do with the more restrictive rules my partner and I put on her, and through rewarding her good behavior. With new situations, no matter how many play-dates we had at home, she would only cling to those certain people and not to others. So with the new tasks she had to take on in preparing for kindergarten, she was very reluctant to meet new people without some help. She became emotionally unstable when presented with harder tasks in preparation for school and would whine or cry in these situations. She was also starting to show some behavioral regression in terms of the new addition, Lydia, to the family, presenting signs of major jealousy. I think this was because she thought she was being replaced, or maybe that my partner and I were not showing her the attention that she was used to receiving. By letting her be included in care and activities with Lydia, Olivia was starting to love being around her new little sister.

4. How would you characterize your child’s personality using the descriptions provided at the beginning of age 3 in the MVC program? Provide examples from your child’s early childhood period to support your conclusion.

When the MVC program described the different types of personalities of children, I thought that Olivia’s personality type was characteristic of the over-controlled category. She is very cooperative most of the time, follows the rules, but is shy in new social situations and clingy to familiar people under stressful situations.

There really was no denying it; this category sounds just like Olivia. When preparing her for kindergarten, she was so very shy in meeting new people and trying new and advanced situations while trying to hurry. She always seemed to want to watch other people first, and then try the activity. She did very well with her vocabulary, relationships, classifying, counting, art and math activities, but she was very clingy to the instructor before she started these activities.

An example of Olivia being cooperative would be, when she was in preschool at the age of three, she would respond to the teacher’s requests of activities and would play non-aggressively with the few friends that she had. When she performed her skills, she was not easily distracted and focused very well on the tasks at hand. When she did not follow the rules, either in school or at home, she would become upset or try to ask for forgiveness related to these topics.

5. In your own words, briefly summarize what the program has to say regarding your child’s television viewing and your parenting decisions related to this topic. Using information presented in the textbook, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of television for young children.

Cartoons that became aggressive or violent even at a G level, she would become frightened and even more nervous when these activities were taking place. When Olivia was three, she would perform imaginative play with the characters in the television series or talk to the television. She watched shows that were more educational on a regular basis, which I had noticed. They had helped with her language development skills. She usually sat in front of the television dancing and naming letters and numbers along with the main characters.

According to the text, researchers suggest that the more time that a child watches television, the less time that they have to socialize and read; hence the lower academic scores (p. 352). In Olivia’s case, she was only allowed to watch her 30 minute show and an occasional evening family G-rated movie with the family before bedtime. I do not think this time was affecting her development in knowledge since I had noticed various words that were above her intellectual age group used in her sentences. But a benefit that the text has suggested about educational
television is that it can be associated with gains in early literacy, math skills and academic progress (p.353). With shows such as Sesame Street, children have been getting better scores on testing, reading more books and have been placing higher value on achievement of skills in later development and in make believe play (p.353).

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