Child Observation Essay

1700 words - 7 pages

Makeea S. Patterson
Workshop Three - 3.5 Dropbox
Child Development Paper
7 July 2015
Human Behavior/Social Environment (SWK-342-01A)
Indiana Wesleyan University
Instructor Beth Griffin

The child I chose to observe was 12 year old girl named Kimeko, of African-American background. This observation took place in her home, on a Friday evening, between the hours of 4PM-6PM. As this was my first observation experience, I was somewhat apprehensive about how Kimeko might react about me watching her. And although her mother had consented about the observation, Kimeko was not aware that my sole purpose for being there on that particular day at that time was to observe her; it is this ...view middle of the document...

Kimeko’s biological father has had minimal contact with her throughout her childhood. I can identify also with having a different father than my siblings, and also growing up with an absent father. My father was not present for my childhood, and we really didn’t establish a relationship until my teen years. Hopefully this will not be the case in regards to Kimeko and her father’s relationship.
As a result of the aforementioned issues within the family dynamic and household, my observation of Kimeko leads me to believe that while she is developmentally on schedule in some areas, there are also areas in which she is not. She clearly looks to her mother for acceptance and as a guide to her moral decision making abilities, but she also exhibits the ability to make moral decisions on her own. On the Flip side, she has a strong sense of independence, as she has had to undertake a parental role in her younger sibling’s life at times. It is also clear, that based on the relationship that her mother has chosen to be engaged in, there are times when Kimeko feels out of place within the family. Based on conversations it is evident that these things are a source of angst for Kimeko. On one hand she feels a sense of belonging when the dynamic is just her, her mother, and her sisters. But when mom’s partner enters the picture, her confidence in this sense of belonging seems to diminish.
Outside of the common educational resources available to an inner city youth, Kimeko seems to have very little access to any other resources outside of the home as it relates to her development. She is not involved in any extracurricular activities, has very little contact with peers outside of school hours, and seems to take on somewhat of an adult role in the home as she is frequently responsible for addressing the needs of her 2 younger siblings when mom is not readily available to do so. Because she takes on this role as frequently as she does, she seems to be struggling with how she should conduct herself in different settings. At times she can be very child-like and other times very adult like in her reasoning.
“In Developmental Psychology, theories govern the existence of human growth. Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg are some of theorists who ventured in the field of Psychology, specifically human development” (Pamfilo, 2008). 
Piaget, a cognitivist and pioneer of the Cognitive Development Theory, focused on the cognitive aspect of human development. He gave a detailed picture of how thinking is processed among individuals, concluding that the difference between adults' and children's thinking is qualitative and not quantitative. He asserted that “development occurs in distinct, measurable, and observable stages” (Hutchinson, 2014). Additionally, he made an assumption that developmental growth is independent of experience and based on a universal characteristic. Piaget's theory assumes that development is unidirectional with all children...

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