This discussion is based on the assigned textbook reading from Lally & Valentine-French (2017) and unit presentations.
You observe a child at a local playground. His name is Chris. There are many children of both genders and various apparent age ranges in the playground area. Many adults are sitting around the perimeter of the playground. You do not know how old Chris is but see him do the following…
When you first see Chris he is playing with a toy dump truck and some action figures in a sandbox, making engine noises, making the action figures “talk to each other”, and digging and loading/unloading the truck. Initially, there are some other boys in the sandbox who have various other vehicle toys and action figures. Eventually, several of the boys (including Chris) start digging a hole together, having their figures tell each other what to do–saying “good job”, and asking for help when one of their action figures gets “stuck” at the bottom of the hole, etc. A boy from outside the sandbox runs in and snatches one of Chris’ action figures. Chris yells, gets up and chases the boy, pushes him down and takes the toy back, saying “that’s mine.” One of the monitoring adults calls out to Chris, “Chris no pushing, say you are sorry or else we’ll have to leave.” He whines back, “But the boy took it without asking”. In a very exasperated tone of voice he complies and says he is sorry. Chris helps the boy up off the ground and then returns to the sandbox. When he gets back to the sandbox, he whispers to one of his playmates, “I didn’t mean to hurt him but darn he made me mad. He should have asked instead of just snatching my toy.” While Chris and the other children are in the sandbox a man dressed in a clown suit comes onto the playground as part of a little girl’s birthday party going on. Some of the children run to their parents, clearly fearful, but Chris and the other boys in the sandbox just laugh. “Look at that clown! He’s goofy. He really scared those girls bad!”, the boys then resume their play. Chris decides to share some of the marbles in his pocket with his new found friends. He pulls them out and counts the total number. The marbles are different colors and sizes. At first he arranges them in a line based on their size, from smallest to largest as he considers how to divide them. Ultimately, he decides to give each new friend all the marbles of a particular color. One of the boy’s marbles gets lost in the sand, and he starts to cry. Chris tells him it will be OK and helps him start looking for the marble. They eventually find it, and Chris and the others start pretending that the marbles are big boulders that they have to move with their trucks. Chris feels a sense of pride that he was nice to this new friend and helped him. One of the boys suggests playing a new game in which he hides his marbles somewhere in the playground while the other boys close their eyes. He does so. Then the boy comes back and draws a map of the playground in the sand with the location of the marbles indicated by an X. They play rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to go first and Chris wins. He excitedly looks over the map and has little trouble finding the marbles that the boy had hidden under a bush next to the “little kids’ slide”. Then it is Chris’ turn to hide the marbles and draw a new map. He realizes that a few of the boys aren’t as good at using the map to find things so he places the marbles in a very easy place so they will be more likely to succeed.
Based on these observations, do you think Chris is more likely to be considered in early or middle childhood? Use at least 3 specific concepts/norms from your text to support your position and identify if each concept/norm relates best to the physical, cognitive, or psychosocial domain. Feel free to bring in concepts and norms from earlier chapters as well as those covered this week regarding middle childhood – it can be helpful in supporting your opinions.
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