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Child Development

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Volunteering at the YMCA was a great experience. I conducted a two-hour craft class with approximately seventeen children between five to seven years of age. Two "Y" counselors assisted me with the children. The project I selected was a magazine collage based on nutrition and fitness. The children enthusiastically participated. I brought a large scaled laminated version of the food pyramid. We began by discussing the food groups and they assisted in the assembly of the pyramid. We then discussed the importance of breakfast, good after school snacks and junk food. They energetically engaged in conversation. The children were given black construction paper and magazines to look through to find pictures, they would cut or tear the pictures into small pieces and sort the pieces and glue the pieces onto their paper. The children were sensitive to the needs and feelings of the others around them. They varied widely in a number of different ways. Some of the children could make their own decisions and work independently, while others looked for adult approval. Some worked very quietly when others were noisy. Others were wiggle worms when some were concentrating and working intensely. One beautiful little girl was acting out, vying for even negative attention, when she was no longer the center of attention. She reacted emotionally when she received a written referral from the counselor. When one asked to go to the bathroom suddenly half a dozen children had to go to the bathroom!

Based on the Eight Stages of Development developed by psychiatrist, Erik Erikson in 1956 stages three and four were present.

Stage (age) Psychosocial crisis Significant relations Psychosocial modalities Psychosocial virtues Maladaptations & malignancies

III (3-6) --

preschooler initiative vs. guilt family to go after, to play purpose, courage ruthlessness -- inhibition

IV (7-12 or so) --

school-age child industry vs. inferiority neighborhood and school to complete, to make things together competence narrow virtuosity -- inertia

3. Learning Initiative Versus Guilt (Purpose)

Erikson believed that this third psychosocial crisis occurs during what he calls the "play age," or the later preschool years. During it, the healthily developing child learns: (1) to imagine, to broaden his skills through active play of all sorts, including fantasy (2) to cooperate with others (3) to lead as well as to follow. Immobilized by guilt, he is: (1) fearful (2) hangs



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