Written exercise: INFANT & TODDLER

Observation:.............. See the Excellent Sample Observation

Goal: The student will observe the interaction of an adult caregiver (1) with an infant and (2) with a toddler to better understand the impact of care giving on the development of TRUST during infancy and AUTONOMY during toddlerhood. These will be separate observations on different children.

The student will record the interaction of the relationship and present an interpretation of the quality of the relationship using Erik Erikson's theory.

The student should use correct theoretical terminology in this observation. In other words, use the terms Trust and Autonomy in your discussion of the observation. Be sure to discuss both TRUST and AUTONOMY in your observation.

Observation:
(# 1.) INFANT: You are to spend about 30 minutes observing the interaction of an adult caregiver (parent, grandparent, day care worker) with an infant (under one year of age). It is best if they don't know that you are watching and recording the relationship.
* Record the FACTS of the interaction, what the adult did or said and what the infant did in return.
* INTERPRET
the relationship based on Erikson's theory of Psychosocia Development. Consider what the adult is doing to promote or hinder the healthy development of Erikson's stage of Trust in the child during the interaction. Use terminology consistent with the theories and development of the infant, as discussed in the text.

Remember... Heathly Trust emerges out of the nurturant and responsive daily care of the infant. Watch for indicators of the quality of the relationship. You are to focus on the adult behavior, what the adult did to foster and promote healthy trust.

(# 2). TODDLER: You are to spend about 30 minutes observing the interaction of an adult caregiver (parent, grandparent, day care worker) with a toddler (about 2 years old). It is best if they don't know that you are watching and recording the relationship. Record the FACTS of the interaction, what the adult did or said and what the toddler did in response to this. INTERPRET the relationship based on Erikson's theory of Psychosocial Development. Consider what the adult is doing to promote or hinder the healthy development of Erikson's stage of Autonomy in the child during the interaction. Use terminology consistent with the theories and the development of the toddler, as discussed in the text. Note that autonomy is expressed in all of the developmental domains: physical, cognitive, & social. Control and use of his body to climb, push, pull, carry, open, close, get into, over, under, are all indicators of physical autonomy. Use of language to express his will and power and thoughts are indicators of cognitive autonomy. Toddlers will ofter express their disagreement with the adult by use the word "NO", or saying "NO, YOU DO IT!" Listen for the language. Control and power in social interaction is often the most difficult to deal with, however, toddlers need to explore with this power and discover just how much influence and power they have. They will test the limits parents set to see if they are consistent from day to day. They will test the parent reaction to a situation, noting that they (toddler) has the power to make the parent or adult react a certain way. This assures the child that he actually has power to direct part of his life and can influence the social relationships in his life. Keep an eye open for these different expressions of autonomy.

Remember... Heathy Autonomy is not simply "Independence"... It involves a sense of power and control over ones self and objects in the environment. Some of those objects include the other people around the toddler, control of social situations and relationships. Now... this power and control should be viewed within a structure of reasonable limits for the child. Watch for how the adult is fostering this healthy sense of Autonomy.

* Sinc the importance of setting reasonable limits and following through with those limits is important to healthy autonomy, BE SURE to include at least one example of the adult setting limits and following through.


See the
Sample Observation in the syllabus..... or this other Excellent Observation Sample.

Type your observation on a separate Word Processing document and submit your assignment to the instructor.

Be sure to put your name on the assignment.