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Lynn Heile

Educ 121
Dr. Dierdorff
October 8, 2014
My Virtual Child Paper 2-Early Childhood (Ages 3-4)

1.What activities and experiences have you and your child engaged in that might be promoting
healthy behavioral practices and an interest in physical activity? Refer to the book and lecture
where needed.
Lilly and I engage in several activities that promote her gross motor skills. She is in
preschool now and plays on the playground with her friends, and occasionally my partner and I
will take her outside and play catch or other games with her, as she does not seem to be
particularly coordinated. Often she and I will go for walks and talk about everything we see. We
try to make physical activities fun for her because her interest in them soon flags. Although Lilly
spends time watching educational television, we try to balance this with an appropriate amount
of exercise. I make sure she is moving at least 30 minutes 3 times a week (Kail, 2012, p.165). I
like to take her on bike rides with me and to the pool as much as we can. I try to promote sports
she can do on her own (Kail, 2012, p.165). We promote healthy eating habits in our home. She
must try a little of everything, and finish her meal before having dessert. Also, we point out what
certain foods do for her, such as milk makes your teeth strong, and meat will make your
muscles bigger.
2. Describe the development of your childs language and cognitive skills and discuss how these
might be affecting his or her interactions with you & your responses. Refer to the text or lecture
for descriptions and explanations of each area of skill. (2 points)
Lillys language skill have grown exponentially during this time. She is talking and
asking questions incessantly, and we are in constant conversation all day long. She goes to
preschool and is learning her letters and numbers, as well as colors and shapes. We go over flash
cards at home and read lots of books together. She enjoys putting together train tracks and
puzzles. She can even read a few words and now talks to us in complete sentences. She likes to
watch educational television. I can tell her memory is increasing, as she is rapidly increasing her
vocabulary and using new words that I have previously used during our conversations. She is
curious about the world and asks questions about what she sees. Overall, Lilly has strong
language development, and at her four year assessment was thought to have above average
memory and language skills. She enjoys working with art and geometric shapes, a trait that was
evident in her earlier years as well. I can readily tell she is in the pre-operational stage of
Piagets theory of cognitive development (Kail, 2012 p. 176). She likes to imaginary play and
sometimes attributes inanimate objects with feelings. She is learning very well to use symbols in
her language development.

3. How well is your child adapting to social situations in the home and outside the home? Does
your child have any behavior or emotional problems at this point? Why do you think these
problems are occurring and what are you doing about them? Refer to the text or lecture as
needed. (2 points)
Lilly has a resilient personality type and does well in new situations. She is, and always
has been, a very easy-going and sociable person. She easily made new friends at preschool, and
is cooperative during play. She will usually give up a toy when asked. The child development
specialist indicated that she was sociable, outgoing, and a leader at play during her 3rd year
testing. She has no behavior or emotional problems at this point.
4. How would you characterize your parenting style (e.g., authoritative, authoritarian,
permissive, or variations or combinations of these styles)? Refer to the book or lecture
descriptions to justify your classification. How have your specific parenting techniques changed
since infancy? (2 points)
I would characterize my parenting style as authoritative (Kail, 2012, p.438). I like to
explain the rules fairly and answer questions about them when she asks. I believe in firm but
loving boundaries. If I do all things out of a true desire for the betterment of my child, then I
have certain reasons for these boundaries, and I want Lilly to understand why they exist, so she
may judge where her own limits should be placed when she grows older. However, this does not
mean neglecting her every desire. I realize that much of what Lilly wants at this age stems from
her wanting to explore and experience her world. Also, I want Lilly to be happy, and experience
life as an enjoyable enterprise. Too many rules could make her depressed and less confident of
her own abilities. I try to let her solve her own problems before helping her. This differs a great
deal from my permissive parenting style I adopted when she was an infant. During infancy, a
child cannot comprehend limits, and must do what they need to survive and communicate
discomfort. None of her reactions at that age were punished, only redirected. I believe that
setting limits on infants denies them the chance to communicate and receive what the need.
Toddlerhood is when limits should begin to be placed, but without garnering negative
consequences.
5. Describe three specific examples of changes in your childs behavior at age 4 that seem to
stem from growth in cognitive and language ability since the period of infancy (e.g.,
improvements in symbolic thinking, reasoning, knowledge of the world, theory of mind). Refer
to the book or lecture. (4 points)
Lillys behavior has changed at age 4 in her use of vocabulary and language
development. She incessantly chatters and asks questions about everything she sees. She is now
able to recognize some site words, spell her name, and knows most of her letters by sight. This
supports the growth of symbolic thinking typical at this age as indicated by Piagets Theory of
Cognitive Development (Kail, 2012, pg.181). The fact that she has yet to understand
conservation of liquids puts her directly in the preoperational stage. Lilly also has increased her
capacity for memorization, as seen in her recitation of numbers and letters and parts of books.
I enjoy listening to Lillys private speech. She is able to play for long periods of time by
herself, showing her increasing ability to concentrate. While playing, I can hear her talking to
herself in an effort to regulate her own behavior. This, too, has improved. We no longer have to

have rewards for her behavior in restaurants because she is consistent in her appropriate behavior
in them now.
Lilly is beginning to be interested in living things now. She has asked for a puppy or a
kitty. We compromised by visiting the petting zoo, where she enjoyed watching and interacting
with the animals. Also, she is very involved in the care of her younger sister. She wants to
participate in her bathing and feeding. This supports her development of teleological
explanations and essentialism. I think it quite amusing that she insists puppies and kitties exist
so that people can cuddle them, and her little sister Rose IS NOT a puppy or a kitty and doesnt
count.
Lillys favorite thing to do right now indicates her increase in reasoning skills and
concentration. She can sit for long periods oaf time and puts together train tracks in many
different configurations. She does the same for her interlocking blocks. She is able to form the
goal and use certain steps to achieve it.
6. How would you characterize your childs personality? Would you say that your child is
primarily over controlled, under controlled or resilient? Support your argument. Recall that the
Virtual Childs behavior at age 3 and 4 is designed to resemble one of three personality types.
The personality types combine some of the temperamental traits with which you are already
familiar. The over controlled category refers to a child who is cooperative and follows the rules,
but is shy in social situations and anxious and clingy under pressure. The under controlled
category refers to a child who is uncooperative or even aggressive, does not follow the rules,
may or may not be shy in social situations, and has a tendency to become distracted and overly
emotional, particularly when under stress. The resilient category refers to a child who is
cooperative and follows the rules, is friendly, non-aggressive and outgoing, able to focus on tasks
without being too distracted, has good regulation of his or her emotions, and is adaptable to new
situations. Refer to the course reader and lecture. (2 points)
Lilly has a resilient personality. From the time she was very small she was very social
and cooperative. She quickly learned to share toys in preschool and made friends. At age 4 she
even has a best friend. At 3 yrs the child specialist stated that she was sociale , outgoing, and a
leader in play. She is able to focus long enough on tasks such as putting train tracks together and
listening to books. The 4 year specialist commented that she was confident in new situations and
responded well under stress.
7. Look for evidence of continuity as well as discontinuity in your childs behavior from infancy
through early childhood. Give an example of an aspect of ability or personality that has remained
fairly stable. Give an example of an aspect of ability or personality that has been unstable. Why
do you think change occurred in one area and not the other? Refer to the book or lecture with
regard to reasons for continuity or discontinuity. (4 points)
One area of continuity in Lillys development has been her personality. She was a
cheerful, social baby and continues to be social and adaptable at her 4 year assessment. Also, she
was always a talker and liked to babble and repeat sounds, which has progressed into repeating
words and phrases. It appears to me that her language ability has also been continuously
development. However, this has been encouraged by my husband and myself by our enrolling
her in preschool and attention to her language desires (such as reading books), as much as it has
been genetic.

Lilly has seen discontinuity in some of her behaviors as well. For instance, she now can
exercise self-control in restaurants, whereas she could not do this before. Also, although she
was always considered adaptable, when she was younger she did not have as much control over
her emotions and had difficulty calming herself when stress did overwhelm her. Now she seems
to be very adaptable to the amount of stress she can handle and able to calm herself and work
through her feelings in due time.
Lilly has been a most consistent child and most of her defining traits have seen
continuous development. She is the easiest child I have!

8. Your Virtual child is growing up basically in an average American cultural setting. Based on
what you have learned from the course, how specifically might your childs behavior be different
if she was raised in a different culture? Alternatively, if you are familiar with a different culture
(e.g., you or your parents were raised in a country outside America with a very different culture),
you can describe how your parenting, or your childs behavior might be different within that
cultural setting. As a third option, describe and give examples of how your parenting style, or
any other aspect of your parenting, has been influenced by your cultural background or other
experiences. Describe the rationale for your claim, and the source of your information (book or
lecture, or your own experience growing up at least partially within a particular culture).
(4 points)
My authoritative parenting style has been significantly influenced by the
American culture I was brought up in. Many of my beliefs about parenting, first of all, come
from my own parents, who also grew up in our culture. Ideas about what is punishable, what a
parents role is, and how a child and parent should interact mostly come from my parents. My
use of preschool and educational TV to educate my daughter also are culturally acceptable.
Many countries do not have preschool or television and keep their children home until the age
they are able to go to school. In fact, many cultures, especially in the Middle East and India, do
not believe in educating women or girls. I am thankful that we do not follow that belief in this
country. We are careful to introduce both traditionally male and female roles to her as possible
career choices. This, I believe, is a particularly American belief that anyone can do anything
they really want if they work at it, including females. In my own experience raising several
other children, which I really dont think we can discount in this experiment, I believe the many
choices I have had available to me has definitely had an impact on how I parent. I am used to
being able to seek out the best schools for my child and avail myself of them. Also, the evident
wealth of my country makes things such as libraries, petting zoos and museums part of our
cultural diet. I frequently participate in these goodies quite frequently with my daughter.