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Aspects of psychosocial growth portrayed by children during interviews The first group I interviewed consisted of young children between the ages of one and a half and three. In any learning program, no one of them was enrolled. They were still in a period of autonomy versus guilt. I noticed them on a playing field, and they were very excited to do different activities. I threw myself into their sport, and before diverting their attention, it took me about thirty-five minutes to do what they were doing. The object of my interview ranged from wondering whether the little kids understood who they were all the way to deciding if they knew what was going on around them. I also was intending to know if they have adopted social life and if they really cared about it. For instance, I was in need of responses relating to their dress, their friends, their pets, their playing skills and their view of their parents' role in their lives.
During the interview, I suspected that the kids could tell me about their gender, provide information about their social life in general. Having migrated recently from their very first stage, I expected that the kids could give information on their experience in the first stage and perhaps intersperse their responses with numerous quotes on their expectations.
I started by asking them their names. They answered correctly apart from one who was unable to speak. Her inability to produce her name was perhaps due to her extremely young age. Having graduated from the first stage, it could ideally be difficult for her to produce her name. all the rest were in their mid-second year and they appeared so social. My second question to them touched on gender. I wanted to know what their gender was. This was a little bit challenging to them as only one was able to answer. All the rest exhibited difficulties in providing expected responses to the question. The third question I asked was about their favorite meals and if they knew how to eat on their own. One jumped off the ground and shouted ‘yeeeees'. He then said his most favorite meal was rice served with hot chicken soup. In tandem with Erickson (1963), he affirmed that he could eat on his own and went on to demonstrate the same with imaginary food. Another who was a girl this time said that her favorite meal was rice served with beef. From how they responded it was clear that the boy was more assertive than the girl.
I went on to the last question. I wanted to know if the kids knew about pets. I asked them to tell me their favorite pets. John spoke and said that he loved dogs. He even had his own toy of a dog. He liked and wrapped it quite often. I went to Jane. Her most favorite pet was a cat. She also had her own toy of a cat. John had his sweater hanging over his shoulder. I asked if I could help him put on his sweater but he turned my offer down and insisted that he could do it on his own. The interaction I had with the kids offered some responses I needed and some were not met correctly. I, however, discovered some funny issue with the kids yet it is absolutely important to note. Jane was absolutely shy. Despite the fact that she was a little bit younger than John, her shyness could be derived from another aspect altogether. Nevertheless, she was able to talk and answer a question.
What is your name?
What is your gender?
What is your favorite meal?
What is your favorite pet?
Another group of individuals I interviewed are two kids a boy and a girl who were between here years and 5 years. One was a boy and the other was a girl. I did not meet them coincidentally but I went for them. they were having lunch with their parents on a social ground and I approached them in a friendly manner. Their parents allowed me to interview them after seeking permission and explaining fully what mission I was intending to accomplish. My goal was to establish if the kids understood who they were and if they showed the habits of children in the third stage of development. So, I was in need of information relating to their gender, the understanding they had about their environment and also their ability to mend their fans when they broke down.
I started by asking them their names. The first was Judy and the second was James. James was a little bit bolder than Judy. The next thing I asked them was about their gender. They both had knowledge of who they were. Judy replied that she was a girl and James replied that he was a male. I also sought to know why they think they were male or female. This was a little more challenging. Judy felt shy to answer this but James said because he wore a trouser. I told them to throw their fans into the sky. They threw them and when they hit the ground they were broken. James embarked on mending his while Judy felt restless about the state of her fan. After some few minutes, James's fan was rotating. On realizing that James could mend his, she started trying to make hers too. When she was unable to accomplish her mission James offered to mend it for her. At the both of them were fanning their fans. I then asked them if it were possible to fly like a bird. They replied almost at the same time that it was not possible since they did not have wings. I eventually gave them one dollar each and told them to go and buy anything they wished. They bought different items.
In the course of the interview, I had all the information I needed. The questions I intended that should be answered were answered. The kids were in their third stage of psychosocial development. In this stage, the kids were trying to delineate their actions. In other words, they were trying to understand what they were able to do and what they were not able to do. The first thing I noted is that at this stage, most kids do not understand why they are male or female. But they know their gender. They know that they are different but they cannot explain that phenomenon. To some extent also, a girl has started feeling that a boy is more powerful than her at this stage. This concurs with Erickson (1963) that on realizing that they are different, a girl starts to develop some feeling that is significantly different from a man. This is where femininity and masculinity starts to develop. This is probably why Judy sought James to mend her fan. At this stage also, I learned that their preferences have started to change. When I gave them a dollar each to buy anything of their choice they bought different items. This is a clear show that their aspirations differ. At this stage, I observed that when James and Judy were finally allowed by their parents to join others in the sport, they joined different sports. James joined a group who were playing soccer while Judy joined girls who were playing the roles of a mother. This demarcation of sports taught me that the kids in the third stage have started marking what they can do and what they cannot do.
The lessons I learned from the interview was very important. I discovered that kids in this stage should not only be allowed to try things on their own but they should also be allowed to choose what cloths to put on, what sport to join and even food to eat if possible. My friend had a tendency of denying her kids at this stage chance to try things on their own. She always felt bad when her son chose a different sport from what she commanded. Thus, she could give the child a sense of being able to do something on his own ( Franz & White, 1985, p. 232). This is when children will develop the ability to initiate.
What is your name?
What is your gender?
The last group of people I interviewed was two- male and female. I met them at Sunday school. They were aged between six and twelve years. We spent about twenty minutes together sharing. None of them knew what I was up to. The first thing I did is that I asked to know their names. One was Rich, and the other one was Mary. Rich was ten and Mary was twelve. My aim was to establish whether they able to exhibit knowledge about who they were and their environment. I could also ask them about their families and if they understood career. As Allen, Eileen; Marotz, Lynn (2003) asserts, children in this stage are aware of who they are and are able to do things on their own and even assess themselves (p. 9). This was the area I intended to assess them.
I started the interview by asking them about their parents. They expressed knowledge about who their parents were and their jobs. Though younger, Rich could answer questions as well as Mary. The second thing I asked was about their hobbies. Mary said she liked watching movies and Rich said that he liked playing soccer with other boys. I went on and required to know their career wishes. Rich said he wanted to be a teacher just like his father and Mary said she wanted to be a nurse like her aunt.
The interview opened up more knowledge to me as pertains this stage. By now, children understand that their sex is different and they probably know the reason why. Therefore, when they choose their hobbies, they choose them according to their sex. Boys align themselves with hobbies that befit them and also girls choose hobbies that befit them. also, fast developers will have started understanding why some are female and others are male. They start struggling to understand it on their own. What is important to note also is the fact that at this stage, both boys and girls have started prefiguring what their future will be like. Most of the children have known their skills and are able to employ them to solve light problems at home and even at school. This also tends to be experimentation stage when kids start to try out things. They start to exhibit what they are best at. At this point, females have stopped to mimic males, and they have started bringing their female aspects to the society ( Franz & White, 1985). They thus tend to show off their positions in solving problems in societies.
What is your name?
Can you tell me about your family?
What are your hobbies?
What are your career wishes?
Allen, Eileen; Marotz, Lynn (2003). Developmental Profiles Pre-Birth Through Twelve (4th ed.). Albany, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning
Erickson H (1963). Childhood and Society.New York, W W Norton.
Franz C, White K. (1985). Individuation and attachment in personality Development: Extending Erikson's theory. Journal of Personality 53 2, June 1985, Duke University Press CCC 0022-3506/85/$! 50.
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