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I interviewed my nephew Theodore, who is four years old and attends preschool four days a week. He was born on September 22, 2015 and is the youngest of two boys. His older brother is 6 years old old and was born Feburary 9th, 2013. Both boys live with their biological parents who are middle class Caucasians. His mother is the assistant director at the preschool he attends, while his father works in a car shop. He loves sports, specifically baseball and football, he is very social and enjoys attending school and being able to see his teachers and friends. He is very observant with an extremely impressive memory. He was born happy and healthy weighing seven pounds 10 ounces, and was 21 inches long which is the average size of a healthy newborn.
His daily routine during the week begins when he wakes up around 6:00 a.m. He wakes up before his parents, and he usually lays in their bed for about 30 minutes every morning. He likes to dress himself for school, and eats a granola bar and a string cheese every morning before he leaves for school. His breakfast is always his choice but he chooses the same thing every morning. He rides with his mom to take his older brother to school and then she takes him to the preschool where he gets to interact with all of his classmates and teachers. Around 8:00 a.m., they serve the children a full breakfast. He spends eight hours a day at preschool, with the exception of Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, he is picked up at 1:00 p.m. by his grandfather who he spends the afternoon with, until his father is off of work and picks him up around 6:00 p.m.. Once he is home he eats a snack which he usually wants yogurt or cottage cheese. Until dinner is ready he enjoys playing catch with a baseball or football in the backyard. His first choice is always to go outside and play but if he can’t because of the weather then he also really loves to play with his tools. After he has eaten, he typically starts to relax while he watches television, his favorite shows are Peppa pig and Bob the Builder. His weekday schedule is consistent from week to week, but sometimes vary on the weekends. His parents try to keep his sleep schedule consistent on weekends in attempt to control his temperament. He is a happy and outgoing little boy who loves to make people laugh. When he grows up he wants to play baseball for the Colorado Rockies or the Denver Broncos.
The child’s physical domain is very well developed. He weighs 39 pounds and is 38 inches tall, making him basically average for his age. He enjoys playing sports and participates well in cooperative play. We played catch and he can throw relatively hard, but slightly struggles with consistently hitting the target and catching the return throw. I also pitched to him some to let him hit the ball with a bat. He was able to consistently hit the ball over my head, even out of the yard a few times. According to Gracepoint the Source for Wellness, children at this age are able to hit stationary objects, for example a ball off a tee. His ability to hit a moving object suggests he has excellent hand-eye coordination for his age. The website also proposed children in preschool begin to develop upper body mobility. Since their upper body is developing at this age, their catching and throwing abilities become more precise. One of his favorite things to do at school is color using crayons. He is able to hold the coloring utensil properly, but enjoys scribbling to make a “rainbow” rather than draw pictures of himself or other people and objects. I mentioned before he likes to dress himself, his favorite outfit does not require whole lot of fine motor skill such as buttoning or zipping. It is common for boys to develop and master gross motor skills before developing fine motor skills, which this little boy has proven to be accurate.
The social aspect of my nephew is average for a preschool aged child. He has a quite few friends at school, two of which are his cousins who are his same age. His mother stated “I think growing up with cousins who were all born within six months of each other gave him a head-start in getting along with others, especially since they are both girls, he has always been so nice to all of his friends”. He developed a sense of gender identity fairly early from having girl playmates as a young child, and from watching his dad use tools and work on cars. During my observation, we played in the basement where his work bench and kitchen set is located. He assigned me the role of cooking, while he hammered things and used his power drill to build our house. It was made clear he had a strong sense of gender roles, which was likely developed from watching his mother work with children and his father fix cars.
Emotionally he has developed as expected.
He has an older brother that is two years older than him and he’s a very tough when it comes to the amount of rough housing the boys do. He allows Preston to throw him around and he tries to do the same. However I have noticed since Theodore was born that he is a lot more sensitive than his older brother was. When Theodore doesn’t get to do all the same things Preston does he has a mental breakdown and gets really upset. I think his favorite words when he is angry are “that isn’t fair” or “you love Preston more than me” which obviously is not true. In the evening when it is closer to bed time the boys seem to fight more for their mothers attention than for their fathers which makes since according to Freud’s psychosexual stages.
His cognitive demeanor exceeds what is expected of the average four year old. Most children his age think in preoperational thought according to Piaget. During our time together, I evenly placed a row of five cups on a table, then placed a second row with larger spatial margins. When asked which row had more cups, he simply counted the cups in each row and expressed to me that the two rows both had five cups. According to The Seven Piagetian Conservation Tasks, concept of number typically is not mastered until age five or six. His ability to count out the number of cups is above and beyond what is expected of a child who is barely four years old. While I was observing him we decided to go for ice cream. During the car ride we were listening to music and he sang along to what he thought were the words in the song, He had the right rhythm but sometimes it is hard to understand what the artist is saying. Also during our ride to get ice cream, he informed me that “this isn’t the way”. Even though it was the way, it was a different route than his parents take. I was impressed by his observation and his ability to remember landmarks and surroundings when going to a specific location. Once we returned to his house I told his mother about his keen observation, she said “he always does that. If we take a different way to school he notices almost immediately after I make the turn. When Andrews sister first moved into a new neighborhood he questioned me the entire time I was driving there”. He demonstrates excellent memory and in general excels in the cognitive aspect of development.
Overall, my nephew is developing as he should be and will continue to do so. During the next year, I would expect him to have more control over his fingers and fine motor skills. Going along with that, I would expect him to be able to somewhat write his name instead of spell it out loud. He loves going to school and spending time with his teachers and friends. He has a good heart and gets frustrated when he witnesses someone’s feelings being hurt. Having a close family will help him develop in every aspect since he has so many good influences around him at all times. All the adults in his life have very different jobs, which will help him to have an open mind and allow him to learn different skills from a variety of people. All these factors will optimize his development and allow him to do and be whatever and whoever he desires.
He is a smart, well developed little boy who is exactly where he should be in all aspects, and even exceeds in some. He is three inches short of that national average and one pound above, which based on genetic factors is normal. As he gets older he will continue to grow and will likely always be what is considered average. His social domain is as expected in most children his age, as well as his emotional aspects. He does exceed expectations cognitively and physically, and I would predict for it to stay that way throughout his life. It is important for children in the early childhood phase of life to not fall behind, in order to make staying on track easier as you go through adolescence. Luckily, just like his older brother falling behind is not expected to be an issue with this happy, fun-loving little dude.
- “Average Height to Weight Chart – Babies to Teenagers.” Disabled World. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
- Cherry, Kendra. “What Is the Preoperational Stage of Cognitive Development?” Verywell. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- “Early Childhood Physical Development: Gross and Fine Motor Development.” Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7). N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
- Morgan, Jim. “Piagetian Conservation Tasks.” Piagetian Conservation Tasks. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
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