PSYC 302: Psychology of Child Development
Assignment 1: Raise your child to 12 months of age
Read about temperament on page 2 of these instructions. You may also refer to your textbook, if you would like additional information.
a) Compare the temperament of your child at 3 months and at 8 months. At each age, was your child an "easy", "slow-to-warm-up", or "difficult" baby?
(Response A) The temperament of Leigh Ann at 3 months varied depending upon her disposition and sleeping patterns. Since she experienced 'hair triggers' caused more restlessness than usual. I would often try to soothe her by rubbing her back and making sure she is safe from injury. Leigh Ann often would react when she tries to reach for an object and cannot grasp it. Having water and a cool wash cloth to place on her forehead also is another calming technique. Unidentifiable crying jags made it difficult for me to track the reason for such behavior. The doctor stated the environment and lack of sleep can be another cause which he recommended a warm bath at night and a some warm wheat free cereal. Additionally, he suggested allergy testing and to refrain from wheat products and continue experimenting slowly with foods. As Leigh Ann reached 8 months it worsened a bit and was expected for children between 6-8 months of age. I continued to use the same method to soothe her as I was able to take advantage of the nice weather for a walk to remove her from her constant living environment. Due to Leigh Ann's temperament with responsiveness to situations, lack of sleep, and frequent colds, she has demonstrated a "slow- to warm- up" behavior pattern with most adults unless it is close family members. This information is from my doctors website: http://www.kidsenabled.org/articles/family-issues/triggers-%E2%80%93-what-sparks-challenging-behavior. Because
b) Describe specific factors at each age that led you to this description.
(Response B) When I noticed Leigh Ann's frustration level and fussy eating patterns between 3 and 4 months of age, my instinct told me something was not right. I remembered my young nieces and nephews from infants and could not recall seeing such behaviors when they were Leigh Ann's age. It also scared me to think Leigh Ann would not receive the proper nutrition for development. It was a genuine concern for her well being as ours as parents. I actually decided to change pediatricians before locating her present one which has addressed all my concerns.
c) Are you making any choices for your baby as a response to the child's innate predispositions? In other words, are you altering the child's environmental influences (separate from your parenting) to match his/her biological predisposition? If so, how? If not, why not?
(Response) The first step in responding to Leigh Ann's innate predispositions was to remove her from her living environment when weather permits. What child would not appreciate playing in the park, or a walk in the neighborhood to help alleviate her triggers and frustration levels. At Leigh Ann's last doctor appointment, the doctor had not mentioned any environment factors leading to some of Leigh Ann's behavior triggers, appetite preferences or indigestion concerns. However, her doctor asked if there is a family history with Leigh Ann's symptoms she is experiencing. After thinking about it, I did remember my husband expressing he was a picky eater as a child and suffered from allergies. Moreover, I have been attentive to Leigh Ann's personal interests to match new toys to expand her exploration. The doctor also suggested it would be beneficial for her involvement in an infant play group at one of the local agencies. Many of the agencies provide free assessments as time progresses.
d) How has your baby’s temperament impacted your interaction with your child? How does it impact your feelings about parenting at this stage?