Reflection on Friendship in Middle Childhood
The goal of this assignment is for the student to recognize the role of friendships in supporting development in a variety of ways across the domains. As friendships are an important aspect of development during middle childhood (ages 6-12), students will use memories from their own childhood to write a paper in which they will consider the ways one special friend (ages 6-12) impacted and influenced their sense of self-worth, view of life, and how the experiences of others (like your special friend) differed from yourself and your family. As you think back to this special friend (ages 6-12) respond to the questions below in as much detail as possible.
This assignment is designed to facilitate the understanding of the following
Student Learning Outcomes:
Describe development of children from conception through adolescence in the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive domains.
Identify cultural, economic, political and historical contexts that impact children’s development.
Apply knowledge of development and major theoretical frameworks to child observations.
Your friend’s name, age and physical description
Your friend’s personality traits based on the following five categories, the “Big Five” as described in Wikipedia based on the historical summary written by Lewis R. Goldberg:
Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/detached)
Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)
How old you were when you met?
How and where did you become friends?
What were the things that you enjoyed doing together?
How were you and your friend different or similar from each other? Think about likes/dislikes, personality traits, abilities, and temperament.
How did the relationship fit into and affect your everyday life?
What are some of the feelings you remember having about this special friend?
How did this friend make you feel about yourself?
Family Similarities/ Differences and Impacts on Development:
How was this friend’s life or family circumstance similar to and different from your own? Please discuss factors including socio-economic status, race, religion, class, values, beliefs, ability, family dynamics, and family structure, parenting styles or culture.
How did the differences between you and your friend help you understand the world outside your own family? How has this friendship helped you to understand and connect with experiences that are different than yours?
Perspective taking is the capacity to imagine what others are thinking or feeling. According to Jean Piaget (1952), as children develop cognitively during middle childhood, egocentrism diminishes as children become capable of understanding other’s points of view, or perspective. Discuss: How did this friend help you to learn how to “give and take” in a relationship and understand that other people view circumstances differently than you do? Provide examples from your reflection to support this.
According to the work of Gottman and Parker (1987), children’s friendships serve six different functions: companionship, stimulation, physical support, social comparison, and affection outside of the family unit. Discuss: How did this friendship promote your sense of self-worth, help you in the development of new skills and ideas and teach you how to create important relationships outside of your family? Provide examples from your reflection to support this.
You can expect this assignment, when thoughtfully written, to average 3 but not more than 5 pages in length.
Be sure that you have answered all of the above questions in depth, providing sufficient detail and information so that I can have a clear understanding of the importance and impact of this friendship on your life and development
__Thoroughly described the friend using many examples and details.
__ Adequately described the friend using examples and details.
__Vague or not enough detail in description of the friend.
__Thoroughly described the relationship by answering all the questions in great detail
__Adequately describe the relationship by answering all the questions with details
__Did not give enough information or answer enough questions
__Family differences shows a deep level of thinking and personal reflection
__Family differences is thoughtful and has some evidence of deep thinking and personal reflection
__Family differences is mostly “surface level” and lacks personal insights and thoughtfulness
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