Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Developmental Psych and Me

I have been kind of missing in action this week, for no particular reason. Somehow I never got around to writing. By the evening, I would just be too exhausted and I chose sleep over blogging. Which I think is a wise choice.
So far, school has been going well. I am taking developmental psychology which I find interesting. The professor talks fast and I do not always get to write everything down in my notes. But I know it is all in the book, so I am not too concerned. We have been discussing the different theories on development.
One of the theories speaks about the influence of context, i.e culture and society on development. I read my homework assignment aloud this week, in which I talked all about the cultural context of growing up in Europe. Not quite what the professor was expecting I think.
A different theory also discusses the influence of non-normative events on one's development. I definitely score big in this category- living abroad during high school, having complicated surgery at age 16, giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome at the age of 21...I think these all qualify.The question would be, I guess, how specifically these events influenced me. Something to ponder at a later date.
The behaviorist perspective is of interest to me as a mother. It talks all about stimulus/response and behavior modification by reinforcing certain behaviors and extinguishing others....This is what disciplining children is all about, especially at a young age. In its most rigid form, it is the basis for ABA therapy for children on the autistic spectrum.
Children definitely need this consistency and do well with sticker charts/rewards and consequences but the truth is that people are more complex than this behaviorist perspective. So even though, a certain behavior is being reinforced with positive feedback, other factors may come into play that will prevent a child from doing what you expect her to. If it really were that simple, there would not be so many mommy-blogs dedicated to women complaining about their crazy/uncooperative children. Not that I know any such blogs/mommys/chidren...:)
The next chapter is all about conception, pregnancy and birth- my favorite topics. Looking forward to share.

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