Virtual Child;Early Virtual Childhood (age 3 – 4 Years)

Raise your Virtual Child to age 4 years. Choose 6 of the questions.
You must choose items 2 and 6 (worth 20 points each), and then four of the remaining six items (worth 15 points each).
Registration information for your virtual child is available in the course overview.

Set 1: 3 years of age

  1. What activities and experiences have you and your Virtual Child engaged in that might be promoting healthy behavioral practices and an interest in physical activity?
    [Optional Question – Scoring: 5 points for each of three activities or experiences. 15 points]
  2. Describe the development of your Virtual Child’s language and communication skills and discuss how these might be affecting his or her interactions with you and your responses to him or her. Refer to the text for descriptions and explanations of each area of skill.
    [Mandatory Question – Scoring: 5 points for each of three examples illustrating changes in cognitive or language skills, 5 points for explanations of how these changes affect parent – Virtual Child interaction. 20 points]
  3. How well is your Virtual Child adapting to social situations in the home and outside the home? Does your Virtual Child have any behavior or emotional problems at this point? Why do you think these problems are occurring and what are you doing about them? Refer to the text as needed.
    [Optional Question – Scoring: 5 points for an instance of adaptation in the home and 5 points for an instance outside the home. 5 points for describing a problem (or an area in which the Virtual Child needs improvement) and what the parent is doing or plans to do about it. 15 points]
    Set 2: 4 years of age
  4. How would you characterize your parenting style? (e.g., authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, or variations or combinations of these styles?) How have your specific parenting techniques changed since infancy?
    [Optional Question – Scoring: 5 points each for two examples describing your parenting style, and 5 points for describing how your parenting techniques have changed since infancy. 15 points]
  5. Describe three specific examples of changes in your Virtual Child’s behavior at age 4 that seem to stem from growth in cognitive and language ability since the period of infancy (e.g., improvements in symbolic thinking, reasoning, knowledge of the world, theory of mind). Refer to the text.
    [Optional Question – Scoring: 5 points for each of the three examples of changes in behavior; be sure to use one or more concepts from the course including but not limited to those listed above. 15 points]
  6. How would you characterize your Virtual Child’s personality? Would you say that your Virtual Child is primarily over-controlled, under-controlled, or resilient? Support your argument. Recall that the Virtual Child behavior at age 3 and 4 is designed to resemble one of three personality types. The personality types combine some of the temperamental traits with which you are already familiar. The over-controlled category refers to a Virtual Child who is cooperative and follows the rules, but is shy in social situations and anxious and clingy under pressure. The under-controlled category refers to a Virtual Child who is uncooperative or even aggressive, does not follow the rules, is not particularly shy in social situations, and has a tendency to become distracted and overly emotional, particularly when under stress. The resilient category refers to a Virtual Child who is cooperative and follows the rules, is friendly, non-aggressive and outgoing, able to focus on tasks without being too distracted, has good regulation of his or her emotions, and is adaptable to new situations. Refer to the text.
    [Mandatory Question – Scoring: 20 points for a well-documented explanation with two examples of behavior in different situations that support your argument. 20 points]

Set 3: Either 3 years of age or 4 years of age, or both

  1. Look for evidence of continuity as well as discontinuity in your Virtual Child’s behavior from infancy through early Virtual Childhood. Give an example of an aspect of ability or personality that has remained fairly stable. Give an example of ability or personality that has been unstable. Why do you think change occurred in one area and not the other? Refer to the text with regard to reasons for continuity or discontinuity.
    [Optional Question – Scoring: 5 points each for examples of continuity and of discontinuity. 5 points for a reasonable explanation, referring to information from the book where possible, that might account for either continuity or discontinuity. 15 points]
  2. Your Virtual Child is growing up in an average American cultural setting. Based on what you have learned from the course, how specifically might your Virtual Child’s development have been different if s/he was raised by people with a different socioeconomic, ethnic or cultural background? Base your answer on specific evidence of SES/cultural differences from the textbook and class lectures. Note, if your cultural background differs from the predominant culture in the U.S., how might you have raised your Virtual Child differently or made different decisions based on our own culture (e.g., being stricter or more lenient, emphasis on assertive/independent vs. cooperative behavior, emphasis on family relationships vs. relationships outside the family). As a third option, describe and give examples of how your parenting style, or any other aspect of your parenting has been influenced by your cultural background or other experiences.
    [Optional Question – Scoring: 5 points each for providing examples of explanations of three possible cultural differences or influences on your parenting. Describe the rationale for your claim, and the source of information (text, or your experience growing up at least partially within a different culture. 15 points]

Submit to the Dropbox under the appropriate folder
by 11:59 pm (CT) on Sunday.