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Youth Group Meeting

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Observation: Developmental Stages
Liberty University
December 2nd 2013

Where did I conduct my observation?
My observation was conducted at my church on a rainy communion morning. I chose that
Sunday morning because I knew that it was going to be somewhat crowded and I would get the opportunity to observe all of the developmental stages. I thought about going to the mall, but I dismissed that idea because I would get the urge to go and shop or even feel bad because I didn't purchase anything.
This observation was completed on Sunday December, 1st 2013 at 10:00 a.m. My first observation was that of the late adulthood. Everyone calls her Mommy "T". As she sauntered to her seat, she had to make a few short stops. She hugged and kissed and even stop to tell a young child about the age of three to stop running in the sanctuary. I gave a slight chuckle because I knew when she was younger she would have held him by his hand and gave him a good scolding. Feldman (2011)refer to this type of aging as the "activity theory". Though she is 90 years old, she maintains the interests and activities as when she was in her middle age. She certainly has adapted to the environment by not withdrawing. She reminded me of my great grandmother. My great-grandmother attended church all the way up to her mid nineties. She washed, cooked, cleaned and read her bible without glasses. When she attended the senior citizen center she was the light of the gathering. My great grandmother just could not sit still. Mommy "T" can't sit still as well. She sang and danced for the entire praise and worship segment of the service. Meanwhile, the 6 weeks infant that was in the same pew just cried through the segment. The young mother tried to keep the infant from crying by rocking the infant. That was not the solution for the crying infant. The mother decided to give the infant a bottle and the baby stopped crying. This seemed to be developmentally appropriate. According to Feldman 2011, this stage is classified as the operant conditioning, one of the three basic processes of learning. An infant who learns that crying in a certain way is apt to bring about their parents attention.
I also observed two obese teenagers texting below the bench next to their laps. Their attire was extremely tight fitting and it seemed uncomfortable. Their parents were just as obese. I know that this family at one time was trying to lose weight and they had shed some pounds but it seemed as though they just allowed the weight to come back. In the "developmental diversity and your life" section in the text can align with the observation of the two obese teens. Most teenagers know which foods are nutritionally sound; they just don't bother to follow the rules (Feldman, 2011). I also observed middle age man that sat in his wheelchair along with his wife. As they arrived, she made indication for the young man to move down the pew so as for them to sit in that particular area. The area is designated for man in the wheelchair. At first the teen was reluctant and the usher asked him to move down. The youth eventually moved but one can see that he wasn't please that he had to move down. The behavior of the youth would be what is called developmentally appropriate. According to developmental psychologist, they a selfish and they very seldom think about the rights of others. About a two years ago the man in the wheelchair was shot and he is paralyzed from his waist down. He and his wife comes to church on a regular basis and they seem to be coping with his paralysis. I admire his resilience. Resilience as discussed in the text by Feldman stated that it is the ability to withstand, and overcome adversity. Though they are faced with his permanent injury, they are able to thrive following the profound adversity( 2011). Sometimes I walk by and I just hug his wife and her husband and when they go to the altar for prayer, I go with them because I know it provides some emotional support. I believe in my heart that he is going to walk again. I know that God has it under control.
My final observation was while I was on my way to the restroom. I had to pass the nursery to get to the restroom. My attention was taken by a toddler who was pulling the toy from the other toddler. The other toddler refused to let go of the toy and started to cry. I can align this behavior as developmentally inappropriate because though there were other toys, this particular child want to be cooperate and play with another toy. In the same room I saw other toddlers playing with the toys but not interacting with each other. This play is categorized as parallel play. According to developmentalists, there were some "constructive play" that I observed as well. The children were using Lego building blocks to make a make believe plane. In the room there were also some "onlooker play". One child just stood with his thumb in his mouth and just looked at the others at play.
In conclusion, though I attend church every Sunday, I never really took the time to observe so many developmentalsit theories were occurring under one roof. I chose the church because I knew that God would lead me to getting this assignment completed. "I will continue to trust in the Lord at all times.

References: Feldman, R. (2011) Development Across the Lifespan. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc

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