VIRTUAL CHILD ASSIGNMENT #3: MIDDLE CHILDHOOD
AGE: 6 YEARS, 11 MONTHS
1. My child's behavior towards the social situation in the home has been similar to that outside the home. He proved to be cooperative at home but would demonstrate instances of nervousness, anxiousness and dependence especially when exposed to a new situation. This reaction has become all too familiar, seeing that he would respond this way even as an infant. He did just fine academically and remained cooperative and obliging to the teacher's wishes. During recess, he was "appropriately active" in the small group of friends that he played with; and even though he was not the leader, necessarily, he was still well liked by his peers. The teacher did mention, though, that at times Leonidas would over react to stressful situations by becoming moody and slightly depressed.
Leonidas was always "slow to warm up" in new environments, but this extreme nervousness became all the more obvious when my partner and I separated 2 years ago. We were on and off throughout those two years and Leonidas would blame himself for the difficulties between my partner and I. I am certain this is where the mood swings and moments of depression stem from. My partner and I have started to bring him along to therapy sessions to help cope with his anxieties and fears. In attempt to (mildly) pressure my child to be more independent, I continue to provide emotional support and have even started rewarding him for doing (new) things alone. I'm not too fond of the whole idea of bribing my child, but I'm hoping if it's successful (in a reasonable amount of time), I'll eventually be able to cut back on the rewards and doing things independently for him will become a habit. Moreover, I figure the only way to conquer your fears is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This applies to Leonidas's nervousness about new social situations. I signed him up for after school activities because I feel that they are excellent experiences to enhance social skills and gain self-confidence.
2. Since the age of 4, Leonidas continues to be advanced in his ability to recall information (memory), understand quantitive relationships, and demonstrate strength in reading and writing. When he was 4, his teacher reported that he could read a few short words, name most letters on sight and perform above average on vocabulary tests. His report card just recently said that he is excelling in areas of reading, writing, mathematical problem solving and spatial understanding. I've noticed that when he's engaged in conversations with adults, he has the tendency to utilize difficult words. In turn, he has started incorporating this into his schoolwork. At the age of 4, his teacher reported that he was above average in his ability to retell a story. Since then his memory has gotten better. He has beaten me a few times in games such as Concentration now that he is able to remember where certain sets are placed. My only concern is when he retells a story, he leaves out a lot of details and also will mix up the order in which things happened. Something I do and will continue to do to better this is asking Leonidas questions that will lead him to tell the story correctly, rather than interrupting the flow of his recall and doing it myself.
3. Leonidas is still incredibly shy when exposed to new social situations. His preschool teacher noted that he was often reluctant to join different activities with unfamiliar children. His first grade teacher just reported that he has started to play in a small group of friends. She says that he is still shy but is well liked by everyone. Leonidas continues to take a while to feel comfortable in new environments, but once he familiarizes himself with it, cooperates just fine, as he did when he was 4 years old. Something I noticed that was new yet age-appropriate in terms of my child's behavior was the way he would engage in physical activities and keep the girls at a distance whenever he was with his "guy friends."
AGE: 8 YEARS, 11 MONTHS
1. After being tested by the psychologist, my child was classified as "gifted" according to the Wechsler Intelligence Scale. With 10 being the mean, 7 being one standard deviation below and 13 one standard deviation above, my child scored a 15 on Information, 17 on Vocab, 16 on Similarities and 16 on comprehension. The psychologist noted that was gifted in math concepts as well as visual spatial ability, and recommended he be tested for placement in gifted classes.
Verbal: In 3rd grade, Leonidas is at a 6th grade reading level and is learning new vocabulary daily.