The child observation is based on the general plan of the observation of a child, which helps to adequately assess and observe the behavior of a child in different situations. In fact, the child selected for the observation was a nine year-old boy, who was observed at home and at school. In such a way, it was possible to observe the child in different circumstances, which may imply the use of different models of behavior by the child. At the same time, the observation of the child was conducted during fourteen hours during three consecutive days. In such a way, the observation allowed to trace possible changes in the behavior of a child in the course of time. In addition, the observation of the child occurred in a different time of the day. The observation of the child during this time did not reveal any considerable deviations from the norm and the development of the child meets the current level of his physiological and psychological development.
First of all, the observation of the child began with the acquaintance with the child and getting the background information on the child. To put it more precisely, at first I conducted several conversations with parents of the child to obtain their consent on the observation and get some important information concerning the child directly from his parents. On analyzing the conversations with the parents I should point out that basically they assess their relationships with their child as positive, although, I have noticed that the father has quite high expectations in regard to his son and, on the basis of my conversations with the father, I made a conclusion that the father can have certain impact on the child. Initially, I presupposed that the child may suffer from certain psychological pressure from the part of his father, especially in his academic and social activities since the high expectations of the father naturally stimulated the child to take an active position in his relationships with his peers, school life, and involvement in other social activities, including participation in sport activities, etc. As for the mother, she had rather a protective position in relation to her child, but her attitude cannot be characterized as overprotection.
At first, the child was observed at home in the morning hours. The observation was conducted during two hours as the child has already waken up and spend the first hours of the day with his parents. The child was calm and a bit sleepy at first, but within ten-fifteen minutes he became more active and started to demonstrate his intention to play, which is the natural activity of a child at this age. At the same time, the child remained obedient to his parents, although they had to spend some time to invite him to a table to have a breakfast because the boy started to play with his toys in his room and was unwilling to give in this activity. Nevertheless, after an insistent demand of his parents, he gave in and went to the table. In such a way, the boy did not demonstrate any stubbornness or active protest against the demands and actions of his parents. In contrast, he demonstrated the habit to do what his parents asked him to, but, at the same time, he proved to be able to stick to activities which were interesting to him at the moment.
In fact, the child steadily grew more and more active, but his behavior was controllable and the boy demonstrated good abilities to self-control since he could changes his activities from dynamic to passive ones, according to the current circumstances. During the time, he was observed in the morning at home, the boy had never slipped to activities which could distract him from the routine actions he apparently got used to do day after day. In fact, the first hours the boy spent at home were mainly dedicated to his preparation to school. Remarkably, the child demonstrated a sincere interest to what he did, even if activities were not related to the play. For instance, he child readily fulfilled requests of his parents, if they asked him to do something, while all the rest of the time he was concerned with his own activities he believed to be important at the moment.
In general, the child seemed to be happy and accustomed to the routine of the early hours which he probably spent in the similar way day after day, but it did not make him bored. Moreover, the boy was eager to go to school that revealed his interest to study and learning.
Probably, this interest was shaped under the impact of his father, but, in the course of the observation, the child did not really demonstrate any signs of external influence since his talk about his friends at school and lessons were quite independent and did not resemble the words his father told about schooling in the conversation that preceded the observation. Instead, his interest was sincere and very personal, although it seemed as if he was more interested in the communication with his peers rather than in the study proper.
Remarkably, the boy proved to be quite open in communication and he was eager to tell me about what he was doing and what he was going to do, though, at first, the boy was a bit tensed in relation to me because we were not acquainted and the boy felt a bit confused. But soon he returned to his normal behavior and mood and, in general, he proved quite friend and open to communication with me. In such a way, I have managed to establish normal and quite friendly relations with the child practically from the beginning of the observation. In this respect, I believe the good attitude of parents to me was very helpful since the child saw that we have a friendly conversation with parents and grew confident that I did not represent any danger to him.
After that, I observed the child at school during lessons and breaks. During the lessons, the boy was active and participated in class activities, although he was not the most active student in the class. At the same time, I have noticed the boy tended to follow the group ideas and supported idea of his classmates. However, when he worked in small groups, he demonstrated certain leadership qualities and took an active position. In this respect, it should be said that his behavior was similar to the behavior of the overwhelming majority of children during the lessons. During the free time, the boy communicated with his peers and other children. He got easily involved in conversation and games with other children. He did not attempt to stay aside from other children, being alone. Instead, he demonstrated a vivid interest in activities of other children.
Furthermore, I have noticed the steady growth of the boy’s activity during the breaks and sometimes his behavior carried some elements of hyperactivity. For instance, he actively used gestures, his voice grew louder than he normally talked. However, such moments were not the characteristics of the boy’s behavior, but they were the result of the growing excitement as the boy got involved into play with other children.
Therefore, such behavior was quite normal and natural for the child of his age.
In addition, it is important to stress that other children readily accepted the boy and communicate and played with him. Thus, he was not excluded from his peer group, but, in contrast, he demonstrated good socialization skills. In actuality, the boy did not have any problems in communication with other children or adults. However, the next day, during my observation of the boy at school, I have noticed that he had quite tense relations with a boy from another class, whom I have not seen the day before. The boy, whom I observed, was unfriendly, if not to say hostile in relation to this boy, but their tense relations did not outgrow into an open conflict or a fight. Although they were unwilling to play with each other and when they were involved in a play together with other children they intentionally avoided direct contacts with each other. In such a way, I presupposed that they had some conflict, which cause I did not know. Later, when I talked to some of the teachers who knew the boy well-enough, I found out that the boys had a couple of fights before, but, at the moment, they conflict and tension in their relations steadily decreased. However, in order to make a more definite conclusion on the relationships of the boys I needed more time for observation, but it was clear that the boy had some problems with other children, but these problems were rare and exceptional, while, in general his relationships with peers were good. Moreover, the boy was active at school during lessons and breaks and he was good academic results.
On the second day, after the observation at school, I observed the child at home. The boy seemed to be a bit fatigued after the school. He was not as active as he used to be in the morning and at school. He preferred to have a rest, while playing video games shortly after he came home and dined. At the same time, the boy was apparently waiting for his father, who was about to come home after the workday. He repeatedly asked the mother when the father was supposed to come. On the other hand, he spent a good time playing video games and watching TV. Moreover, he gladly communicated with his mother as well as me and talked a lot about his day at school. I have noticed that the boy talked in details about his school day. Hence, I concluded that the boy had good relationships with his mother as well as the father.
The next day, was a day-off and I observed the child during the picnic, which the family had. This was the time where the child was very active and he played with his father. He did not seem to miss other children, although he was surrounded by adults only, including me, his parents and a couple of relatives of theirs. The boy readily communicated with all of us and he was remarkably more active than he used to be during the previous two days, during which I have been observing the child. However, within three or four hours the boy apparently grew tired and he was eager to come back home. His activity steadily decreased and on the trip back home he slept practically all the way.
Nevertheless, the boy was apparently content with the trip and the picnic since at home he asked parents when they planned to have another picnic.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the child observed demonstrated good communicative skills and a relatively high level of socialization. He proved to be able to develop positive relationships with his peers as well as adults, who were still important to him. At the same time, he did not have any serious problems with adults and he apparently had good relationships with his parents. At school he is quite successful and he managed to be able to stay active during lessons as well as during breaks. His activities did not change abruptly. Instead, he steadily grew more and more active, while as he grew tired he decreased the activity. In such a way, the boy basically meets the actual level of his cognitive development and has good socialization skills.