Naturalistic observation of a 2-year-Old Child

Naturalisticobservation of a 2-year-Old Child



NaturalisticObservation of a 2-Year-Old Child

Naturalisticobservation is a technique of examining people in their standardsetting. At that particular time, the people are not informed of theactivity. The purpose of this essay is to naturally see a child andimplement three theoretical perspectives of kid’s behavior. Thekid at observation is called “Child A” and he is two years old.The kid is from an African-Caribbean background, and the whole familyspeaks English as the second language. The fifteen minutesobservation took place at a park where her mother and family werepresent having a family time. I watched from a distance, and none ofthem was aware I was observing. Child A was not conscious of myobservations and intentions too. The observation time was around twop.m. The family had just come from having lunch. The date was 27thOctober 2016.

ChildA seemed very playful. He was very close to his mother. The familyhad two other older siblings. The baby seemed more close to themother than to the father. He was playing more with the eldestsibling and hitting the younger sibling more. He appears to have somebitterness towards the younger sibling, and he wouldn`t let him holda toy. He was jumpy, and his favorite game was running around withthe eldest kid. More often, he seemed to be hugging the mother andwanting to be held. The part where I found to be most interesting iswhen the baby wanted to sleep, and he chose to sleep in the mother`sarms. He would not sleep anywhere else apart from with the mother. Ipicked a few theories from the behavior of the boy and from how hewas expressing himself. All the other family members seemed to beshowing much affection to him. They were all trying to engage child Ato play. Apart from the younger child who appeared to be a littleuncomfortable with child A`s presence. I could tell it is from theharassments he was getting from child A.

Accordingto physical development theory, an infant of two years is expected tobe very playful. They can walk on their own, speak sentences that canbe understood by a person as well as reach out for things they want. For them to be considered healthy, they should be able to walk ontheir own without the help of another person, pick the toys they wantfor themselves or rather ask for it they can walk while carrying atoy. Some of the babies can as well stand on the tips of their shoes.These milestones are used in minors’ development to determine ifthey are growing at the average pace. Some of them are capable ofscribbling on paper at this age (Santrock, 2014). Looking at child A,he was doing things right for his age. He was active and veryplayful. He passed the milestones of physical development. Though hegot tired after playing for a few minutes, I guess it is because hehas a sleeping schedule and his body is used to such.

ChildA was expressing violence and bitterness towards his other brotherbecause he saw him as a competition. The boy is just caught up inthe excitement and frustration that is brought by his up-and-comingfreedom. He feels like he should explore the world which explains whyhe was all over others and tests his limits. He is also facing achallenge of controlling his actions, feelings and desires. He feelslike the middle kid is a threat to him because the other siblingstill gets attention from the parents. This makes him feel the needof being in control over him or eliminating him. Though the momseemed to understand the infant, there should be the use ofreinforcement and rewards to ensure that child A behavesappropriately. The parents should, therefore, ensure the kids areproperly rewarded and punished to eliminate undesired behavior. Itwould make him learn the appropriate ways.

Onthe cognitive development aspect, babies at the age of two arecapable of acquiring and associating things in his environments. Theyalready have a limited number of words in his vocabulary, and theycan differentiate between word meanings, they can also ask forwhatever they want and express themselves by talking. Also, they arecapable of recognizing familiar people. Child A in our case seemed tobe very close to the mother as compared to the father he wouldlisten to the mother when warned about something and ignore thefather. It felt like there is a distance between the father and him.Children form an attachment with the caregiver between the ages ofzero and two years. They might either build trust with the caregiveror mistrust depending on how well the caregiver meets their needs.Attachment gives the infants stability and security throughout theiryears. In my case, child A formed an attachment with the motherprobably because he stays with the mother more than she stays withthe father. The mother should spend more time with the kid and learnhis/her behavior. She has to attach emotionally to the kid.

Social-emotionaldevelopment focuses on a child`s experiences, communications, andmanagement of emotions. It also encompasses the quickness toinaugurate productive and satisfying relationships with other peoplearound them. The core of this stage is for kids to be able toidentify the emotions they are feeling and express them. At the ageof two years, they perceive and express their feelings beforeunderstanding them. They cannot control throwing tantrums, and mostof them act without thinking of the consequences (Santrock, 2014).Child A who is two years of age works without understanding the kindof emotions he is feeling. When he wants to sleep, and he feels likesleeping in the mother`s arms, he creates chaos to make sure thatgets what he wants. Babies are social beings and most of them learnby socialization. It is important for caregivers to nurture them onhow they express their emotions. Child A would fight his brotherwithout thinking about his actions. It is a way of expressinghimself. Healthy socio-emotional development for children isdetermined by the association they have with close family members andnurturing adults (Santrock, 2014).

Thebehaviorsof child A can be best understood by use of the three developmenttheories in psychology cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional. Allkids go through such stages only that the difference comes with thekind of environment they were raised and the nurturing of thecaregiver.


Santrock,J. W. (2014). Essentials of Life-span development. New York:McGraw-Hill.