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Guidance Journal # 1

Observer's Name: Brenna Johnson Child/Children Observed: J.A. and L.T.

Youngest Child’s Birth Date: 11/26/2013 Oldest Child’s Birth Date: 12/29/2013

Children's Ages: 3.10.2 and 3.9.29 Date & time of Observation: 9/28/2017 at 2:10 pm

Context: One of the teachers was setting up the block area with the Mega Blocks. There
were two children in the block area. In the Mega Blocks, there are multiple blocks and
one helicopter. One teacher was positioned in the block area throughout the interaction.

Interaction Interpretation
I brought the Mega Blocks tote over to the If L.T. had asked J.A. to play with him, J.A. could
blue carpet in the block area. J.A. was have been more understanding when L.T. knocked
already sitting there waiting for the blocks over his tower. Since the two were only acting in
to be set out. As soon as the tote was set parallel play, J.A. might have thought of the
down, J.A. reached into the tote and interaction as more of an attack than playing
grabbed blocks and began building a together. L.T. also could have built his own tower to
tower. knock over, if that what his goal or motivation.

L.T. walked over to the block area and Erik Erikson’s third stage of psychosocial
asked, “Where is the helicopter?” He then development is known as initiative vs. guilt. During
reached into the tote and dug around, this stage, children begin to assert themselves
looking for the helicopter. After a couple when interacting with other children. It is a time
seconds, L.T. grabbed the tote and when they begin to make their own decisions that
dumped out all the Mega Blocks. He can sometimes be seen as aggression. However,
noticed the helicopter laying on the floor many times the children are using the opportunity to
right next to J.A. So, L.T. kicked his way explore their interpersonal skills.
through the blocks and bent over to pick L.T. was interacting with his peers through play,
up the helicopter. and determining the reaction he might receive
following the decisions he made while playing with
As L.T. was walking over to pick up the the Mega Blocks.
helicopter, some of the blocks knocked
into J.A.’s tower. J.A. asked me, “Could Through this playful act, L.T. exhibited expressive
you hold this?” as he pointed to his tower. I and instrumental aggression. It didn’t appear that
then held onto his tower, so it wouldn’t fall L.T.’s goal was to hurt J.A.’s feelings. He only
over, as he continued to add more blocks wanted to be playful and interact with him, this is
to it. known as expressive aggression. It is also
instrumental aggression, because L.T. used an
As J.A. made his tower taller, L.T. walked object to crash into J.A.’s tower.
around the block area flying his helicopter.
He looped around the room, making the L.T. is in Piaget’s Preoperational Stage of cognitive
helicopter fly higher and lower as it flew. development. Through accommodation, L.T. knew
Each time L.T. flew near J.A.’s tower, he that helicopters fly, because he has possibly seen a
would shout, “No!” helicopter fly around in the sky before. However, in
L.T. again flew near the tower and flew this new situation, with him as the pilot, he created
into the top of it. As the plane hit, L.T. said, a new plan for his helicopter. Due to egocentrism
“Crash!” still playing a factor in the Preoperational Stage,
J.A. looked up from his tower at L.T. and L.T. has a hard time understanding that his plan
shouted, “Hey!” J.A. then looked down at might affect J.A. in a undesirable way. At this stage,
the floor and clenched his fists together. it is still difficult for children to take the viewpoint of
I responded, “Oh, L.T., J.A. didn’t want his
tower broken. How can we help him fix it?” The guidance strategy that was used in this
L.T. then acknowledged, “It didn’t all fall interaction was direct guidance. I addressed the
over!” situation and allowed L.T. to think of way to solve
“No, but some pieces fell off when you the problem. Although he never thought of a
crashed into the tower. I think J.A. would solution, he acknowledged that he had caused a
like some help fixing his tower,” I said to problem. I then used restitution, in order to help L.T.
L.T. see himself as helpful rather than bad. I could have
criticized him or controlled him, but that would have
L.T. agreed to help, and he proceeded in created a sense of guilt. With too much guilt, a child
adding a few blocks back onto the top of will reduce initiative growth opportunities.
J.A.’s tower. J.A. told L.T., “Thank you for Therefore, I thought the best guidance strategy
helping.” Then both boys returned to would be rebuilding the block tower that he had
playing with the Mega Blocks. crashed into. Although the guidance strategy was
appropriate, there are a few adjustments that could
be made for next time. I could have discussed the
feelings of both L.T. and J.A. as the tower was
knocked over. I also could have allowed L.T. to
create a solution to the problem in order for him to
understand how he can change or fix things. This
also would encourage him to choose appropriate
behavior because he will learn logical
consequences for the actions he takes.