parenting style ,social referencing and other concepts


The age group that will be observed in this paper is between the ages of 11 to 13 years. The observation will take place in a sports establishment for children. The concepts to be observed in this case will include parenting style, social referencing, Erikson’s stages, Piaget’s stages, and Vygotsky’s concepts. This observation occurred at Gertrude Complex sports center on the 3rd and 4th October 2013 between 11am to 1pm. The sports complex had people from a wide range of ages. Most of the visitors were adults aged between 23 to 50 years. There were also some adolescents between 13 and 15 years of age.

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Four male adolescents were playing in the basketball court. They were alone: under no supervision of an adult. Upon finishing playing, one of the boys told the rest that his parents were very furious about his academic performance in the previous term. The second teenager asserted that he was not worried because his parents did not care to take note of his performance in school. The four entered a restaurant in the sports complex to buy snacks. A mother passed by with her daughter, who was about 13 years of age. Three of the boys looked intently at her and the girl took the initiative to tell them hello. Her mother just smiled at the teenagers.

At the swimming pool section of the sports complex, a mother and her daughter of about 13 years of age were preparing to get into the water. The mother picked a pair of swimming costumes that she had bought for the daughter and asked her to try them since she perceived them to be nice. However, the daughter did not put on the swimming costume owing to her perception that they were not trendy. While the girl had a liking for a swimming costume that was tighter, the mother did not care much about her choice.

In the coffee shop part of the sports complex, two teenagers, a girl and a boy, who apparently were siblings bought cookies and yoghurt. Their ages ranged between 13 to 15 years. The girl paid for the snacks at the entrance of the coffee shop before they left in a huff.

In the football pitch part of the sports complex, a group of young boys were playing cricket. Four boys aged between 13 and 15 years were involved in the game. One of them, who kept on winning the balls, became overexcited and accidentally stepped on another boy. The two were aged between 13 to 15 years. Although the victim was very angry for being stepped on, things suddenly returned to normal upon receiving an apology from the other boy.

After some time of play, they started a conversation upon which one of the boys asserted that he did not like his auntie because she was too tough. He further stated that he finds it difficult staying at his aunties place whenever they visit her place since she does not allow her children the freedom to play freely or as they please. Most of their time is spend on books and they hardly have any time for games. The boy told his friends that his parents were a stark contrast of his auntie and for that reason, he had been allowed to join other children to play cricket. Another boy sensationally claimed that he too had differences with his math teacher because he is too strict.

The coffee shop in the sports complex had plenty of young boys and girls aged between 11 and 13; however, a parent/guardian accompanied each of them. The television set in the coffees shop was airing a discussion on celebrities and their mode of dressing. One of the parents told her daughter that celebrities do not have a good dressing style. However, from a distance, the young girl could be heard pointing out some of the celebrities who have good dressing codes. The mother could be seen nodding in agreement.

A parent or a guardian accompanied virtually all the teenagers who came to the sports complex. However, the number of girls that were accompanied by an adult was more than that of boys. The girls who entered the sports complex alone came to either swim or see a movie. After achieving their objective, they left immediately. Adolescent boys who came to the sports complex extended their stay for the sake of their games or just roamed about the sports complex. Most of the boys were sandwiched between their parents.

The information above integrates five concepts that were stated at the beginning of the essay. These include parenting style, social referencing, Erikson’s stages, Piaget’s stages and Vygotsky’s concepts. Piaget’s stage of cognitive development asserts that adolescents above the age of 11 tend to develop formal operational models. As evident in the essay, several children were using reasoning or deductive logic. It is believed that teenagers tend to harness a sense of individual and personal identity as witnessed in the Erickson’s stage where it is believed that, most of them started reasoning or using deductive logic in various ways. This cohort of kids tends to hold logical discussions with their parents. Therefore, parents are able to support their children come up with the right behaviors. Even though several parents are liberal, some of them are very strict. However, their temperament was not observed probably because the sports complex’s wide public area prompted them to take control of their emotions.


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