1.You are an educator trying to promote a positive self concept and self-esteem in elementary school children. How does self-esteem change during this period and what factors contribute to the change? What influences self-esteem? What are the consequences of extremely high self –esteem? Low? Should parents promote children’s self-esteem by telling them they’re “smart” or “wonderful”? Are children harmed if they do not feel good about everything they do? Why or why not?
2.What do you think about competitive academic activities like spelling bees? Consider the following questions; How are children affected by these events? Do these events encourage a mastery orientation or a learned-helplessness approach, or both? Could these activities be restructured to encourage cooperation rather than competition among children?
3.Friendships change in middle childhood and peer acceptance – the child’s relative likeability-becomes important because it is an assessment of the child’s worthiness as a social partner. Look in your textbook for the categories of popular, rejected and neglected children and answer the following questions. As a school aged child, did you have classmates that you would classify as popular-aggressive? What were they like and why do you think your peers admired them? What kind of changes in parent-child relationships might be necessary to help a rejected child? Classify yourself during this developmental period and support your classification with behavioral facts. Did your classification change as you got older? Why or why not?
4.Review ecological systems theory in Chapter 1 (pp20-21). Review the research on divorce and the consequences of divorce. How does each level of the environment contribute to children’s outcomes following a divorce? How do community –based services help both children and their families adjust to divorce? Describe either a divorce or a challenging time during your childhood. What aspects of the experience increased your stress? What resources helped you cope with the adversity?
5.Claire told her 6 year old never to talk to strangers. Why will this warning not protect her daughter from sexual abuse? Describe the adjustment problems of victims of child abuse . How can the consequences of sexual abuse carry over to the next generation?