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Topics About Middle Childhood From The TV Show South Park

Four images will be used to explain the topics in middle childhood. I will describe each image and use key concepts and theories to demonstrate how it relates to that topic.

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1. Affective Development

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This GIF displays the teacher having a negative, rude attitude towards his student. Leeroy brought his turtle to show the class and the teacher made a snarky, sarcastic comment, in which he called the turtle dumb. In this case, Erikson's Psycho-social Theory is pinpointed because it affects this child's sense of identity and psycho-social development. Industry vs Inferiority is developing in middle childhood, meaning that children are developing specific competencies. In this GIF, inferiority is demonstrated the teacher shows discouragement which leads to the child having negative feelings towards themselves. Furthermore, Leeroy is lacking self worth, which means he's negatively valuing himself and his feelings about who he is. Likewise, his low self understanding also relates to Roger's Person-Centered Theory. This is how children perceive the world because they respond to it based on how they experience it. In this case, Leeroy's negative experiences leads him to developing a poor healthy personality and self concept.

2. Bullying

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This GIF shows that one boy is directly verbally bullying the other boy. The first word that comes out of the aggressors mouth is, "You Idiot!" Then, the victim was explaining that he was just trying to show someone how to play. The bully responded by calling him "stupid," which is another mean word. The victim has a frazzled look on his face. Bullying is a key concept of middle childhood because one child is intending to harm the other child on purpose. There are two types of bullying direct and indirect. Being physical, verbal and teasing people are examples of direct, while relational, cyber and rumors are cases of indirect.

There are different contributing factors to bullying including, harsh parenting, temperament and social learning. In this case, it seems like the factor is due to peer status. The aggressor is wearing a "captains" shirt, which signifies that he is the leader. Bystanders are standing in the back of this GIF, just staring and witnessing this occur. They are not stepping in and sticking up for the victim. Physical appearance may be a factor as to why the victim is getting bullied. In order to reduce victimization, it's essential to establish bullying prevention and intervention in elementary schools.

3. Peer Relationships

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This GIF demonstrates how peers interact with one another. A group of peers are standing around each other playing catch with a football. They all have huge smiles on their faces. This compares to friendships in middle childhood because it seems that these children have a mutual liking towards each other. Also, school-aged peers typically spend time playing in organized and structured activities, such as the sport shown in this GIF, and cooperate well with one another. Moreover, Sullivan's Theory of Interpersonal Relationships relate to this part of the GIF because playmates are a necessity in middle childhood. Peer relationships influence development and friendships, as shown above, help fulfill social needs. Peer relationships are beneficial to school-aged children because they can promote pro-social behaviors and academic success. With that being said, friendships are formed based off of mutual liking and the amount of time spent together. This eventually leads to "cliques" being made in middle childhood. In contrast, there are children who get nominated disliked by peers. Social statuses determine whether children are rejected, neglected, controversial or popular, based on children's likes and dislikes. In this GIF, the boy on the outside is clearly left out. His face looks sad and he is staring at the other children playing. I interpret this scenario as children having a lower liking and disliking perception on this boy, which means that he is neglected. The children playing seem to think he's invisible and the isolated boy isn't acting out aggressively to get their attention.

4. Parenting

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This GIF illustrates Eric's mom telling him that he has to get ready for school. A key concept that's described is parenting styles because the the mom is guiding her sons behavior. The mom is showing warmth towards her son because she calls him "sweetie." Likewise, she is displaying a controlling parental figure by reminding him that it's time to get ready for school. This validates that she cares about him and supports his needs. With those two dimensions explained, it's clear that the mom is an authoritative parental figure. These type of parents generally raise their child to achieve more in school, have greater self esteem. Authoritative parents are positively related to secure attachments.

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