Parent Interview and The Preschool Years Observation Blueprint
A. Parent Interview of a child age 2 to 6 Be sure to give the sex and age of the child you are observing before you begin the interview.
(Suggested questions: create your own also)
1. What age is your child?
2. Child’s height and weight?
3. How often does your child engage in physical activity? What types?
4. Is your child an adventurous eater, i.e., will he/she try new foods? Casseroles? What do you do if child only wants particular foods?
5. Does (did) your child ever act impulsively? Hit, bite, kick? Under what circumstances?
6. How does your child react to stress?
7. Does/Did your child ever throw temper tantrums? How old? How is his/her self-control now?
8. Is your child developing gross motor skills? Fine motor skills? What kind?
9. How many words did your child know at 2.5? How old was he/she before they could arrange words properly in a sentence, i.e., “Yesterday I went to the store with mommy.”
10. Is your child bilingual? If so, how did this come about?
11. What kind of a pre-school is your child enrolled in? (identify in your response for the paper if it is a child-centered or teacher-centered program)
12. How do you teach your child empathy (define it if needed for the parent)? Do you as a parent ever engage in helping behavior (define if needed)?
13. If you took your child to a gift store to buy a gift for his/her grandparent in the hospital, what kind of gift would he/she choose? (egocentric still? Will choose a gift he/she wants)
14. Does your child enjoy rough and tumble play (define if needed)?
15. Does your child have an imaginary friend? Who? For how long?
16. How do you demonstrate to your child that he/she has done wrong? How do you punish?
17. How many hours a day does your child watch TV or play videogames? Do you watch with them? Why?
B. Child Observation:
Spend about 45 minutes observing a child age 2 to 6. Observe their physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive behavior. Is it age-appropriate according to what we have learned? Although you were not required to interact with your infant, it is necessary for you to interact with this age child. Below are some suggestions, and you of course, may add your own. I must caution, however, to be careful when framing your own gender awareness questions. Run them by me first!
1. Do some reasoning questions with them. What if…….? Tell them an unfinished story and ask, “What do you think happened next?” If 5-6 years old, “What do you think I think happened next?”
2. Do some of the conservation exercises with them? Which line is longer, how many are in this group now (after re-arranging), the pancake with clay exercise, or the liquid transfer exercise?
3. Watch them play with other children if you have the opportunity and note their behaviors. Instrumental aggression? Empathy or Antipathy? Pro-social behavior? Anti-social behavior?
4. How are the child’s social skills when interacting with you?
5. How is the child’s self-regulation? (self-control) To test this, tell them excitedly that you have a present for them in the bag (maybe a little toy) but you’ll give it to them later. Leave it right there in front of them, leave the room for 3 minutes and see what happens. Do they ignore the bag? Do they touch the bag? Do they peek in? Do they take it?
6. Gender awareness: Ask if they are a boy or a girl. Ask if they play mixed gender or not. Ask a boy if he can be anything he wants to when he grows up. Ask him if girls can be anything they want to when they grow up? Vice versa for girls. Ask them if it’s OK for girls to play on the same soccer or baseball team as boys. Why? Ask them what they would think if they saw a boy doing something only girls do—what might that be? Ask the same of a girl.
7. Empathy and pro social behavior: Give an example of a child being made fun of at school and ask how the child feels for the child being made fun of. Give examples of helping behavior and ask the child if they would help, or “what would you do in this example?”
Type up your observations and be sure to include the three stages: 1. physical, 2. socio-emotional, and 3. cognitive; and if the child has age-appropriate development.