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Narrative emotional observation on a three year old

Carole Peterson and Beulah Jesso, Memorial University of Newfoundland Introduction to Narrative Development During the year that children are three years of age, they already have some of the important basic skills that are needed for narrative development, such as a sense of self that is becoming more sophisticated than it was when they were first developing it as one-year olds.

As 3-year olds, children are beginning to understand their own and other people's motivations and knowledge states.

They are learning more about their world and about the sort of relationships there are between events. They can now talk about the then-and-there. That is, they now talk about what happened yesterday, last month, and long ago as well as what will happen in the future.

Their language is more complex and they are continuing to learn how to use language so they can talk about objects, actions, events, and relationships. At this stage there is still a lot to learn about building narratives, and the ways children interact with their parents as well as their culture are important influences in helping them to learn narrative skill.

Child Developmental Abilities That Support Narrative Development Memory Memory for particular events in one's past that have personal meaning is called autobiographical memory.

Some memories of 3-year olds can clearly be called autobiographical and children can now express these memories with words and they can often be remembered for many years.

Some of these memories can even be recalled when the child has become an adult. Adults' first memories typically date from the time they had been three years of age. Being able to remember events for long periods of time as well as being able to talk about these events is important tools for narrative development.

Theory of Mind Theory of mind is the understanding of people as mental beings who have thoughts, feelings, desires, and intentions. By the end of their first year of life, infants understand that people have intentions, and 2-year olds begin to talk about the feelings that are associated with various events. When children are 3 years of age they still do not quite grasp theory of mind.

That is, they do not understand that someone can believe something that is different from what they know or believe. Nevertheless, children do make some strides in their understanding of minds during the year that they are three. They are beginning to understand that people have thought processes and narrative emotional observation on a three year old this time they begin to use words such as "think," "remember," and "pretend.

Thought structures Two important developments that help children learn how to tell narratives are 1 improvements in their understanding of cause and effect, and of events in time, and 2 developing understanding of how narratives are organized. Understanding of Cause and Effect Understanding the world requires us to recognize the relations between events. Even infants are able to observe simple temporal and causal relations between events. However, children's understanding of these relations continues to improve with age.

Three-year olds must learn about situating events in time last Monday vs. Children have an easier time understanding and talking about psychological causality the relationship between intention or emotion and behavior, e. It takes many years for children to understand, much less linguistically encode, all of these complex relationships. Developing Understanding of How Narratives are Organized Through experience with repeating events in the world as well as through listening to storybooks, children develop an understanding about how events are organized and this understanding can be used to help structure narratives.

The experiences that we talk about are mostly organized series of events, and over time, children come to understand that there is an organization to events. That is, there are beginning events, there are middle events, and there are ending events. As children begin telling personal experience narratives, they come to understand that these too are organized with a beginning, middle and end.

For example, beginnings should orient the listener to where and when the events took place, and narratives that do not tell us about when and where those events happened are more difficult to understand.

Three-year olds are continuing to learn the necessity of providing such orientation. However, three-year olds have much more difficulty figuring out and incorporating other aspects of narrative organization. In order to understand a narrative it must describe the events that make up the middle section of a narrative in the order that makes sense, but 3-year olds often have difficulty doing this. Children at this age often hop around from event to event when narrating about past occurrences and they often do not provide an ending to their narratives, but rather leave the ending events untold.

This jumping around makes it more difficult for adults parents, teachers to understand children's narratives. In the following example, a 42 month old tells about her sister breaking her arm.

When I go home I have to visit my aunt who's in the hospital. She broke both of her legs. And she has to have them kind of hung up, suspended from the ceiling with those little wires. She had to have a cast on? My sister had, she's had. She broke her arm when she fell in those mini bikes. Tell me about what happened.

She broke her arm. She had, narrative emotional observation on a three year old went to the doctor, so I, my dad gave me spanking, and I A: Your dad gave you what? A spanking to me. And she had to go to the doctor to get a cast on. She had to go get it, get it off and, and it didn't break again.

And it didn't break again. She still got it off. She can't play anymore. She can't play anymore? She can't play we, she can play rest of us now. In this narrative the child is talking about her sister's injury but then mentions getting a spanking from her dad.

The reader has no way of knowing how or if the spanking related. Did the child do something to cause her sister's injury? The child is hopping around from event to event, apparently leaving out important parts, and we have no way of knowing whether the events are related. We see a similar pattern in the following narrative, by a 44 month old.

  • She broke her arm;
  • These different styles of parental talk have an effect on children's narrative development;
  • That is, they now talk about what happened yesterday, last month, and long ago as well as what will happen in the future;
  • Notice how she encourages the child to keep talking by asking questions;;;
  • For example, beginnings should orient the listener to where and when the events took place, and narratives that do not tell us about when and where those events happened are more difficult to understand.

Have you ever been to Oberlin or Cleveland, or any place like that? I been, been to, to Christ Jovah's right there. I just said, I, I said, "Hi, hello, and how are you? I don't know what I did. I sure had a party. Again we have the child first mentioning that he went some place but then proceeds to mention going somewhere else and then mentions a party. There are no connections made between these events so again we have no idea whether they are related.

This type of hopping around in storytelling makes it very difficult for adults to understand the event being talked about. Language There are a number of ways in which children's developing language skills foster narrative skills.

These include 1 improvements in vocabulary and grammar, 2 ability to talk about cause and effect and time relationships, and 3 noun identification. Children's vocabulary continues to increase substantially, adding many words per week. This growth allows them to talk about a lot more objects and relations with language.

Their grammar is also increasing and this helps them to communicate in more complex ways. Having the 'right' words as well as the grammar help children not only to talk about events but also to remember them. We have seen that children are gaining a better understanding of the relationships between events but learning to put them into words can be a difficult task, one that 3-year olds work hard at.

Two- and three-year olds are learning to use 'because' and 'so,' and these words are mostly used accurately at age three. Children are also learning to talk about time e. Narrative emotional observation on a three year old important key to understanding someone's narratives is to know who and what the speaker is referring to. For example, consider the following by a 3-year old: I told her what he was doing.

And when I was doing it I turned and pushed him. It is also not clear whether each it refers to the same thing. Three-year olds understand and correctly use pronouns in their here-and-now talk, but they often have difficulty using them properly in narratives. Such confusion in identifying pronouns can make it very difficult to understand children's narratives.

Narrative Production Narratives not only report what happened in the past, but they also place the events within space and time. They also explain how and why events happened as they did, and why these events are meaningful. The narratives of 3-year olds, like those of 2-year olds, are not usually independent tales of personal experience. Instead, they usually take place while interacting with parents and others.

However, more and more of these narratives are started by children themselves, and children are contributing more and more new information. They are also responding more appropriately to the questions that the person they are talking to asks and they are contributing more information. These narrative skills are strongly influenced by parents, culture, and even gender. However, there are huge differences between children in how much talk is directed toward them and in turn how much and how well children can talk about past events.

  • This type of hopping around in storytelling makes it very difficult for adults to understand the event being talked about;
  • Thus, they provide elaboration about the events being talked about, and encourage and support their children's elaborations;
  • This jumping around makes it more difficult for adults parents, teachers to understand children's narratives.

Also, the amount of talking about the past varies between families. It is such talk about the past that is especially important for the development of both memory and narrative skill. Style of Parental Talk Parents differ in their style of talking about the past.

Parent narrative

Some parents encourage extensive narration about the past events being talked about. They ask lots of questions, especially open-ended wh- questions "What did we do at the zoo? They also add a lot of new information to the narrative. For example, if their child said that they saw a bear at the zoo, the parent might embellish by saying that the bear was big and fuzzy, too, and then ask for more information about the bear.

Thus, they provide elaboration about the events being talked about, and encourage and support their children's elaborations.