Monday, April 25, 2016

Lifespan Week 8 McGuire

In our final week, this blog post was a review on everything we have learned in this class and I took it to be how I can apply it to everyday life.

As I watch my daughter or my kids at school, I find myself noticing what stage they might be going through or what theory best describes the space I'm currently in. I never knew how to apply psychology classes to my everyday life but after reading the chapters and discussing with my classmates, I have found that I have learned so much more than I ever thought possible. What's also cool is that we did this class online with technology that supports that kind of learning. Technology is all around us and allows us to connect with so many people who are going through things that we many never have been able to understand before or who understand challenges that we are going through ourselves while they are half a world away. Amazingly now we can talk to them in an instant when before we may have felt we were going though life alone. It connects us on a global scale and not only allows us to help one another through our unique challenges, but helps keep us grounded in the fact that what we do affects so many.

Never allow your struggles to bring you down, God is with you and you are awesome. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, and if you have a near death experience, make sure to write it down because that light could have been heaven!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 7 lifespan and development MMcGuire

After reading the chapter, I learned there are four different types of death which was very interesting to me because I really only thought there was one type. There is clinical, brain, biological, and social. (Fiore 281) 

I have experienced a lot of death in my life. All of my grandparents, my mother's three brothers, a great-aunt, my godmother and a dear dear family friend who practically raised me. Grieving is an intricate part of death and I have seen many people grieve in their own way. I myself am not a crier. I didn't cry at any funeral even though I was very close to some of the people but my mother on the other hand cried like there was no tomorrow. Some people need to talk about it, like my father where as I don't do that either. I have a more internal grieving and while that might not be healthy, it works. One thing we all had in common in our grieving process is our spirituality. Which is probably why they put the two together in the chapter.

I think spirituality plays a huge role in death. Without a basis for what you think happens after you die, I feel a person  would be extremely scared of Death. If you are confident in your spirituality, then you can be comfortable with death knowing that something is happening to your body. That can definitely mean different things for different people though of course! My husband is a Jehovas witness and believes that after you die you just decompose until the rapture and then you roam the earth unless you're part of the 144.000 who are sent to eternal paradise. To him there is no heaven or hell or any sort of afterlife. I, on the other hand, am a Catholic and they believe that once you die, because Jesus saved us, as long as you have lived your life to the best of your ability, you go to heaven. Those who have sinned go to hell. Whether or not I believe in the damned (pardon my language) going to hell and the righteous goog to heaven, I believe that there is a place after death and when you die, I like to think everyone gets to go to a great place and be reunited with their loved ones. Without spirituality I would be scared, but with it I believe I am comfortable. It's not like I'm looking forward to death but I am not afraid.

"Death is the single best invention of life" -Steve Jobs

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 6 chap 9&10 lifespan and development McGuire

After reading chapters 9&10, a big phrase that stood out to me was Achieved identity. This is something that most, if not all, adolescents go through in middle adulthood. They're all trying to figure out themselves after puberty, continue on the road to self awareness and in doing this, shape their futures by their decisions.

My daughter's current favorite movie; King fu panda, has a quote in which Master Oogway tells Master Shi Fu that " My friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours, until you let go of the illusion of control." I feel this is relevant because a lot of us, myself included, who are  currently in middle adulthood feel that they are responsible for their future but in reality only God has a plan and knows the full extent of the outcome of your decisions. 

As you go through life, your decisions will affect you in both the mental and physical way though such as poor diet or a reliance on substances, which may be an example of negative decisions, that may lead you to change your habits and alter your identity. Also mentally you are continuing to rely on outcomes of previous life stage decisions to help you attain and continuously evolve your identity. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 5 McGuire lifespan&development

In chapter 8 we learn about adolescence and the Social, physical, biological, and psychological transitions that  signal the entry into it (Fiore 186). Many adolescents suffer from identity crisis and sexuality confusion and it's our job as adults to be sympathetic to them versus getting angry or not understanding. We went through all this at one time and we believed no one understood us just like they do. I've found that telling teens that we know what they're going through doesn't work though and can cause much yelling and slamming of doors! 
Physically teens are just around puberty and have all of the hormones cruising through them which can be confusing and emotional at the same time. I remember being an adolescent girl trying to cope with understanding why I like a certain boy and why I hate all people at the same time. It can be really hard. Also, putting so much pressure on how you look! Teens are going through so many physical changes that it's really unfair for other kids to judge them on how they look. One day they might have a huge zit or have gained weight and the next week the zit may have gone away and a month later the weight drops because they grew 6 inches. Boys experience voice changes and I know the voice cracking can be a source of laughter to others as well. It doesn't help that most kids think everyone is criticizing their behavior and physical appearance (Fiore 192) to begin with. 
It's always important to look out for warning signs of depression or changes in behavior that is really out of the ordinary. A minor bad day is one thing but if, as a parent or educator, you notice many bad days or depression symptoms you should talk to your child to make sure s/he isn't being bullied. I don't have to deal with this as a elementary educator to a high degree but there are kids who are starting to hit that 'tween' age and can be so mean to one another. Better safe than sorry! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

McGuire Week 4 Chap6&7 Thoughts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 2 McGuire Theories of Development

In the readings for week two, there are multiple people whose theories are very prominent in the studies of development. Freud and Erikson's theories are the two that really stood out to me though. With Freud's psychosexual stages and Erikson's eight stages, there is a lot to reflect on.

Freud believed that each person went though certain stages and if one failed to properly develop in a certain stage, they would be stuck in it such as the oral stage or the latent. Then you have Erikson who believed that each person went though eight developmental stages which are marked by a life crisis to move forward.

From an educator's standpoint, I agree with Freud's theory due to the fact that as an early childhood educator, I get to experience multiple children going through every stage from infant to the beginning to junior high. There are many who are in the oral stage or the phallic stage but it seems to me to be more obvious in boys than in little girls. For instance, I've observed that most of the boys in preschool are learning about potty training and how to go to the bathroom in the class around girls and have noticed (quite loudly at times) the differences between them. Obviously we try to curb that behavior and do our best to separate the potty times but with one bathroom and the door open its challenging.

But from a personal viewpoint, I agree with a few of Erikson's points in that there has to be a life crisis that marks each stage. I actually have a few that I can recall off the top of my head. Unfortunately one in particular stands out to me and I have since turned to behavior that many would consider unhealthy or inappropriate. It has taken me over a decade to realize that that event was merely one in many and I can still be the person I was supposed to be had that not happened. But sometimes I slip back into old habits especially if I'm stressed or scared and were it not for a loving family and an EXTREMELY patient spouse, I would continue down that spiral of negativity and self doubt. Returning to college has also helped push me to be the me I should have been and that is a huge blessing as well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Week 1: thoughts on introduction and mobius strip

After reading the first chapter and learning about how the human life is a continuously changing and evolving thing from birth to death, it was interesting to take that nugget and see how you could apply it to the metaphor that is the Mobius strip.

When I was younger, I went to a very small school and with only a class of 30 kids, I experienced how others disapproved of my inner self and learned to build that wall that Palmer described. It was easier letting others believe that I was one of them and carried the same views rather than letting them see my true self and be antagonized or left out.  Unfortunately as a teacher I am seeing how the kids are learning to separate their inner and outer selves from their peers and even us educators. It can be hard watching them slowly build those walls and grow increasingly angry or frustrated when no one else wants to play what they want to play or get excited about what they get excited about.

 What I really want for my daughter though, is instead of building the walls and keeping others out, to learn to accept herself and allow others to see it. Then perhaps she could more effectively create a fluid shape to allow for her to co-create her reality. Its hard to be the biggest champion for your own or anyone's child when others don't see the awesome that you see.