Assignment 5: Advice Column
Assignment 5: Advice Column
In this assignment, you will be putting your developmental psychology knowledge to use in an applied, practical way and you will be reviewing many aspects of the content covered in the course.
Put your knowledge of developmental psychology to good use. Imagine that you write an advice column that is read all over North America (just like “Ellie” or “Dear Abby”). People write to you with all sorts of questions about parenting and child rearing. Your job in this assignment is to prepare three questions which might have been sent to you and to then answer the questions in two pages each.
The questions you devise may cover any aspect of life-span development including pregnancy, infancy, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary schoolers, adolescents, young adults, adults, and the elderly. The only condition is that you must select different age spans for each of your questions. For example, one question might be “My four-year-old insists that I set a place for her imaginary friend at the dinner table. What does this mean?” Another example might be “We are thinking of placing my mother-in-law in a home for the aged because she has become very forgetful. What are the effects of institutionalization on the elderly?”
You will be evaluated on your selection of questions and on your answers. Each answer should be approximately 1-2 typed, double-spaced pages. There is no required format, however you must write using full sentences, proper grammar, and citations within the text. The answers you provide must be supported by research. Answers which are based solely on your opinions are not acceptable. One purpose of this assignment is to develop your skill in searching out, reading, and interpreting psychological research. Two to three references would be appropriate for each answer. References are best if they come from professional journals but the occasional reference from a popular magazine is acceptable too. You must provide references for each answer immediately following each answer.
See the Assignment Schedule for the due date.
Submit using the Dropbox.
Question 1: “How can I help my adolescent daughter navigate her first romantic relationship?”
Adolescence is a time of great change and growth, including the development of romantic relationships. During this time, young people may experience many new emotions, including love, jealousy, and heartbreak. Parents can play an important role in helping their adolescent children navigate these experiences.
First, it is important to listen to your daughter. Adolescents often feel a strong need for independence, so it is important to approach the conversation with a non-judgmental attitude and let your daughter take the lead. Ask her about her experiences and feelings, and avoid giving unsolicited advice.
Second, encourage open communication. Explain to your daughter that it is okay to talk about any concerns or difficulties she may be facing in her relationship. This can help her feel supported and validated, and can also give you a better understanding of the situation.
Third, educate your daughter about healthy relationships. Discuss with her the characteristics of a healthy relationship, including respect, trust, and communication. Emphasize that it is important to set boundaries and to know when to end a relationship if it is not fulfilling or is harmful.
Fourth, model healthy relationships. Children learn by example, so it is important to demonstrate healthy relationship dynamics in your own relationships with others. This can include showing affection and respect to your partner and resolving conflicts in a healthy manner.
Finally, encourage your daughter to seek outside help if needed. If your daughter is experiencing any difficulties in her relationship that are affecting her well-being, encourage her to seek help from a trusted adult, a counselor, or a hot line.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Healthy relationships.
American Psychological Association. (2021). Love and relationships in adolescence.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Adolescent development and romantic relationships.
Question 2: “How can I help my preschooler develop a positive self-esteem?”
Self-esteem is an important aspect of healthy development in childhood and has long-lasting effects on future well-being. Parents can play a critical role in helping their preschoolers develop positive self-esteem.
First, provide positive reinforcement and praise. Children at this age are still developing their sense of self, and a positive response to their actions and accomplishments can help them feel good about themselves. Be specific and genuine in your praise and avoid comparisons to other children.
Second, encourage autonomy and independence. Allowing preschoolers to make their own choices, even in small ways, can help them feel more confident and capable. For example, allow them to choose their own outfit or snack, within limits.
Third, foster a growth mindset. Encourage your child to try new things and take risks, and emphasize the importance of effort over outcome. Explain that it is okay to make mistakes, and that mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow.
Fourth, encourage physical activity and play. Physical activity can help preschoolers build confidence and self-esteem, and can also provide opportunities for them to practice new skills and take risks.
Fifth, model a positive self-image. Children learn by example, so it is important to demonstrate positive self-esteem in your own behavior and attitude. This can include speaking kindly about yourself, accepting compliments gracefully, and avoiding negative self-talk.
Finally, encourage positive relationships. Positive relationships with peers and adults can help preschoolers feel valued and appreciated, which can boost their self-esteem. Encourage your child to form positive relationships by encouraging kindness and cooperation and by providing opportunities for