Free Essay Sample: Behaviour Observation

Published: 2023-10-10
Free Essay Sample: Behaviour Observation
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Learning Child development Behavior
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1220 words
11 min read

For this assignment, the main behavior that will be under observation is the whining behavior in a child who attends a childcare center. Fundamentally, carrying out this observation will provide valuable insights into the developmental process of the child as well as their likes and dislikes. By identifying what the child likes and dislikes, it is easier to understand their progress and consequently, plan activities and routines that can be used to enhance the learning process. Ideally, children are very expressive in the early development stage. It is thus easier to spot what they do not like as they discuss their ideas openly. Carter & Ellis (2016) maintain that understanding a child’s likes and dislikes makes it easier to comprehend their individuality. Consequently, the child should be informed that their preferences are important. This form of validation can be instrumental in helping them make decisions that align more closely with the learning process.

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Fundamentally, this observation will take place in the child center with 15 students per class. Before starting the targeted behavioral examination, permission will be sought from the center managers, supervisors as well as the targeted child’s parents. Ideally, the researcher will inform the stakeholder that no personal information will be utilized during the observation process. Furthermore, the rights of the child will be upheld throughout the entire process. The observations will be carried out during school hours, from morning to afternoon.

Student Profile

Essentially, I will collect the data on the targeted behavior. For this study, the child chosen was a 4-year-old girl, who is the youngest in a family of three. For the purpose of this investigation, she was named Kyla. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother. Occasionally, she spends time with her father during the weekends. This situation does not seem to affect her as her she leads a well-adjusted lifestyle. The student is social, chatty, and energetic. She easily gets along with other children in the childcare center. Primarily, Kyla was chosen for the study as she is in between milestones of her age. She can interact well with her peers and she is very outgoing. Typically, she is very emotional and empathic towards other students. She will always try to comfort any of her peers who get upset. She is well adjusted to the routine of the class and she is always aware of the times for the next activity. Based on this personality and behavior, Katie was deemed ideal for this assignment.


To observe Kayla’s behavior, several elements will be investigated including physical, intellectual, language, social, and emotional factors. a checklist will be utilized to identify physical attributes including balancing skills, running as well and hand-eye coordination. On the other hand, narrative techniques will be used to understand the student’s cognitive and language development. These techniques were chosen as they can easily be used to identify why most children in a preschool setting result in whining.

According to Kington et al. (2013), children whine and negotiate to get attention from adults. This assumption is based on Adlerian Psychology which elucidates that human beings have two main emotional needs-belonging and significance. One way in which a teacher or a parent can fulfill the need for belonging among children is to give them enough attention. In a child care center, the teacher is always busy as they are taking care of various children who have diverse needs. In this regard, when a child is not receiving enough attention, they prone to whining. Kington et al., (2013) argue that whining is almost always the next best way to demand the positive attention that they want.

Whining is sometimes referred to as outrage. Carter & Ellis (2016) mention that children usually continue with behaviors that work for them. Thus, as a consequence of whining, parents, and teachers should be careful about how they react to avoid defiance. In some cases, teachers give in to children’s outrage by rewarding them. Nonetheless, this move is not advised as children may make this behavior a typical way of getting what they want. Responding to a child’s whining gives them attention. Subsequently, they learn that they can do that over and over again to get the same result.

In this regard, Smith et al. (2019) suggest that whining among preschoolers can be stopped by removing the payoff attention. In doing so, the teacher or the parent can cut back on this behavior dramatically. Saying a simple no and sticking to it can stop the whining behavior. Also, a teacher can set classroom expectation in a calm and collective manner. Carter & Ellis, (2016) note that they can do this by role-playing the difference between a normal voice and a whiny voice.

Typically, children whine more in the morning after they have learned something (Kington et al., 2013). Between 8 am and 11 am, preschool children have learned at least one thing in their classroom. Usually, children whine to get attention from the teacher, particularly when asked to answer a particular question. Some students have learnt that speaking in a normal tone may not get them the attention they need in the classroom. Consequently, they opt for this behavior to get more attention in the classroom. On the other hand, children may whine in the afternoon due to hunger, frustrations, or being tired (Kington et al., 2013). By observing these circumstances, it becomes easier to anticipate when such behavior may occur and consequently work towards stopping it.

Whining Behavior in the Classroom

Student – Kayla

Target Behavior: Whining


Observation Dates: July 8th, 2020

Start Time - Stop Time Setting/Activity Frequency (Use Tally Marks) Total

  • 8:30 am 9:00 am Breakfast Time 11 2
  • 9:05 am 9:20 am Large group Illll 5
  • 9:30 am 9:45 am Small-Group 1111 4
  • 10:00 am 10:30 am Outside Time 11111 11 6
  • 10:45 am 11:30 am Work Time 1llll lll 8
  • 12:30 pm 1:30 pm Nap Time lll 3

Additional Comments or Observations

It was observed that the student wined more in the morning hours after learning something new. Usually, being asked questions by the teacher triggered the need for attention to show off what the student had learnt. Furthermore, the whining also increased during the hours nearing lunchtime as the student was exhausted from the day’s activities. Similarly, high rates of whining behavior were observed in large groups more than in small groups. At breakfast time, this behavior did not occur a lot.


The learning process is often adventurous for a child. Usually, students who are socially outgoing may result in whining to get more attention from their teacher. Also, learning new things can trigger this behavior, particularly when the student wants to show off what they have learned. In this case, the main hypothesis retrieved is that whining behavior in childcare centers occurs more in the morning after the children have learned a new thing.


Carter, M., & Ellis, C. (2016). Work ‘with’ me: Learning Prosocial Behaviours. Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood, 41(4), 106-114.

Kington, A., Gates, P., & Sammons, P. (2013). Development of social relationships, interactions and behaviors in early education settings. Journal Of Early Childhood Research, 11(3), 292-311.

Smith, J., McLaughlin, T., & Aspden, K. (2019). Teachers’ perspectives on children’s social behaviors in preschool: Does gender matter? Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood, 44(4), 408-422.

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