My educational plan is to receive my PhD in Marine Biology. For right now I am three semesters away from acquiring my Bachelor’s in biological sciences with a concentration of natural science. The one struggle I expect to encounter during my time in college is finding the balance between school and my family. My infant is 6 months now and I am currently out of online courses therefore, I will have to be in class on campus full time now. From reading our textbook I know that mother-infant attachment is important for development throughout a child’s life so I want to make sure I am there as much as possible. Right now I am classified as being in early adulthood. According to Jeffrey Arnett in our textbook ( Santrock,2016) the five key features that characterize emerging adulthood are: “Identity exploration, instability, self-focused, feeling in between and the age of possibilities.” I still have feelings of being in-between pretty often. I’m in college again and I’m still growing as a person. I know often I don’t feel “adult” enough to be raising a child. It feels insane that I have so much responsibility. It is not an overwhelming feeling or a disappointment in having responsibility I just don’t feel qualified as an adult most of the time. I do feel like I have really settled in the age of possibilities feature for now. I am happy to have a family that is much healthier than the family I had growing up. I am proud to see my son growing up with a healthy childhood. I am also very close to my goal of getting a college education and am optimistic when planning our future goals.
I would like to work as a senior researcher with Mote Laboratory in Florida. Then once I reach older adulthood I will take my experience and get a job at the EPA to work on marine conservation/removal of trash. My typical day will consist of field work such as, gathering samples/data to review in the lab as well as lab work. The rest of my time will revolve around finding creative ways to deal with the problems being faced for example, the acidification of the ocean or helping to maintain/grow marine life populations.
“ Work defines people in fundamental ways. It is an important influence on their financial standing, housing, the way they spend their time, where they live, their friendships and their health. Some people define their identity through their work. Work also creates a structure and rhythm to life that is often missed when an individual does not work for an extended period of time. When they are unable to work, many individuals experience emotional distress and low self-esteem.” (Santrock, p. 315)
This quote from Chapter 11 really made me think about whether I was on the right course with my goals. I feel I have made a good choice in that I can continue to work as long as I want without the fear of being phased out later down the road due to my age. The mode of transportation for my job will be boating or walking; in order to get to work however, I will take my personal vehicle.
“For many people, middle adulthood is a time of declining physical skills and expanding responsibility; a period in which people become more conscious of the young-old polarity and the shrinking time left in life; a point when individuals seek to transmit something meaningful to the next generation; and a time when people reach and maintain satisfaction in their careers. In sum, middle adulthood involves “balancing work and relationship responsibilities in the midst of the physical and psychological changes associated with aging.” (Santrock, p. 338)
In accordance to this quote from our textbook from Chapter 13, I need to be aware of the physical changes that can hinder me in middle adulthood. Since my job will be a very physical one I will need to stay in tune with my body and ensure that I do not hurt myself. I will also need to balance my need to leave a positive impact on the planet with my responsibilities to my family so that I do not end up distancing myself from them.
I started my family life about a year ago now. I have a husband, a six month old and a 10 year old step-daughter. My six month old’s name is Fletcher and our 10 year old’s name is Ava. Our 10 year old is considered to be in the middle and late childhood age while Fletcher is in his early childhood. Due to personal reason I do not plan on growing my family biologically again; we do however, plan on adopting another child later on. It will probably be in another 7 to 8 years when we are financially stable and I am no longer in school. I plan on raising my children with an authoritative style of parenting as explained in Chapter 6 of our textbook.
“Authoritative parenting encourages children to be independent but still places limits and controls on their actions. Extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed, and parents are warm and nurturant toward the child. An authoritative parent might put his arm around the child in a comforting way and say, “You know you shouldn’t have done that. Let’s talk about how you could handle the situation better next time.” Authoritative parents show pleasure and support in response to their children’s constructive behavior. They also expect independent, age-appropriate behavior. Children whose parents are authoritative are often cheerful, self-controlled and self-reliant, and achievement-oriented; they tend to maintain friendly relations with peers, cooperate with adults, and cope well with stress.” (Santrock, p. 175)
I do plan on disciplining my child when appropriate and to have age appropriate rules. I want to speak to my children and help them find different ways to, not only, work out their problems but I would like to also teach them healthy ways to cope with stress. Acting out as a teenager is usually caused by the child needing to test parents boundaries. They want to know their parents will be there no matter what. The main reason adolescents tend to act out is because they are growing in autonomy. The adolescent is attempting to determine who they are, how they fit into the world and how to navigate friends and relationships. I would attempt to deter “acting out” by ensuring my child has good coping skills, and active lifestyle and access to advice from adults other than just myself (pastors, therapist, etc.) I will also strive to support my adolescent with whatever he wants to do while still maintaining boundaries. I will also need to ensure that rules be altered to coincide with the needs of my child, such as, changing curfew to a later time or having less stringent rules on when friends are allowed over. These are my goals when it comes to parenting down the road of course. Hopefully with the information I have learned from this class I will be able to accomplish these and more!
I would like to eventually live in a community that has a good mix of middle age adults, older adults and younger adults. I would like to be around people who have children my son’s age so they could socialize. So we would probably be in a well-established neighborhood in a community that is active together. I would like to be near a good school, fun/safe activities my child could participate in and a community that takes care of their less fortunate. “In another study, generativity was strongly linked to middle-aged adults’ positive social engagement in contexts such as, family life and community activities.” (Santrock, p. 356) In other words as you age social interaction with your community is an important aspect of healthy aging. The contribution of being active in the community to an individual’s positive mental health is a recurring theme in our textbook. The feeling of leaving a good impact on the next generation is also something one looks to accomplish in their middle adulthood. I would like to be involved heavily in the school system to help set up programs with the kids to help out the community. I would like to help implement programs such as, planting (trees/flowers) to areas in the community after picking up trash to help improve the common areas. I would also like to get kids more involved with keeping the beaches/oceans clean and educate them on why it is important. I would participate with schools to have field trips where they kids can actually come help and learn firsthand easy things they can do at home to help marine animals and to see up close the animals they would be helping.
There are five things on my life-changing list: scuba diving, graduating from college with a degree, flying an airplane, obeying the law to take garbage out of the oceans, and aging as healthy as possible so I can be with my family. … as far as I can.
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