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PEPSI Screening

Virginia Murillo

Edu 220: Education Psychology


Hearing about this project seemed very interesting to me and challenging. How can I

observe someone I know, and tell their parents whom I also know, what their child is missing or

what they need to work on? I chose to observe my 9-year-old godson named Jason born October

27, 2009 from Hispanic background. He is Mexican and Salvadorian. Jason is in the 3rd grade

and academically top of his class.

His mother Jackie which is one of my best friends gave birth to him at 20 years old. His

father would occasionally pick him up on the weekends. Jason has a younger brother named

Tommy who is 3 years old and a step brother named Jonathan who is also 9 years old. The boys

get along even though there are a few bickers here and there like normal siblings. Tommy’s

father Mario treats Jason as his own son and Jason even calls him dad.

When Jason was small Jackie needed a lot of help. She was a single parent and had to work

full time to provide for herself and her child. I would help as much as I can by babysitting Jason

in order for her to work and at times, so she can have a night out. From the time Jason was 6

months old to about 3 years old he spent every day with me and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Even though he liked being with me he would be upset and cry every time his mother would

drop him off. He just wanted to be with his mom all the time. When my friend Jackie got in a

serious relationship with her now boyfriend Mario, everything started changing. She got a new

job offer that payed her more money and she didn’t have to work as much. She had more time to

spend with Jason and received more help at home from her boyfriend, so I didn’t see Jason on

the daily anymore.

Now that Jason is in school and lives with his parents in California we do not see each

other as often but I still bring him with me every summer for at least a week. Unfortunately,

about 3 years ago when Jason was about 6 years old, his biological father passed away. Jason

still has a relationship with his paternal grandfather and uncles but is closer to his maternal


Jason has always been underweight. As a child you had to make sure he finished his food

or else he would not eat and play with his toys all day. Now that he is older he likes to eat. I was

somewhat surprised when we went to McDonald’s restaurant and asked for 2 sandwiches. Even

though it is very good that he is eating, he mainly like unhealthy foods. He does not like

vegetables or lean proteins. He likes fast food and foods that are high in carbs and sugars.

Recently he has gained a lot of weight. He is not excessively overweight but compared to how he

was he has put on some weight. According to an article is SF GATE “Children who consumed

more fattening foods while eating fast food were also likely, in general, to eat more unhealthy

foods at other meals.” I have noticed this pattern with Jason.

He has never really been athletic or in sports. He likes to go out and kick a ball or swing a

baseball bat, but he hasn’t been on a team or doesn’t go outside to play very often. Jason lives in

an apartment complex with no front yard, back yard, or playground. That might be one of many

reasons why he is inactive. He usually just plays with his toys, watches movies, plays with his

tablet or plays video games all day. “The average 8- to 12-year-old now plays 13 hours of video

games per week, while the average 13- to 18-year-old plays 14 hours of video games per week”

(Metrics 2.0, 2004). This is accurate with Jason for playing video games, however he will spend

an additional 2 hours a day watching TV or watching videos on his tablet.

One thing Jason is really concerned about is his physical appearance. When he comes to

visit me in Vegas for the summer he makes sure he gets in the pool or goes out until later in the

afternoon, so he doesn’t get “darker”. When I asked his why is he so concerned with his skin

color? he replied, “Because people don’t like dark people”. His birthday was just about a month

ago and for his birthday present he wanted shoes that Jordan’s brand name. “Our peers contribute

to our sense of belonging and our feelings of self worth” (Chirban, 2018). I see this behavior

with Jason. Now that he is in school he wants to be up to date with his fashion to fit in with


According to J’anne Ellsworth “At nine years old a child feels and expresses a sense of

personal dignity and self-responsibility”. Jason is responsible and independent when it comes to

his schooling. He makes sure he sets his alarm early for school. He gets up, brushes his teeth,

eats cereal, and then wakes his mom up to take him to school. He emphasizes on not being late

or absent. He worries about the consequences of being absent and does not want his grade to be


Even though Jason is very responsible in school he is not as productive at home. He is not

too responsible with eating healthy, doing chores, or picking up for himself. When his parents

ask him to wash his dish or make his bed he gets a temper and fusses. “According to research by

Sandra Hofferth, children between six and twelve years of age spend an average of just under

three hours per week on housework” (Kenneddy-Moore, 2018). That is consistent with Jason.

He does not spend more than 30 minutes a day doing chores. Getting him to eat healthy is

another struggle. Since his parents are always on the go, they are used to picking up fast food on

daily basis. This affects Jason’s desire for nutritious food and will affect his health greatly.

Jason has a younger brother named Tommy which he lives with. And Jason does not like

having to be a role model for Tommy. Tommy will copy everything Jason does and at times

Jason gets in trouble for not doing the right thing. This affects Jason’s sense of independency

and he can’t do everything he wants. According to curiosity “In a 2004 study, Richard Rende, a

professor of psychiatry at Brown University, helped find evidence supporting the idea that

siblings may be the single most important influence on children”. This is true in Jason’s case, If

Jason is using his tablet and Tommy sees him he must share with Tommy. Tommy is 3 years old

and careless he has dropped the tablet and broke it numerous times. I understand Jason’s

frustrations, but he also needs to be patient with his younger brother.

In school Jason does not have many friends. He knows right from wrong, and when another

student does something that is wrong, Jason is quick to tell the teacher. “Children may also tattle

because they want to get on a parent or teacher’s good side and because they think there may be

a reward for their not doing that bad thing their sibling or classmate is doing” (Lee, 2018). The

children in his school call him tattle teller and try to stay away from him. Jason doesn’t care, he

proudly says “yeah I am tattle teller because you guys do bad stuff”. Him tattle telling makes him

feel like the “teacher’s pet”.

Jason is manipulative at home with Tommy. If Tommy does something bad, Jason is quick

to tell mom and dad. But if Jason does something bad, he convinces Tommy not to tell. Tommy

always falls for Jason’s kind words and empty promises, so he never tells on his older brother.

Although an article in the Huffington post states “Youngest children are manipulative, social,

outgoing, great at sales. They got away with murder as kids and know how to get around

people,”. That has not been the case for Jason and Tommy. Tommy is a sweet young boy that

does anything his parents and his brother would tell him to do. Jason knows he has control over

him and makes him do things to cover his mistakes. Jason knows he is doing wrong by

manipulating his brother. When I asked him “why do you do that? That is not nice, and you

shouldn’t be that way” he replied, “I know, I feel bad sometimes, but I don’t want to get in


Jason is very intelligent, but like many children he does not like homework. He gets home

from school and wants to play video games, even after his parents tell him over and over to do

his homework. “It’s the child who can’t really rebel, so the only way to rebel is to delay doing

what the parent is asking them to do” (Weinstein, 2018). I can definitely see this happening with

Jason. For the most part Jason is well behaved. But I do see him procrastinating for his


Jason’s is not so successful in his social life as in other areas. Classmates stay away from

him because he tattles excessively. I think that him not having very many friends is one reason

why he wants to be up to date with his gadgets and clothing. According to Risas.Org “children

are also maturing socially and will now likely begin to express a desire for clothing that conveys

social status”. As I mentioned earlier, Jason wants to be up to date, and wants the best clothing.

He asks for Levys, Jordans, Converse and other brands that are considered cool. He wants to fit

in with students in other ways since his tattle telling pushes his classmates away.

A way for Jason to fit in is playing video games. According to Psychology Today “we

strive for relatedness — the need to feel like we matter to others and that others matter to us”.

This is his escape to have many friends and fit in. In the virtual world other kids do not know

who you are and regardless of your physical appearance, they choose to play and interact with

you. Jason is part of a group in a game called Fortnite where they meet online at a certain time to

chat and play.

In the virtual world he has no rules. Kids always have someone telling them to be quiet, sit

down, finish your homework ect. But online you manage your own actions. “In a game, players

have the autonomy to call the shots, do what they want, and experiment with creative strategies

to solve problems” (Eyal, 2018). When he plays online with his online friends they each have

tasks. I hear them say things like “watch my back while I build this house” or “they are coming

from the right side, get them”. They get to build their own house and protect their fort.

Jason is very intelligent, and I would consider him pretty up to date with his intellectual

development. He is above average in school and is a very responsible kid. He does everything he

can first before asking an adult for help. He wakes up and choses his clothes for school and gets

ready on his own. Even though he would rather not do homework, he does not ask for help

unless he is really struggling. He enjoys solving problems, doing puzzles, lego’s, science

experiments and school projects. According to PBS Kids “Eight-year-olds demonstrate more

highly-developed thinking skills as well as the ability to solve problems with creative strategies”.

Even though Jason is 9 he has been showing these skills from the time he was about 6 years old.

He is also aware of time and distance. When he was smaller he would always tell me that if

I wanted to be in California in the morning I would have to leave Las Vegas at night time. When

he would come to Las Vegas it would be at night and as he would fall asleep on the way, so he

would wake up the next morning in Las Vegas. Now if I tell him that I am leaving from Vegas at

8 a.m. he does the math and says that I should be there at 1p.m. Now he comprehends time and

distance. According to CROC Children website he should be able to tell time and distance

around his age.

Jason is very considerate. He understands that he has a younger brother and a step brother

that he must share with. Even though he does not always agree with sharing, he is very

understanding and compromises. If he chooses pancakes for breakfast, his step brother will

choose pizza for lunch and his youngest brother choose tacos for dinner. They will all have to be

okay with it and compromise because they each had they option. He is also aware that there are

people that are less fortunate than him. According to an article in Phycology today “The problem

lies with us, their parents and teachers who should be challenging them to think about those less

fortunate than themselves”. Every year for the holidays his family participates in social charity

events. They give out food for the less fortunate and donate toys to children in need.

PEPSI Developmental Chart

Physical Emotional Philosophical Social Intellectual

Jason Average

There is no right or wrong way to raise a child. I believe that every parent does the best

they can with the resources that they have. Some recommendations I will give to his physical

development would be to get Jason more active. I will recommend that he gets into a sports team

to get his body moving, and more social interactions. I will also recommend for his parents to

incorporate home cooking into his daily life. I understand that life gets crazy and it is easier to

buy fast food, but it is very unhealthy.

For emotional development I would recommend that his parents get more involved with his

daily routine. Even though he is a very independent child it would be nice for is mother, or

brother, to be up with him and maybe eat breakfast together before school. I would also

recommend that he gets a journal of some sort to let out his emotions on paper. Being the oldest

he must the feel pressure of being a role model.

Jason being a tattle teller is not bad per se, but I would recommend that they teach him to

keep certain things to himself. As he gets older consequences are probably going to get worst. I

think his philosophical development is a little different than other children due to the hardships

he has been through. I also recommend for his parents to be a little more observant when he is

with his brother. Even though I am sure they are aware of Jason manipulating Tommy they

should pay more attention to it and try to prevent it.

His social development needs the most help in my opinion. It is crucial for someone to do

well socially because it is a part of our everyday lives. He needs to learn to trust people and have

people trust him. Once again, I think sports is a great way to go. The teammates trust each other

and must work together to win. Jason does not get out much and spends most of his time with his

little brother and online friends. He needs real face to face interactions with more kids his age.

His intellectual development is his strongest point. He is an academic over achiever and is

in touch with humanity. He is very understanding, humble, and kind. Even though he does like to

wear brand name clothes and have cool gadgets, he knows that he only gets rewarded when he

does well academically. The recommendation I would give is to not give that much importance

to materialistic things.


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