The Sexualization of Early Childhood

Surprisingly the topic of sexualization did not surprise me at all because the children in this generation is growing up a lot faster than they did when I was a child. Children as young as 2 and 3 are listening, rapping and singing songs about sex, drugs, violence,
murder, and guns all because the parents expose them to this type of music and genre. “Many industries make an obscene amount of money using sex and violence to market their products to children. Whatever their race, ethnic group, economic status, or gender, and whether they can afford to buy a lot or very few of these products, children are deeply affected” (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009, p. 2). Children imitate things that they see and hear adults and older children say and do. According to Levine and Kilbourne (2009) “… children who are learning to look and act in ways that disturb and even shock many adults. But these children are acting in ways that make perfect sense given the sexualized environment that surrounds them” (p. 2). In this day and time nothing is off limits as to what children say, do, or even wear because it is the norm for their generation. It seems like everything is acceptable in their generation.

I have a six-year-old son and he has gotten in trouble for saying something about a picture of a woman. He had a video game booklet that had pictures of the animated men and women. Well one woman in particular was dressed provocatively and he saw the picture. Upon him getting on his after-school van, a teacher overheard him say “she is hot as f***” and he was written up for that. I could not figure out where he learned how to say that because I do not talk like that and I screen what he watches on television and his tablet. I fail to realize that he is surrounded by other children and adults when he is in school and at other family members’ houses. How quickly was I reminded that children are like sponges, soaking in all they observe in their surroundings. As a professional, I have little girls in my classroom that dress inappropriately for their ages. They wear short shorts, tight pants or leggings, spaghetti string shirts or belly shirts.  I do not like when they come in dressed that way because I would not dress my daughter that way because there are a lot of pedophiles around and young boys should not be exposed to that at their ages either. But what can one expect when the parents dress that way themselves? Some of my boys come in with “wife beaters” on and with their pants sagging and they are 4 and 5 years of age. Just the other day, one of my little 7-year-old girls told me that my son was her boyfriend and that when they get older they are going to get married and be husband and wife. I kindly told her that she was too young to be talking about a boyfriend and getting married. I told her that my son does not have a girlfriend and that his education comes first.

Regardless of how much exposure, whether big or little, children encounter in a sexualized childhood it will have a negative impact on their healthy development. Levin and Kilbourne (2009) claim “violence and sexualization that saturate marketing and media… limit opportunities for children to develop as whole people and undermine the very foundation necessary for children to actualize their full potential and to value and respect themselves and others” (p. 6). When children are exposed to these messages, the foundation for understanding and being able to form healthy relationships when they are older will cause confusion. Girls will grow up thinking that they will have to dress inappropriately like the women in the music videos or television show. Girls perceive themselves as objects, and center their self-worth on how striking they are, using the media to compare themselves to the awareness of the so called “ideal” beauty.  The boys will be impacted as well from the messages in regards in viewing girls or women. Boys grow up confused when they hear songs that call women derogatory names, and see women dressed in little to no clothing.  Sooner or later boys learn that girls are objects, and will see them through the same media scope. “Both girls and boys, but especially girls, are pushed into precocious sexuality in appearance and behavior long before they understand the deeper meaning of relationships or the sexual behavior they’re imitating” (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009, p. 3).  One way to minimize the negative impact on children is that an early childhood professional could work with families to create home environments that limit children’s exposure to inappropriate media/experiences. The best way to fight this problem is to support the parents without putting the blame on them.  In creating a close relationship with families, the teacher will be aware when these issues arise.  It is our responsibility to help parents work through the problems without judging and blaming (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009).

In learning about sexualization on this week it has really raised my awareness of the sexualization of early childhood. I had no realization as to how young children are so influenced by sexualization. I thought that it would have a more negative imp
act on the old
er children but in reality it is starting at younger ages. Most efforts to restrain
sexualization is focused on adolescent girls, despite the groundwork being started in the early childhood years, and that boys are equally affected (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009). To make an observable impact on young children’s development, we as educators must start earlier than adolescence, and focus on both genders to truly make a difference. With the help of intervention of parents, educators, and the community it is imperative to regain control of the sexualized environment that continue to demoralize children’s healthy sexual development.


Levin, D.E., & Kilbourne, J. (2009).  [Introduction]. So sexy so soon: The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids (pp. 1-8). New York: Baltimore Books. Retrieved from:



Evaluating Impacts On Professional Practice

In our professional lives as well as our personal lives, we at some point in time have experienced some type of “ism” whether it was personal or happened to a family member or loved one. “An ism is about the institutional advantages and disadvantages people experience due to their membership (or perceived membership) in certain social identity groups” (Derman-Sparks, & Edwards, 2010, p. 24). Consequences that I might expect for the children and families I work with while encountering racism is the lack of trust and shattered partnerships and relationships with the children and their families. Due to the fact that some families may be private they might not want to share any pertinent information with me about their family. Some of the families may feel like they are welcomed in regards to their child’s education. Because of the lack of self-assurance and feelings of subordination within myself, I feel that the children would suffer because of my lack of showing affection, warmth, and nurture towards them. A person that may experience racism might have feelings of internalized oppression. Internalized oppression can be defined as the “belief in the entitlement and superiority of oneself ad one’s social identity group(s), based on societal myths and misinformation” (Derman-Sparks, & Edwards, 2010, p. xii).

Having adverse feelings as to who I am may cause me to communicate less efficiently with the children and their families. Children are keen observers. “As children observe their families and the world around them, they form understandings about the status of different groups in th
e broader society” (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010, p. 15). They watch and imitate adults in the way that they act and talk. Because children are such great observers they pay close attention to the small but significant clues as in how teachers are feeling (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). So we have to be careful what we say or do around children. “Moreover, children are quick to notice double messages-what adults do teaches as least as much as what they say” (Derman-Sparks, & Edwards, 2010, p. 32).  Children also watch how adults interact with one another within their program.

Children and families who are targets of racism will also feel a certain level of discomfort. Sometimes families feel helpless when they are not able to do anything about certain things because they do not have the resources and do not know how to move further when they are rejected. This can be damaging individual’s self-worth and self-image, and harmful to the group because it continues discrimination and oppression. In growing up I experienced racism and class-ism when I was in elementary school. No one wanted to play with me because of the way I was dressed. I did not have the best of clothes or shoes. I come from a family that was at the poverty level and we survived off of bologna and bread. It was a struggle for my mother and seven children and a grandchild. We were put into foster care when I was six years of age and remained in care until I was twenty. I felt all alone and left out. I was told by my first Caucasian social worker that I would never be anything in life and that I would be nothing but a number in the system because I was black and in foster care. I was really hurt by that statement. Although I was young, I still knew what it meant and I could not believe that she said that to me. I had it hard growing up but I did not let that stop me from graduating from high school, obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree and now working on my Master’s. I took the negative words that she told me and used them to motivate me to become somebody in life and to make her out to be a lie. I am more than just a number. I am what God created me to be.

As an educator I need to be aware of how the different ‘isms” affect me in my personal and professional life because it will affect the children and families that I will be working with. That is why I think that it would be a great idea to do a self-reflection and vigorously monitor my personal and professional well-being.


Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

Observing Communication

I work with children ages three through five so I decided to observe a two and three- year-old class since I was not around this age group as much. In walking in the classroom, I started to observe the teacher interacted and communicated with the children.  The class consisted of 9 two and three-year-olds. There are seven boys and two girls in the class.  As I entered into the class some of the children were playing in the housekeeping area and others were on the floor playing with blocks and floor puzzles. The teacher was cleaning off the tables because they had just finished their breakfast. The teacher had her back against the class as she wiped off the tables and swept the floor.  Every now and then, the teacher would tell a child to sit down or be quiet but never stopped what she was doing or make eye contact with the child she was talking to.  When she finally finished cleaning she told the children to clean up because they were getting ready to have their circle time. When they were done cleaning the teacher gathered all of her materials for circle time and sat on the floor. The children sat on the floor in a circle. At this point the teacher was at the children’s level.  In the media segment Kolbeck states how vital it is for the teacher to bend down on the child’s level so that he/she is able to talk and listen to the child (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  During circle time, they sang a song that allowed each child to stand up and dance when their name was called. Some of the children stood up when their name was called and those that did not stand up to dance the teacher skipped their name.  When the song was finished, the teacher asked each child their name, birthday, and age.  For the most part most part, majority of the children did not know their birthday and last name but they knew their first name and age. Some had to have assistance from the teacher.  After circle time they broke up into their center time. I did not observe the teacher communicated with any one child at any point.
However, I noticed the teacher communicated with a child when he was doing something they should not.  For example, one little boy was throwing blocks. The teacher hollered out the child’s name and told him to, “Stop throwing the blocks becmaxresdefaultause he may hit somebody with one.”  The teacher was not paying attention to the children play
ing and she was walking around and doing other things.  One philosop
hy that Kolbeck suggests is that
teachers watch children play so that they can learn about that child (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).
Within this class I learned that the 2 year olds in this class used verbal words as well as body language to express themselves.  For example, the teacher turned on the cd player and played music and all the children jumped up and started dancing, spinning around and jumping up and down.  They were even trying to sing the words to the song even though they did not know all the words. This assured me that the children enjoyed listening, singing, and dancing to the music.  In the media segment Kolbeck children use their bodies a lot to communicate (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  At one point I finally heardDrawing Workshop for Children the teacher ask one little girl what she was drawing in the art center. The little girl responded with “my mommy and daddy.” The teacher then asked her to tell her more about her picture and she did. Then there was the time when she was talking to the little boys in the block area and they were talking to her about spaceships and swords. Stephenson (2009) states that “many children were eager to spend time with an adult who was keen to listen to them. The challenge was to search for ways of talking with them that they would find engaging and that would allow them to share their ideas” (p. 90). The children did not mind speaking with the teacher and she found a way for them to further express themselves and go into detail with open ended questions. As a group there was a lot of verbal talking even if the children did not say words correctly but as individuals every child seemed to be on a different level in their speech/language skills. During circle time I feel like the teacher could have interacted more with the children to get them to talk and share ideas like reading a story and ask them questions that would encourage them to give a detail answer besides yes or no.  Overall, I feel like the teachers communicated to the children with respect. The teachers did not use a lot of short phrases and simple
words with children but complete sentences.  Even though they stuck by their schedules the teacher did not let the children know what they were going to do next they were just told to clean up and sit down. In the article “The nature of teacher talk during small group activities,” it was revealed that the teacher’s conversation with the children were limited to telling them what they were going to do next (Rainer Dangei, & Durden, 2010).   “Teacher talk is a powerful classroom tool.  Studies document the importance of teacher language in children’s development, in early literacy development, in children’s perceptions of self and others, and in facilitating play (Rainer Dange,i & Durden, 2010, p. 74).  How I observed the communication between an adult and child is different compared to how I communicate with young children.  When working with children especially young children, I try to find creative ways that the children can communicate and use their words.  I talk to them and get them to tell me a little about themselves indirectly such as their favorite toy, activity, color, sport, food and then ask questions and make statements. Whenever I speak with my children, I get down to their level and to talk as well as listen.

In reading this week’s resources, I learned that it is important to watch how children play because it tells a lot about the child (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). I also learned that when interacting with a child, we should allow the child to respond.  The teacher must create a space where the adult and the child is able to hear and listen to one another (Stephenson, 2009). One way I feel that I can improve is the strategy that Stephenson (2009) mention which is stepping back and how I can actually learn how much a child is trying to tell me if I only just listen and hear them.


Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Strategies for working with diverse children: Communicating with young children. Baltimore, MD: Author

Rainer Dangei, J., & Durden, T. R. (2010). The nature of teacher talk during small group activities. YC: Young Children, 65(1), 74-81. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Education Research Complete database.

Stephenson, A. (2009). Conversations with a 2-Year-Old. YC: Young Children64(2), 90-95. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Education Research Complete database.

Creating Affirming Environments

9d068f58a2da4fc776d27fbc64cae97aThere will be a built on ramp for any person that may be confined to a wheelchair or have any other disability. Upon entering in my family childcare home, the parents will be greeted by a staff member or myself. “Children must feel safe, loved, and nurtured to develop the basic trust they need for healthy development” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.52).  There will be a notebook for the parents to sign in and sign out before entering and exiting the facility. In the front entrance on the left side of the wall will be a bulletin board full of information such as lesson plan, daily schedule, activities, upcoming events, and any other pertinent information that the par
ents need to be aware of. The information will be written in various languages that
is presented in the family childcare home. This will help families to feel like their home language is vital. There will also be a bigger board that will display pictures of each family. Under each child’s family picture will be a small tray with their name on it and a tray with my name on it as well. These trays will be for correspondence and other documents to exchange between parents and myself.

couchThere will be a calming/safe place area that will be for the children that may have a hard time transitioning from their parent in a more content way. Sometimes parents do not have a lot of time to comfort their crying child, but the same time the parents want to know that their child is in good hands and feels comfortable leaving them in their emotional state. In this area there will be a sofa, with pillows, books, and stuffed animals. This is vital because it will serve as a way for the children to express their emotions in a more constructive way. For instance, a child may be upset and crying, the teacher/educator will not stop the child from crying, but will allow him or to express their emotions. Eventually the child will stop crying and calm down, and will join the class when they are ready (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).

There will be another room that will be set up for group or rug time. The room will be painted in a bright color with educational and learning tools posted on the walls as time This is where the students and the teachers will come together and go over their good morning songs, read stories, meet and greet, and also have small conversations. Parents will be allowed to sit in during this time if they wish to do so. In the media segment Castillo talks about the importance of circle or group time because it is an important part of their day where the children are allowed to converse with one another and the parents can participate as well and this will generate a partnersbookcaseship between the parents and educators (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). There will be two book cases that will have books that represents different ethnicities, cultures, genders, families, and disabilities. This will allow children to see themselves and others
that are portrayed in the books. There will also be pictures of the same thing displayed in this room as well. The children will learn how to count, say their shapes and colors in Spanish as well as any other language that may be represented in the class. This will support all the children and help them to appreciate one another home languages.

There will be a large room that will serve the interest areas that will be the learning centers. The interest areas that will be represented are blocks, music, dramatic play, manipulatives, art, reading and writing, sand/water, and math/discovery. Each center will be developmentally appropriate for each group that will be in the class. All shelves and containers will be labeled and have a picture to go with it so each child knows what is what and where it belongs. The shelves will be at the appropriate height for each age group.  Block-Area-300x155In the block center will be foam blocks, wooden blocks, cardboard blocks, soft blocks, community workers, people with disabilities, and animals. In the dramatic play area will have a diverse mixture of dolls that will include race, ethnicities, gender, and religions if possible. I will include dolls that will have physical challenges that include but not limited to dolls in wheel chairs, hearing impaired or wearing leg braces (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). Children should be exposed to the differences in people because when they become a part of the real world they will see people with disabilities and not be alarmed because they were introduced to it in their class. There will be dress up clothes that will include different community workers, different cultures, props for both genders. “Cooking tools and empty food containers from the children’s families are included, as well as plastic food from various cultures” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 52). In the manipulative center or table top toys will be blocks, legos and puzzles. Derman-Sparks and Edwards (2010) states “these must be separated from their packaging, which often portrays stereotypes” (p. 52). In the art center there will be a variety of art supplies ranging from different colors of construction paper, glue sticks, popsicle sticks, different types of paint (watercolor, finger, tempera), paint brushes, modeling clay play dough, to magazines, crayons, and markers. In the reading and writing center will be paper, pencils, dry erase boards, an easel, books, flash cards, letter tiles, and other appropriate materials. The sand/water will have items that will pertain to the theme for the week or month whether it is a beach theme, under the sea theme, or zoo theme. The math/discovery center will have pictures, magnifying glamusic time 013sses, money, dominos, file folder games, farm animals, dinosaurs, bear counters and so much more. In the music area will be music of various cultures,
streamers, different instruments, CD’s that represents the
children’s home language, drums, and maracas. This area is important because each child be exposed to music of and from their own culture (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).

The educational and learning setting would also contain a strengths-based viewpoint of educating, that develops the knowledge that the children already have upon entering into the program and what thsocial justiceey are avid about. Topics such as social justice and diversity will be taught along with, conflict management and resolution, and learning how to perceive one’s own thinking. In learning about different cultures and religions family traditions, holiday traditions, and celebrations will not be the only way to learn about the different cultures and religions that are represented within in the class and those that are not in the class. In doing this, it is an excellent way for teachers to avoid the tourist curriculum. “In a tourist curriculum, instead of making diversity a normal part of the onartifactsgoing, daily curriculum, activities about “other” cultural groups occur only once in a while, to celebrate a holiday, to enjoy a special food, or to welcome a one-time guest” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 48).  I will also display in the
classroom a designated spot were families can bring in different items that represent their family and culture (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).

Off from the kitchen will be a room set up for the children to eat their breakfast, lunch, and snack. The children will be eating nutrifood 2tional food and the appropriate serving. Children will have the opportunity to explore and be introduced to n
ew foods from different cultures. This is a great way to get children to eat food that is different from their culture and what they are used to eating. Different pictures of foods will be
displayed around the room along with different cookware and utensils that different cultures use.

The rationality of my choice would be that I will be making the invisible visible in a sense that children and their families who rarely see their culture represented will have that opportunity in my family childcare home. Every family will be represented within the class and that will help and incorporate the feel of belonging and establishing a partnership and relationship. No one will be excluded but included. “Relationships and interactions with children and families, the visual and material environment, and the daily curriculum all come together to create the anti-bias learning community” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 51).


Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J.O. (2010).  Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves.  Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children

Laureate Education, Inc., (2011).  Strategies for working with diverse children: Welcome to anti-bias learning community. Baltimore, MD: Author

What I Have Learned


One hope that I have when thinking about working with children and families is to expose them to the different diversity that is within this world. I would hope and pray that I will be able to help the children and their families grow a deeper understanding and knowledge of differences in each individual and to have an appreciation for all people. I also hope that families would learn how to embrace their differences and cultures and be more open in sharing their cultures, rituals, values, and beliefs with other children and families with in 1585295626_1340580375the classroom setting. In doing this it can help enclose the gap between educators and families, help educate other families and children, bring the community in unity, and use as a teaching instrument in realizing and understanding accepting everyone. My overall hope is to make each family feel loved, valued, comfortable, and respected within the classroom in learning who they are and also let them know that I am teachable as well.

One goal I would like to set for the early childhood Diversity-Embracefield related to diversity, equity, and social justice would be to educate and provide teachers with more courses and/or training in diversity. As early childhood professionals we need to stay abreast on current trends as well as new notions or concepts so that we can edify our students to the finest of our abilities and to their fullest potential. I will also like to stay up-to-date in anti-bias education and see it incorporated more into classrooms. In staying current on the latest trends and issues of the world, I will be able to not only educate myself, but my students and fellow colleagues as well.

thankYouKidsI would like to say thank you to my colleagues for all of your support throughout this course through the discussion boards, and blog post. Not only have you helped me grow as an individual, mother, and educator, you have helped me grow as a person. I appreciate all of the comments that were posted on my discussion posts as well as blog, I read each and every comment and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your feedback. This has not been an easy journey for me but because of your support, I have been able to strive a little further. May we continue to learn and grow together as we move into our next course. I pray for your future success as you continue your educational journey at Walden University.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank you, Dr. Kien for all your feedback and promptthank-you-so-much-for-your-support-god-bless-you-dr-kien-2
replies to my mass of emails I have been sending you throughout the course. You are truly a great instructor. I have enjoyed have you teach me and encouraging me to dig deep within myself and find out who I truly am and be free to express it through my work. I appreciate your words of encouragement, your corrections throughout my work, and most of all your understanding and knowledge of the information presented in this course.

“We Don’t Say Those Words in Class”


On this past week, we have been learning about physical abilities and physical characteristics, and race and ethnicity. People who show ableism has prejudice and discriminates against those who have emotional, developmental, physical and mental disabilities (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). Racism and ethnocentrism is discrimination towards a person because of their skin color or ethnic background (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

I remember a time when I got a phone call from my son’s teacher about a month or so ago. I thought to myself, what has he done now? Well the teacher began to let me know that they were working on inclusion in the classroom with children with physical abilities and physical characteristics. On this particular day a little boy was in his class, and the young boy had some developmental delays and he would drool from the mouth. Well my son evidently thought it was funny to pick on this little boy and said “ill he nasty because he keeps spitting from his mouth” and he was making fun of the little boy who could not help 4af87f8be3021878c3867aa30d633b72himself. The teacher told me that she told him that it was not nice and that, we do not talk about our friends like that. I was asked to speak with him on the phone and I did. I asked him why would he pick on someone who was different from him. I let him know that what he did was wrong and although this was something that he was not use to, it is normal and that it may be other times he may see something similar. I told him next time instead of picking just let the teacher know and she can take care of the little boy. Because of his behavior he had to move his clip down from green to yellow. His teacher let me know that this type of behavior was not acceptable. This encounter put me in the waking up part of Harro (2008) Cycle of Liberation due to the fact that my son knew better to do what he did but yet he did. Children should be exposed to different pictures of children and older people that has a disability so that when they see one in person they will not be so alarmed. As educators it is our job to ensure that every child is depicted in the class in some kind of way be it through pictures, books, and/or toys. Derman-Sparks and Edwards (2010) states “all children need teachers who make sure that people with disabilities are visible in their learning environment: in pictures and posters on the wall, in toys and books, in program staff, and in their community” (p. 125).

I also have a girlfriend who said she had to get on her niece and nephew once or twice because they were staring and pointing at a homeless man who was standing on the corner1645653814_1192e51414_m with one leg. She said they were not picking but were curious and inquisitive as to why the man was like that and why was he standing and holding a sign. “Children’s behaviors such as staring or pointing at a person with a disability are not uncommon and usually indicate curiosity” (Derman-Sparks, & Edwards, 2010, p. 129). She said she told them that she did not know why he only had one leg or why he was on the corner. However, she did tell them that sometimes in life we fall short and situations come up to where we are unable to keep things that we once owned. She let them know that he was homeless because of the sign that he was holding that said “homeless, please help. God Bless.”

The messages that might have been communicated to either of the children are that it is not okay to talk about or pick on others because it is not nice. It might have even been communicated through a hidden message which is the golden rule; do unto to others as you would have them do unto you. “An anti-bias classroom encourages children to be open about their questions, ideas, and feelings about themselves and others” (Derman-Sparks, & Edwards, 2010, p. 129).

An anti-bias teacher would have used that moment with the child as a teachable moment and let the child know that we are all different and some more so than others. The teacher would let the child know that what he said hurt the other child’s feelings and that he did not like it. Derman-Sparks and Edwards (2010) states “to foster an open and safe environment, do not criticize children for noticing and asking questions about differences” (p.129).



Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

Harro, B. (2010). The cycle of liberation. In M. Adams, W. Blumenfeld, C. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice(Figure 7.1 on p. 53, 2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011.). Start seeing diversity: Physical ability and characteristics [Video file]. Retrieved

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011.). Start seeing diversity: Race/ethnicity [Video file]. Retrieved