Life and 9: Independence: Introduction (02:58)
Scientists are trying to unlock secrets of child development by following children from their birth; the subjects are now nine years old. This episode will examine how these children feel about becoming independent, the dangers of over protection, and the effects of abundant praise. (Credits)
Gatekeepers of Independence (02:54)
Children face increased risks but parents should gradually build independence and responsibility. Ben wakes up and begins his day; the smallest of quintuplets, he is the only child in the study who woke up, got ready, and made his lunch without parental supervision.
Contribution to Morning Routine (03:54)
At age 9, 90 percent of the subjects need help getting ready for school, and less than half help with household chores. Professor Stephen Zubrick explains the benefits of chores and increasing responsibility. Ben works on his speech impediment with a therapist.
Life Skills Lab Experiment (02:10)
Marc de Rosnay asks parents and children to build a structure together. The parents control the experiment. When de Rosnay removes the parents, the children's creativity flourishes and they prefer the structure they made alone over that which they collaborated on.
Daniel at Age 9 (03:38)
Daniel was annoyed by collaborating with his mother at the life skills lab. He is afraid to be separated from his mother because his brother died in a drowning accident. His parents' marriage fell apart and Daniel took on more responsibility.
Instilling Independence (03:11)
Daniel's mother's eyesight is deteriorating; she tries to teach him to do things for himself. Daniel grew up more autonomous than other children because of his mother's disability. His teacher has noticed that he takes on different responsibilities from his class mates.
Children Want to Explore (02:57)
Most nine-year-olds want to broaden their horizons— parents need to balance this with vigilance and safety. Shine is a confident, funny, empathetic child. Allen and Michelle graduated from college two years ago and their financial outlook is much better than before.
Revisiting the Past (02:47)
Michelle visits her biological mother, who she has not seen since she was three months old. Her mother was young and struggled with postpartum depression. She emphasizes that Michelle did nothing wrong.
Anxiety About Outside World (03:38)
Michelle needs to assess whether her children are at risk or if it is a reaction to her childhood. Individuals learn about hazards by being put in risky situations. None of the parents allow their nine year olds to walk the streets without supervision, contrary to their own childhoods.
Anastasia at Age 9 (02:55)
Cathy teaches while Darren works as a firefighter and handles most of the domestic duties. Anastasia wishes she could walk to school alone, but her father refuses to allow it.
Supervised Walking Experiment (03:20)
Researches strap go-pros on the children and ask them to walk or bike to the store on their own; the camera crew supervises from a distance. Only two children make it to the corner store. Achieving this goal will help instill confidence in Daniel.
Experiencing Life (03:26)
Daniel and Zoe spend time with their father and step-brothers. Daniel is angry at his parents for separating. Daniel's teacher believes that he possesses good social and emotional skills and will become independent despite his fears.
Personal Autonomy (02:24)
Michelle realizes that she may be hindering her children emotionally by being so overprotective. Shine enrolls in a Montessori School.
Independent Thinking (02:03)
In a new experiment kids are given a wide variety of colors to paint with, but are told they may only paint with black or brown. Rebelling is critical to maturation. Shine is the only child who uses a different color— the boys are shocked.
Life Lessons About Competition (02:08)
Cathy and Darren have started enrolling Anastasia in a triathlons; she is not competitive. They do not think children should be praised for participation; Anastasia is not competitive.
The Right Kind of Praise (03:04)
Clinicians gave the children a set of three puzzles of varying difficulty. They praised half the children for effort and the other half for natural ability. Researchers discovered that the ones praised for effort did better on the hardest puzzle.
No Desire to Win (02:31)
Anastasia is not competitive and just wants to have fun. She does not like coming in first because there are fewer kids to play with. Honoré explains that parents should praise their children when it is warranted.
Taking Physical Risks (03:59)
Ben rides dirt bikes and spends more time outside on the farm. Lee Trew takes the kids on a bushwalk. Parents are falling prey to a zero-risk childhood.
Trial and Error (02:53)
One of the children collapses into tears when she gets stung by an ant. Trew teaches the children how to make fire. Daniel is initially hesitant, but eventually joins into the fun.
Credits: Life at 9: Independence (00:46)
Credits: Life at 9: Independence
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