Taking Sides chapter 7-8

I feel that the issue of genetic enhancement has been a hot issue for a long time and will most likely continue to be so.   I personally do not agree with genetic enhancement for reasons that are not medically necessary.  I feel that it would be unfair for parents to genetically enhance their children to create champions, neglecting the talents and strengths that children develop naturally.  I think that the readings on the issue made me more aware of the accessibility of  some treatments that are nor medically necessary and the ways that some treatments are being used for things other than what they were intended for.


Big Lipped Parents

Ashleigh Madsen

FHS 1500-044

Unit 3 assignment A



Big Lipped Parents


As a parent who is raising children in the American society, I would find the practice of placing expanding plates into a child’s lip to be acutely abusive to the child.  I would find it hard to not voice my opinion to the parents, letting them know how children in this society often react to things that are different from what they are used to; as well as remind them of the pain that they likely experienced on a daily basis when they received their own plates.

                In an effort to not alienate my new neighbors, I might recommend to them that they attend some parenting classes with me at the local community center or religious institution, if offered.  I would also perhaps contact the local Child and Family Services agency with the parents to see what the local laws dictate in this instance in an effort to educate them.

                Most importantly, I would want to make sure that they understand that there are differences between the society that they left and the society that they are now a part of.  I would help them understand that my actions are not an effort to make them completely abandon their heritage and culture, but that I am trying to keep their daughter’s best interests in mind. I would also suggest that if it was something that they were really hopeful for, that they wait until their daughter was old enough to make the decision on her own to continue this tradition.  I would try to help them focus on other parts of their culture that they can still practice and embrace and even offer to participate in activities that are appropriate for my family so that we can help share cultures between neighbors and families.  I would want to be respectful of them and their culture but also help them find a way to be accepted in the new culture that they have chosen to live in.

Operant Conditioning Assignment

Ashleigh Madsen

FHS 1500-044

Chapter 1 Assignment



Using the concepts of operant conditioning discussed in the text and in class, I chose to change my eight year old daughter’s behavior toward getting on the ice on time when a figure skating session starts.   My daughter Aubree is a figure skater and is always getting on the ice late.  She loves to skate and it is her sport of choice after many trials in other sports but she just can’t seem to get on the ice on time.  She loves all of the girls that she skates with and they find themselves talking and not putting on their skates, making them late for their sessions.  I am very happy that she has friends in the sport and the social interaction and skills she learns are why she is involved.  Aubree has a disability and so I don’t like to focus on whether or not she wins, or keeps up with other girls her age at all, I just want her to have a good experience.  However, ice time is expensive and coaches have very tight schedules, so she needs to learn to get on the ice on time.

I decided that the reinforcements that were appropriate for her and most likely to motivate her were that each time she put her figure skates on and got on the ice on time, she would be given a quarter to spend or save as she liked and each time she was late, I would account for each minute she was late and when she got on the ice that became the number of laps around the rink she owed me for her tardiness. 

                After making these decisions, Aubree and I discussed her behavior and my expectations. I then explained the reinforcements I had decided upon and we began that day.  Aubree was very excited about it that day and she got on the ice on time.  After the session was over, I gave her a quarter and told her that she could do what she liked with it.  She immediately went to the snack bar and spent it on a sucker.  The next day when we arrived at the Ice arena, I reminded Aubree of our discussion from the day before and explained my expectations for her again.  Aubree started talking with one of her friends before the session started and she didn’t get her skates on in time. She was seven minutes late for her session and then owed me seven laps around the rink.  After Aubree had done three of the laps she asked me if she could stop and do something else because she doesn’t like to do laps.  I reminded her that she owed me one lap for each minute she was tardy, so she owed me four more laps.  Aubree continued her laps and when she finished, Aubree informed me that she didn’t like doing laps like that.  I told her in return that if she didn’t like it and didn’t want to do any more laps that she should make sure that she was on the ice when the session started from now on.  We continued in this manner for the rest of the week, with Aubree receiving a quarter on the days she was on time and doing laps on the days she wasn’t.                   

                This week, Aubree has not been late for a single session and has been given a quarter each time.  Instead of spending her quarter immediately this week she decided she would save them and was able to buy herself a hot dog tonight at the rink.  I do feel that there will most likely be some slip-ups in our future, because after all, she is a little girl but I am very proud of her for showing me that she can be a big girl and get herself on the ice.  I am confident that she will be on the ice on time much more often than before and that when she is not and has to do laps around the rink again she will quickly remember why she gets on the ice on time.

My FHS 1500-044 Reflection

I really enjoyed this class.  I learned so much about the lifespan and in doing so, learned a lot about myself and my family.  I have a greater understanding of not only their physical growth but also their psychological and emotional growth as well.

I gained a better understanding of why my 9 year old daughter has become so emotional and uncooperative lately, I gained an understanding of where my baby and my 4 year old should be in their cognitive and physical developments and I learned a lot about how a person’s socioeconomic status can affect them for the rest of their life. 

I have faced many hard questions during this course, because of my assumptions about the world around me and I have been able to form a stronger opinion on these subjects.

With the Big Lipped Parents assignment,  I asked my husband for advice and found that disagreed greatly on the subject.  We debated the subject for a while before I wrote my paper and I think his opinion on the matter, especially having lived in a foreign country helped me to understand the situation better.  In response, I was able to temper my initial reaction and find a way that would be beneficial for everyone in this particular situation.

One of the other things I learned in this class was how to take a different approach with my oldest child when it came to a particular situation.  I used operant conditioning to help change her behavior when it came to getting on and off the ice.  This proved very useful and it was an awesome idea in this situation.

I am glad that I took this class as it taught me a lot about the world around me.