Middle childhood is a period that ranges from age six to twelve. It is a period where children spend less time with their parents and is a period of coregulation in which children and parents jointly control behavior (Robert S. Feldman 2016). In the film My Girl by Howard Zieff it shows how family life reflects on 11-year-old Vada Sultenfuss. It also shows how the impact of her household and the economic status affected her and how those around her looked at her.
In the movie film My Girl by Howard Zieff in 1991 it’s based on 11-year-old Vada Sulfentuss who’s mother died two days after giving birth to her. Vada was raised by her father who owns a funeral home and a grandmother who was initially supposed to help raise Vada but ended up with Alzheimer’s. Due to Vada’s dad being a mortician he focused a lot of his time on work and barely spent time with Vada, which caused her to explore life on her own. Although Vadas dad is somewhat distant she adores him and tries to get his attention whenever she can. When Vada’s Dad, Harry hires a new cosmetologist named Shelly, Vada begins to get a jealous as she starts to lose Harry’s full attention which later gets resolved.
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Family life over the last few decades has changed a lot with the environment faced by children passing through middle childhood in the 21st century and those from prior centuries. (Robert S. Feldman 2016) Families have become more and more diverse as couples separate and repartner. (Hetherington & Stanley- Hagan 1999; Lamb 200). In many households today you have parents, children, and grandparents all living under one roof together. In the film My Girl, Vada’s family is the perfect example of a multigenerational family. In most multigenerational families there are shared living arrangements that help the child or may be of mutual benefit (Choi 2003). Family members will often decide what roles each person takes and who will do what. It is often left to the grandparents such as the grandmother to help with the care of young children (Jendrek 1994).
The involvement that grandparents have with their grandchildren whether direct or indirect has an impact on family members and their behaviors. Vadas grandmother moved in when Vadas mother died. She was initially there to help Harry raise Vada until she developed Alzheimers. The roles somewhat changed once the grandmother got Alzheimers, Vada began to help Harry look after her. Although Vadas grandmother wasn’t in any way fit to care for Vada she still had an impact on her.
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