Childhood is a unique time period.
“Socialization is the process whereby individuals, especially children, become functioning members of a particular group and take on the values, behaviors and beliefs of the groups other members.”Carolyn R.
Primary socialization for a child is very important because it sets the groundwork for all future socialization. Play dates and playground trips may seem like just a routine way to keep your little ones busy, but socialization is an important developmental tool. Every interaction your kid has helps him learn language skills, ways to cope with emotions and how to work within social norms. The concepts may seem technical, but socialization and healthy child development go together like tea and biscuits.
The Role of the Family
Family provides the first social group to the children i.e. the extended family (grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins.)
In order to be an active part of our child’s social group, as parents it’s our responsibility to understand the needs of our children, communicate with them, nurture them and most importantly give them little space. This space gives children an extra comfort which helps them to communicate more openly with you.
Peers and Identity
In adolescence, your child will be more strongly influenced by his peers. Socially, spoken and unspoken codes of conduct, dress and speech are shaped by your kid’s friends and classmates. Developmentally, they’ll struggle with either “fitting in” or being true to their “own identity”.
Your child’s peer group is likely to influence his beliefs and behavior. Adolescents tend to spend more time with their peers and have less adult supervision.
It’s somewhat true that when we think about influence of peers on our child, initially the misbehavior of your child comes in front. Whether it’s the way they talk to you (parents), prefer to spend more time alone or with friends, etc. however there are many advantages to it.
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# They serve as a source of information. They give perspective to your child’s viewpoints.
#They serve as a base for practicing adulthood by decreasing dependency on parents and giving a sense of self-sufficiency by being a part of a larger social network.
# They can help your child to form their identity. Although, identity formation is a lifelong process, but with peers your child acquires the basic sense of self.
There comes a point where we as parents need to reduce our level of decision making for our children so they become independent and self sufficient members of the vast social network, the society.
Media affecting socialization
The mass media are another agent of socialization. Television shows, movies, popular music, magazines, Web sites, and other aspects of the mass media influence our political views; our tastes in popular culture; our views of women, people of color, and gays; and many other beliefs and practices.
When we talk about the little ones (3-4 years old), sitting anywhere in the world have learnt English language British accent just by watching the famous cartoon “Peppa Pig”. They watch carefully and learn new ways of playing, behaving and most importantly, verbal communication as they repeat what they listen. So parents, keep an eye on the young ones and keep a limit to the screen time as it’s not only the good that they learn from the screen.
In the end I would just like to say that socialization is a life long process as we keep meeting new people who leave their effect on us, but how as parents we introduce the concept of socialization to our children is what matters the most.