Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Thanksgiving Video

Enjoy this video and time with family this weekend. Happy Holiday weekend!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

4 Goals of Socialization

Tracy Spinrad who is an associate professor at the school of social and family dynamics at Arizona State University discovered four goals of socialization.  They are: self-regulation, a sense of self, motivation and cultural beliefs and morality. I discussed self-regulation on a previous post but to remind everyone self-regulation is the ability to control ones behavior and adapt to situations; it's the ability to follow society's expectations for behavior. The ability to self-regulate is an aspect of socialization that occurs when children begin to adjust to parent's rules and expectations of conduct from external to internal control. To develop control from external to internal control is a critical part of socialization. It's important because children need to learn how not to blame their actions on external things. For example if a sibling sat where they wanted to sit a child's understanding of the situation is that it's the siblings fault they're upset and cant' sit where they wanted. Around age eight a child can start to understand they're responsible for their behavior. Therefore, when a sibling sits where they were going to, they can choose to sit somewhere else and know they're fine and therefore learn to internalize the choice to sit somewhere else instead of getting upset because a sibling sat where they were going to.

Another goal of socialization is a sense of self. A sense of self is and individuals belief and understanding about who they are. It's around age eight or nine children begin to describe themselves in terms of personality traits. For example, they say, "I like to paint; I'm good at watering the garden etc."  A parent's role in promoting a sense of self is to encourage children to try new things and establish concrete, complex goals. The goals should be challenging but not out of reach. For example, it's not realistic or practical  for a two year old to be able to put snow clothes on by themselves. Instead of a parent telling a child to do it themselves, the parent needs to help them and teach them how to put their snow clothes on so that when they turn five they know how to do it themselves because at the age of five putting snow clothes on without help is a realistic and practical task.

Motivation is the effort that calls for an individual action. For example, if a child wants to learn how to ice skate they're motivated to achieve how to learn to ice skate. The motives of why a child achieves certain goals and not others varies between individuals. For example, a child may be motivated  to learn to sew because they just want to be able to do the basics of sewing such as sew on a button. Another child may want to learn to sew because they want to make all of their clothes. Cultural beliefs are a part of socialization because they cultural beliefs can determine what is considered morally appropriate behavior. For example, a parent may burp at the table and never say "excuse me." The parent has taught the behavior of burping at the table and never excusing oneself, to their children as being acceptable.

The last goal of socialization is morality. Morality has three aspects to it which we'll discuss next time. However, morality is a goal of socialization as children learn to either live their lives according the moral code they are taught by their parents, religion or they develop one of their own.

These four goals of socialization are universal and all children achieve them on some level of another.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Process of Socialization

The process of socialization is either intentional or unintentional. Parents intentionally socialize children. Intentional socialization is the process where parents deliberately and consistently convey or impart important values to children and are reinforced through positive  or negative  experiences and consequences. For example,  if a child goes to a store and buys something and says, "Thank you," when the sales person hands them their bag,  a parent has taught them intentionally appropriate social behavior to use when out in public.

Unintentional socialization is the process by which children are socialized spontaneously during human interaction without the deliberate  intent to impart knowledge or values. For example, one day my daughter and I were walking in a  strip mall by our house. I saw an old man with a walker trying to open a door to one of the businesses, so I opened the door for the man and  held it open until  he was in the store. I taught her about helping others in a way that was spontaneous and imparted a value of the importance of helping others without meaning to.

The way we think about and view ourselves is a big factor in how others view and interact with us. For example, is someone thinks they know everything they will often share their knowledge about topics, even without being asked to. Sometimes these people are referred to as 'know it all's.' However, if someone does need information about something, they see this person as someone they can ask who may have the information they're looking for, and this therefore affects how others interacts with the person. This also affects how we socialize with others and how others socialize with us.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

How Parents Can Help Develop Social Competence

How parents can help children develop social competence can be placed into three categories: fostering social knowledge and understanding, strengthening interactive skills and providing social skills training. The first one, fostering social knowledge, can be done by teaching children  to understand the perspective  of another person.  Children need to realize that other children's experiences and home life are different from theirs. Parents should talk to their children about other children's feelings and interests and help them understand the effect their behavior has on others. For example, if a child comes to school with the same clothes on everyday a parent needs to explain that some parents can't afford more than just one outfit for their children. This helps them understand that home life for everyone isn't the same.

Parents can strengthen interactive skills by encouraging alternative interpretations of behaviors. When children put labels on other children a parent can help the child find other ways to interpret the child's behavior. For example, if a child is put into a group to work on a project and one of the other participants in the group isn't doing anything the child may think they're lazy. The parent can ask, "Did anyone give them something to do? Do they need help doing whatever task is their's to do? Questions like these help a child learn about communication. Sometimes labels are put on people because of a lack of communication. It's not that the child in the group is lazy or unwilling to carry their weight, it's that no one in the group assigned a task for the to do and they were left with nothing to do or needing help.

Children learn social skills by participating in social interactions with friends. Children learn important social information from positive social interactions and they need to know the impact of their behavior on others in order for them to learn to behave in socially appropriate ways. For example, if a child starts to talk about another child behind their back when another child stands up for them and has their back, they learn what a positive social interaction looks like and that to defend the person is a socially appropriate way to behave and that talking about a person behind their back is inappropriate.

All three of these categories help children learn social skills and how to have social appropriate interactions with others.