Saturday, January 28, 2017

Family-The Most Important Agent of Socialization

Agents (or people who go between two people when a situation is difficult) of socialization include individuals and institutions that help children learn attitudes, beliefs, values, skills and behaviors that society considers desirable. For example, it isn't desirable for a person to yell or bite someone when they don't get their way. The people who teach children about what kinds of behavior is appropriate or inappropriate teaches children appropriate ways to react to not getting their own way. Such as explaining to a child they need to ask to use a toy or other material when the child who is using it is done instead of biting them or grabbing it from them in order to get it or yell at them to give them the toy.

There are five agents of socialization but today we're going to talk about only one of them which is the family. The family is the most important agent of socialization. The family has been viewed as the major vehicle for socialization. Parents provide physical and social conditions in which children learn social skills. For example, if a parent asks a child if they want to unload the dishwasher or sweep the floors the children learn an important social skill is to ask people what task they want to do instead of just demanding a person do what someone else wants or has decided for them they do. Parents are critical agents of intentional socialization by teaching children specific beliefs and values that are part of the family's culture and religious beliefs. For example, parents teach children in their family everyone clears their own plate at the end of dinner and puts it in the sink. Parents teach children at what age they begin to participate in boy scouts or volunteering somewhere. Research has found that parents who have a positive relationship with their children, who are authoritative but not strict and use legitimate reasons and explain reasons for why or why not something can happen rather than power and control, are more likely to have positive outcomes such as internalization of the rules of society.

Roles parents play in socializing children are: providing a secure base in infancy that is a foundation for trust later in childhood, teaching basic self-help skills, teaching social skills, how to get along with siblings and other children and promoting core beliefs and values including religion. Siblings also play a role in socialization. They live with the other children in the home and learn beliefs and  values from siblings. They learn to share, handle disagreements, how to negotiate, teach other siblings the rules of the home, how to respect their parents and they learn from the consequences and rewards of older siblings behavior.

As a child grows and develops, the parents expectations for the child's behavior changes. Parents expectations shape the development of the child and their socialization. The parents expectations form a support for an equal pattern of socialization. For example, if a parent expects a child to respect adults, they're going to support and form that equal pattern of socialization by respecting the child and showing respect to people/friends whom they come in contact with. Understanding a parent's motivation for parenthood is important because it sets the change for understanding the beliefs and value system of the family that guides the parents as they socialize their children. Guided by a parents beliefs and values, parents have specific motivations for parenthood and parents try to promote specific developmental goals for their children.

Other social agents are extended family, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. All of these family members provide three types of support. They provide financial support, emotional support, and practical support. These agents play an important role in providing positive outcomes for children in single parent homes. Single parents have a big load they're carrying and are trying to do what is done by two. Extended family provides financial support as they give the single parent money to pay bills or offer to take care of bills for them. They provide emotional support as they provide the single parent with a place to discuss their adult problems. They also provide emotional support to the children as they provide a place for the children to discuss things with someone other than the parent and help the children of single parents work through their emotional challenges. Extended family provides practical support as they provide back up for the parent when a child doesn't want to listen or the parent needs help getting a child to or from school, piano lessons etc. To ask for this kind of help can be difficult for a single parent so be respectful to them an ask them how they need help and ask them if it's all right that you do something for them. Single parenthood  faces challenges such as housing affordability, unemployment, low income and lack of health insurance. Research confirms resiliency in single parent homes being related to social support received from family and friends.  Lack of support such as living in isolation with few resources, is associated with a higher risk of maltreatment. Parents who have limited resources for help or resources that may be insufficient are overwhelmed and need a support system to help them.

A family regardless of it being two family, a single parent home or it's the grandparents raising the grandchildren need support, kindness and love. They're are lots of people who help children and teach them how to socialize and behave. The family is the most important and the one most children spend the most time in and being affected by.

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