Saturday, March 11, 2017

Socialization During the Middle School Years

Parents still influence a child's peer group on middle school. Children who have positive and close relationships with their parents are more likely to participate in pro-social activities. Parents who are supportive of their children are more likely to get them involved in activities at school.

Siblings expose one another to new people and activities. Depending on how close they are in age they may share some of the same friends. Siblings introduce children to social norms and values by teaching them what behaviors are appropriate in particular settings.

Peer interactions in middle school are shaped by cultural norms and values in a child's community and society as a whole. Children who are shy are likely to be viewed as lacking social competence and receive pressure to modify behavior. However, it's important to recognize the difference between being shy and quiet. Some people are naturally quiet people but it's seen as being shy. There's a difference. Shy means timid, easily frightened, not at ease with other people and cautious. Quiet means not noisy, not talking, silent, still or calm, not easily excited or upset, gently, bright or showy. The pressure children receive to modify their behavior, is how peers shape the process throughout cultural values and influence individual development.

Cultural in  middle school encourages children to maintain, adopt and transform existing values in their community. It either promotes or weakens the active role of a child's development as they learn and decide for themselves what their values will be. By emphasizing particular features of peer relationships, cultural beliefs and values heighten children's sensitivity to socially valued characteristics and influence peer interactions. For example, is a child in a 'popular' group or known as part of the 'band club.' These social norms and values will help shape the types of activities that children are encouraged to pursue in middle childhood.

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