A Child’s Socialization Agents
“The social context of individual interactions and experiences determines the degree to which individuals can develop their abilities and realize their potentials”. (Bronfenbreener & Morris, 1998) Though some Microsystems may be more prominent then others, we are all influenced and effected by the socializing agents within our family, community, child care or school, the media, and our peers. These small settings make the most significant impact on our lives and aid in our socialization complexity.
In order for a child to have a positive socialization experience, each Microsystem must consist of appropriate influences and encourage a child to have a positive self image. The family’s main function is support and it is the most impacting Microsystem on a child. In order for the child to be positively effected by their family, I would recommend that the family practice open communication. It is essential that a child is able to articulate with their family, as well as others, their thoughts and emotions.
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I feel that cohesiveness is another vital practice a family should participate in because it gets everyone in the family involved with each other. When family members are able to spend time with one another, they become closer and feel the presence of support. As a child, I felt I needed more of the display of love and acceptance that would in return, give me more security with myself and others. I would also recommend family members practice this because when a child feels loved and accepted for who they are, they are more likely to succeed and have a higher self esteem.
Every family has problems and their own way of working thorough them; if the family develops a way to cope effectively with these problems there is also a greater chance that the child will be able to do so with other problems. Again, as a child I was introduced to a variety of problems within my family yet, there was little effective coping with these problems. I feel if I had been exposed to this practice, I would have been more equipped for these difficulties in life and ultimately became closer with my family.
The community is where a large portion of the child’s socialization and development takes place and gives one a sense of belonging. In order for a child to be positively effected by the community, I would recommend their be an opportunity for neighborhood involvement. I feel the child would benefit from this because there is a chance they will become more well rounded from other positive influences and also learn to work with others. Although my family was not actively involved within our community, I yearned the opportunity to know our neighbors and learn from them.
Another recommendation I would make is church involvement within the community, where they family will have a chance to become active within their community and fellowship. Play is a right of passage for children and it is vital that there be a play setting within the community where all children and families can be familiar with each other. As a child, a designated play setting in my community would have been very beneficial and safe for my former peers of my community. Child Care refers to the care given to children by persons other than parents during the parts of the day when parents are absent. Berns,171) Many kids attend some form of child care whether it be with a family member, family friend, or in a child care center or setting. The teacher or person looking after the child has a tremendous influence on the child’s socialization and development. One main focal point I would recommend is the presence of quality child care, where the child is in the hands of a qualified teacher and a safe environment conducive to the child’s development. As a child, I benefitted from having a small classroom setting where there was a low teacher/ student ratio.
I would also make this recommendation because the teacher will be able to give each child more attention and give the child a more personalized relationship. Some benefits of parent involvement in their child’s education are that the child will have a higher success rate in school, have a better attitude towards learning and reediness for school work. I highly recommend parents become involved in their child’s education because it can positively influence their child’s development. If my parents had been more observant and made my schooling a priority, I would have also benefited from their encouragement and presence.
Another Microsystem that influences are increasing in young children is the mass media, which consists of television, radio, magazines, the internet, movies, and newspapers. Media is a form of communication in which large audiences quickly receives a given message via an impersonal medium between the sender and the receiver. (Berns,342) Though media provides entertainment and informational programs, it can also effect academic achievement and family interactions. In order to prevent this I would recommend that parents limit screen time so their child is participating in other activities other than only watching tv.
There is often violence in the media that children are exposed to frequently, this can later desensitize the child’s reaction to aggression and violence. As a child, my parents had not filtered or hindered me from watching shows with violence and this made violence more tolerable and normal for me. I would recommend parents become aware of what their child is watching and set up a parental control on certain shows they do not want their child watching. There is also a large amount of information given on violence in the news, where the whole family may watch together.
I would also recommend that children under the age of 8 not watch the news so they are not exposed to violence or other disasters they may worry or become fearful of. The peer group also plays a signifiant role in socialization because if a child does not receive the support and sense of belonging with their family, they usually turn to peers. Some children have a harder time making friends that others, in order to ensure that a child is able to make friends I would recommend that the caregiver encourage the child to participate in extra curricular activities and make the child’s appearance more attractive.
With gaining an attractive appearance and in these extra curricular activities, the child will be able to make friends and build a higher self esteem. During my adolescence, I had a peer group that gave me a sense of belonging and shared the same values as my parents. I would also encourage that children find peers that their parents can relate to and feel comfortable with what their child is being exposed to and also give support and encouragement. Some children’s peer group consists of their older siblings peer group, where the younger child may be exposed and influenced by things that may be too mature for their age.
In order to prevent this, I would make the recommendation that the parent set up play dates with children closer to their age, where they can play and stay at their appropriate stage of maturity and development. All these Microsystems combined drive the child’s influence and ultimately with help the child become more diverse. With taking the combined measures into practice, the child will have a greater sense of self discovery, self confidence and ability to interact with others with intent to improve their surroundings; rather than be defined by them.
Citation of Sources
Berns, Roberta M.. Child, Family, School, Community. sixth ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2004. 171-339.