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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Child Socialization

Socialization is an important aspect of your child’s development for many reasons, but mainly because it teaches your child social behaviors, norms, interaction and conflict resolution. Socialization is how your child learns from you, and from others what is acceptable, what is not, and what actions result in discipline.

Parents are the first teachers and leaders in a child’s socialization since the process begins at birth. It has been noted that parents who spend quality time with their children – providing much needed attention and nurturing, listening and discussing – have children with higher self-confidence than those who place a higher priority on work – whether it’s work around the house or work brought home from the office. Certainly, you can spend time with children while engaging them in chores: It teaches them responsibility as well as turning those chores into a time well spent engaged in conversation. The laundry won’t do itself, but putting off time with the child in order to do the laundry teaches the child that clean laundry is a higher priority than he.

Discipline is only a small part of a child’s socialization, but it is important to note that emphasis should be placed on positive discipline. Having a child clean up spilled milk from a glass he overturned is an act of positive discipline. Verbally berating or spanking a child for spilling milk is negative discipline, and can be damaging to the child’s self-esteem.

Children with a high level of self-confidence and esteem are less afraid of being left by the parent – abandoned in his mind – even with a group of other children of the same age. You can help build your child’s confidence by regularly spending time at the library for group story hour; allowing him to stay with a grandparent or other adult family member for a few hours while you run errands; spending time at a public park with you and with other children. Playgrounds or The Children’s Museum are excellent opportunities for helping your child overcome any social anxiety he may feel.

Take advantage of all these opportunities to help your child ease into becoming independent. It can make the world of difference on the first day of school.

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