Child Socialising Society
Every child comes into this world like wet clay, completely bereft of any vices, habits and behavioural patterns. Socialising is the process by which the child moulds itself and learns the process of interacting and surviving in society. There are various key factors that influence this process – the family, the peers, the school, society and religious beliefs. The first point of contact to the child and also the most important factor is always the family.
The ethics and behaviour that is followed at home is always imbibed unconsciously by the child. Parents are generally role models for children. Hence the socializing skills are passed on in most cases to the offspring. Elder siblings are also a source of influence. It is because of this reason that in the joint family system that existed previously in India, the children were always better adjusted to society. They had such a plethora of individuals to study and imbibe from that under any given circumstances in life, they would adjust and adapt freely.
But in the present nuclear family system, the parents play an even more important role in shaping a child’s behavioural patterns. And even in the same family no two children can be the same. This is where the nature versus nurture debate comes in. The genetically ingrained nature has to be nurtured to conform to the rules of society. The most absorptive years in one’s life is till the age of 10. An individual is always on the path of learning but the foundation of what a person becomes is laid during these formative years.
Various societies inculcate varied socializing skills amongst their members. It does not indicate that one culture is superior to the other. It just depends on the way that the civilization under study has progressed. A civilization which has cultivated its young generation with a common set of rules and a uniform educational system is more likely to be homogenous and more at harmony amongst themselves. But on the other hand it is also seen that heterogeneous communities, like the United States of America, benefit from the presence of various ethnic minority communities. Each minority community brings along with it, its culture, its ethnicity, their customs etc. Having so many socializing influences makes the parent society a more tolerant one. 1
There are also found to be two types of socializing, depending on the nature of factors that influence them. Positive socializing is one in which a person learns through good and happy experiences. Parents teaching their kids from their experiences, learning from books or from peers are some example of positive socializing. Positive socializing can take on the form of natural socializing and planned socializing.
Natural socializing is when a child through his own inquisitiveness starts exploring and learning from the various situations around him/her. The way a child responds to such situations is generally genetically ingrained. Planned socializing is when various external factors like parents, teachers, school curriculum, religious doctrines and social dictates try to change the internal response system of the child to conform to more socially acceptable norms.
Negative socializing happens when a person understands or begins to comprehend after undergoing a bad experience or ‘learning the hard way’ as it is said. Learning the valuable lesson, that over speeding is dangerous, after meeting with an accident is an example of negative socializing. The victim of a rape too undergoes the trauma of negative socializing after which she shrinks into her own shell and abhors social contact.
Life is always a mixture of positive and negative experiences. The more positive experiences in socializing one has, the happier or more positive the person gets. More negative socializing in a person’s life gets him demoralised and unhappy. At any given point in time an individual is usually the sum total of his prior socialisation or past experiences. 2
A person does not have any hold over choosing ones parents and place of birth. Thus, effectively a person has no control over the initial socializing influences that one gets in the first 10 or 20 yrs of ones life. But it depends on a person as to how he uses his prior socializing skills and observation power to make a better tomorrow for himself. He should learn from his past and from the situations around himself to better himself. Thus self actualization will set in and a person can work towards his dream of a better tomorrow.
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