12 Main Factors That Influence the Socialization Process of a Child
The family plays a very important role in the socialization of the child. In the beginning, the parents are the family for the child, because he depends on them for various things. After the parents mention may be made of sisters, brothers, uncle, aunt, grandparents, and servants etc.
The child learns many things from them relating to social behavior. The adult members of the family must see that their behaviors are within reasonable control in order that children may not learn anything undesirable through imitating them.
The parents owe a special responsibility in this respect, because the child’s socialization begins first on the basis of parental behavior. The child learns many of his habits from parents. If the child has become problematic the responsibility is definitely of the parents from whom he has copied certain modes of behavior.
That is why it is said that it is not the children who are problematic. In fact, it is the parents who are problematic. Through his behavior the child represents the personality of his parents. Hence the parents must place good examples before children.
The parents must evince control, stability and appropriateness in their behavior. Parents must see that their behavior in relation to children is according to the situation in hand. Too much pampering will spoil them and they will drift away from realities of life. This situation will affect their socialization adversely.
2. Mutual relation between parents:
There is a close link between the development of the child and the parents’ mutual relationship which may be of four types:—(1) The mother loves the father, but the father does not-Love her, (2) The father loves the mother but the mother does not love the father, (3) None of them love each other, and (4) There is intense love between them.
All these four situations influence the socialization of the child. The first three situations are unfavorable for socialization, because they impair the child’s adjustment. Then, there is no stability and control in the child’s behavior, because he does not find the same in parents. When the life of parents is happy, they are able to take due care of the child and his socialization goes on smoothly.
3. Entry into a new family:
Some children have to go from one family to another. This may happen when a child is adopted by some issueless parents. Some women come to new houses with children from previous husbands.
This situation, too, is not favorable for good socialization. When the child is of only 2 or 3 years of age, he does not remember anything. Then he does not face much difficulty in his adjustment. But if he becomes of 7 or 8 years he may confront difficult situation.
In a new family his socialization will depend upon how others in the family behave with him. Indifference or too much fondling both will obstruct his normal socialization.
4. The relation with other members of the family:
After the parents, the child comes into contact with other members of the family. If there are only 2 or 3 small children in the family, the socialization of the child will take a particular shape. If there are old grand-parents and uncles and aunts, the socialization of the child will be of a different type.
The child learns the virtues of co-operation, self-sacrifice, love, sympathy, religiosity, feeling for rendering service to others, competition, bravery and other social traits through contacts with other grown-up members of the family, the socialization of the child proceeds on a very flow pace. Then the child may pick up some unsocial traits. These un-social elements may disappear gradually when the child starts going to school.
5. The impact of sisters and brothers:
Sisters arid” brothers influence immensely the socialization of the child. It is from the sisters and brothers that the child learns how to behave with youngsters and elders. If the child happens to be the only child in the family, his socialization takes a particular form.
Then the child may develop selfishness and obstinacy in him. Members of the family usually pay special attention on the only child. They try to meet all his demands. Each movement of the child, then, is regarded as something very unique.
As a result, the child becomes very proud of himself and conscious of himself as superior-most. This feeling in him promotes many un-social traits in him. Consequently, he may lack such good social traits as co-operation, self-sacrifice, sympathy and feeling of; ervice for others.
Accordingly, it is not difficult to infer about many other traits of an only child. However, this does not mean that an only child is sure to be spoiled. Many only children have succeeded in placing great ideals of life before others. But in the beginning, it is very likely that they may develop some bad social traits.
Socialization is also affected by the chronological position of the child amongst sisters and brothers. The eldest, the middle and the youngest are closely related with a certain type of socialization. The eldest one becomes prone to rule over other children. He usually issues commands to younger sisters and brothers.
The middle child nurtures a feeling of rivalry both against the eldest and youngest. Because of this position the socialization of the eldest, middle and youngest child proceeds in different ways. Similarly, the socialization of single brother amongst many sisters and of a single sister amidst many brothers goes on in varying ways which can never be regarded as desirable.
Such children usually become spoiled. So our behavior with each child should be very psychological. Only then their socialization will proceed in a desirable manner.
6. The social and economic status:
The social and economic status influences the process of socialization. All like to meet children belonging to good social and economic status. Such children generally get ample opportunities to meet with various types of people.
Hence their socialization goes on in a good speed. Quite contrary to this, people do not welcome meeting children of low or bad economic and social status. Such children do not enjoy occasions to meet with various types of people. So their socialization takes a different turn. Such children may also develop inferiority complex.
7. Neighbors and companions:
Neighbors and companions play an important role in socialization. Before starting going to school, the child spends much of his time with neighbors and companions. Even after his admission to a school, he maintains his contact with his neighbors and companions.
If the neighbors and companions are good the child forms good habits, otherwise he goes astray and picks up undesirable modes of behavior that is why liquor shops and other bad places are regarded as vicious and the children are advised not to frequent them.
Bad companions mould the child towards bad habits. Needless to add that we have to see that the child does not associate himself with bad neighbors and depraved companions
8. Social anxiety:
All children like to behave in such a manner as to elicit praise from others. From the age of 12 to 22 or 23 years (i.e. during adolescence) he is very much keen to have approval of his conduct from others.
It is so because now he has developed greater social consciousness. Adolescents are very much afraid of others’ adverse criticism and punishments from his elders in the family. No corporal punishment should be given to adolescents.
In very trying situations, at worst, they may be scolded. If needful, some of the conveniences given to them may be withdrawn. The adolescent undergoes an anxiety for showing desirable behavior.
The more one has this type of social anxiety, the more he tries to seek praise from others. Thus this type of social anxiety works as a good motivation for desirable socialization.
10. The caste or class level:
Socialization of the child is influenced by the caste or class he belongs to. The child from a majority group may consider himself superior to that from a minority community. Similarly, in Hindus a child from a so-called high caste regards himself as superior to that from a caste which in his opinion is lower.
The children from lower castes consider themselves inferior to those from higher strata of society. For example, in U.S.A. the Negro children regard themselves inferior to white ones.
In each country there are many children who consider themselves inferior or superior to others because of their caste or class level. This feeling may create an imbalance in their behavior, and accordingly, their socialization is also affected.
11. The school:
The school is of vital importance in the socialization of the child for the first four or five years, the child learns various things in his family. Thus he is already socialized up to some extent before he starts going to school.
In the school the child confronts a new society. He comes to know about many things. All of us feel very much surprised to note how a young child of 5 or 6 years of age has picked up so many things in the school within a few weeks.
In a way, his whole personality is revolutionized. In the school the child realizes that he is only one unity of the group and like him there are several other units. This feeling brings in many changes in his behavior.
Now in place of his ‘self he is diverted to other children of the school. The child begins to feel that other children, too, must be having several needs and aspirations like him. Now he has to learn new methods of adjustment in the environment the teacher plays a very important role through his behavior in an ideal manner.
Thus within the school environment the child adopts many social elements. As a result, his socialization proceeds further. Now the child appears to be more social than before. He appears to be more tolerant and balanced.
The socialization in the school will depend upon the nature of the school and the teachers’ and other children’s behaviors. So we all should try to send our children to good schools.
Socialization of the child is deeply related with culture. That is why differences are perceptible in the personalities and forms of socialization in children nurtured in varying cultures.
The culture of a high family is likely to be higher than that of a lower class family. Therefore differences are found in the nature of socialization in children coming from higher and lower families.