Role of society in child development
When it comes to impact on a child’s development, it is generally understood that the most important role belongs to the parents. The role of society in child development, i.e., the impact of the environment in which the child is growing up, is also quite significant. This primarily refers to the school system, where the teachers, of course, influence the children quite a lot. However, teachers are only a part of a comprehensive system that affects psychological and physical development.
People tend to turn to their fellow humans from the youngest age – we are social beings and it is natural for us to maintain a high level of everyday interaction that affects our opinions and behaviors. This influence is even greater in early childhood, where first social relationships develop. Through the combined influences from the environment, the child develops, and acquires social skills, which are crucial for growing up.
Factors crucial for proper child development
The parents are the most important filter that determines how society will affect their child. Although in the beginning it might seem easy to determine what is good for the child and what is not, negative influences are impossible to avoid. However, a child who is growing in a positive environment will know how to overcome the challenges of growing up.
External influences are a part of life and the way one handles them affects the level of success in life. Many things can affect a child’s development, and these are perhaps the most important elements:
Influence of family on child development
Without any doubt, family plays the most important role in proper child development. Parents are the greatest role-models; who affect the child’s values and opinions, the development of the child’s personality and the acquisition of good habits. Their effort determines whether the child’s potentials will be properly expressed, and whether the child will be growing up happy and successful. Parenting styles differ from one family to another, and it cannot be said that there is a single golden rule of upbringing. Of course, it goes without saying that the child needs to grow up surrounded with love and attention.
Another important role belongs to the other members of the family: siblings and grandparents. Even distant relatives can affect the child a lot, because children often see them as role-models (especially if the child finds their profession interesting). Adults often emphasize how a fulfilled childhood and growing up surrounded by relatives helped them become successful people.
Importance of K–12 education system for child development
It is crucial that the child should attend quality educational institutions from the beginning. This is why, in the United States, a great deal of attention is dedicated to the K–12 phase of education, which concerns the period from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
Extensive research has confirmed the connection between quality childhood education and later successful education at college, which also directly affects the decisions that will be made regarding professional and private life. This is why each segment of education is very important:
- Kindergarten/Preschool – The child encounters educational institutions and external influences they bring at a very early age. Kindergarten is the first place where the child will spend considerable time away from their parents, where the teachers, up to a point, take over the child’s upbringing from the parents. This period is very important for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, as they learn to socialize, as well as reach some important developmental milestones such as learning the alphabet and learning foreign words.
- Elementary school / Middle school– refers to the institutions where the child encounters their first serious obligations and where the influence of peers and teachers is quite significant. This, of course, takes place at the elementary level, but these are very important stages, as this is a time of rapid psychological and physical development.
- High school – The period of adolescence is very turbulent, and the importance of a quality school for further development is very great. During this period, the child forms opinions that will define their coming of age and affect the way they will face the important life decisions that await after graduation.
Effect of community on child development
Community plays an exceptionally important role in a child’s development, because the child grows connected to the neighborhood and the people in it, the local sports club, friends, etc. Local customs and the way people communicate make up an integral part of any individual, especially a child – whose immediate environment is their entire world.
This is why it is important that the child should grow up in a healthy environment, where the right values are appreciated. In many communities, religion is an important factor and it is up to the parents and their attitude to determine the degree in which it will affect the child. High quality neighborhoods where the child can develop greatly influence later achievements in school and in professional life alike.
Influence of media and technology on child development
In the 21st century, children are increasingly susceptible to the influence of technology and modern means of communication. We are surrounded by various forms of information that come from different multimedia sources. Children today are much more exposed to external influences, which can affect their mental health. This is especially noticeable in the emotionally delicate teen period.
Social networks create a parallel world that the parents are not even aware of, while it has a huge influence on children. The consequences of accessibility and easy communication include public shaming. Regrettably, online bullying takes place every day, putting many children under the pressure of an “invisible” environment. To avoid that, the children need to have good communication with their closest environment and support within the wider community.
Proper child development means collective effort
Although parents are the most important people in a child’s life, they are not the only ones that affect their development. This is not a bad thing – on the contrary. Having many quality experiences is conducive to the development of many skills and the acquisition of self-confidence. Children who are active at school and in extracurricular activities have a positive outlook on life, which in turn facilitates their progress.
The best possible use should be made of all the possibilities that the society provides in order for the child to spend time in wholesome ways, socializing with other children, learning about their own abilities and about the world around them.
This way, society gives its collective contribution to caring about each individual.
In modern society, the roles have been assigned so that each child should have the right to a happy childhood and a good life. It is clear that the central role in this period of life, besides the family’s, belongs to school. This is why it is such great news that there are educational institutions where a child can really make progress and be ready for the many challenges brought about by growing up.