Social development entails learning the skills, knowledge, and values that help children to have good relationships with others and be meaningful in the community, school and family. Children begin learning from those who care for them or teach them, from social relationships in the family, with friends, and also from the cultural influence they experience. The relationships facilitate awareness of expectations and social values. The process of learning is complex and dynamic as the children require time to learn different values and behaviors which help to shape their character. The learning stems in the home setting, school or church, as well as in other areas that offer interaction of the child with peers or elderly people. The current essay discusses how family, culture and the socio-economic sphere influenced my social development.
Parents have the most significant influences on their children and the way they develop socially because they are the first handlers of the newborn. My parents practiced the parenting style that did not condone or tolerate violence. Since my childhood, I have never witnessed them fighting. They have always encouraged my siblings and me to learn solving issues in a peaceful way. They would never cane us when we faults, but they would instead talk to us and give us advice. This parenting style greatly influenced my social development as it made me resent violence and thus, in my childhood, I have never handled my peers violently. This influence allowed me to grow up as a peaceful and friendly person still possessing the attributes I have gained. My parents were democratic and always taught me to solve the problem that confronted me without interfering with my social life but acting as coaches. The autonomy they gave me developed a sense of responsibility which enabled me to take care of myself and be a resourceful person. The democratic manner in which I was raised has also enriched my parenting skills and now I perceive myself as a good parent/guardian.
My siblings and I have always had friendly relationships and supported each other. This relationship has modelled my behavior and made me develop the feelings of compassion towards other people. This resulted in a quick assistance to those who approached me for it. My elder siblings have always corrected me when I was wrong, this way protecting me from potential harm. I have always been told to respect the older people and protect the juniors. Such relations have taught me a lot, developing the conviction that I have the duty to protect the young and to respect the aged. Even though I grew up in a nuclear family, we closely interacted with the extended family, spending time together during holidays. The extended family setting urged my desire for a friendship with other people, and helped to learn to treat other people with due respect.
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Cultural and religious groups as well as cultural identity play a vital role in the social development of a child. Being born and raised in a Christian family, my parents inculcated Christian values in me with friendliness and shunned violence among them. I also attended Sunday schools and peer group discussions in church, learning the same values in these groups. The church encouraged us to avoid drugs, alcoholism, and promiscuity, and by adhering to these norms, I have never had an incident connected with these three issues on my path towards adulthood. The church has also stimulated us to dress decently and I attribute my dressing code to the teachings I had in the church. The church helped us to exercise care and self-restraint when having fun and recreational activities, especially during the holiday seasons to avoid harm to our health and lives. This teaching made me understand that there is life after the festive periods and that fanfares are short winded and I should not indulge myself in too much fun. In church, we were also taught that everything on earth is God's creation, and we are supposed to respect what He had made with His hands. This doctrine helped me to recognize the diversity which implies respecting other people's culture, including religion, and avoiding any form of discrimination.
Parent's employment and income also influence a child's social development. My parents were neither poor nor rich, but they had the possibility to give me a decent. They were strict on their expenditure, and they usually spent their money on a drafted budget. They prioritized the needs and allocated the money starting with the most critical ones and postponing the luxuries for later. However, they were not mean to me and my siblings, sometimes taking us out for entertainment. The way my parents valued savings, the prioritization of needs and the reduction of expenditures has encouraged me to be financially responsible, by saving and emulating their financial plans. This has taught me how to balance such vital things s in life, as work, education, and the time for friends and fun.
Formal education also plays a significant role in shaping the character of children as well as improving their cognitive skills. My parents have never taken me to luxurious schools. Instead, they chose schools equiped with everything necessary for learning, developing and conceiving the idea of avoiding extravagance in me. The interaction with my experienced teachers enabled me to internalize their instructions and use them to shape my character. The teachers also embraced a collaborative learning model that encouraged students' participation, shaping my interpretation, assessment as well as prediction skills. The teachers also taught us how to recognize each other as individuals and understand that everyone has opinions without one being right or superior to the other,thus necessitating the need for respect and mutual listening. The other thing that we were taught was avoiding stereotypes and myths and seeking for facts and scientific evidence as opposed to generalizations. This has shown me how to accept the diversity of populations and to tolerate all groups of people regardless of their nature.
The accomodation is essential in shaping the character of an individual, and this is implemented through exposure. I grew up in a cosmopolitan town that hosts people from different races and religious groups. This implies that all these people must share public facilities such as hospitals, entertainment venues, schools and even places of worship. The unity of people in my neighbourhood does not recognize the differences between the population, co-existing as one people. Feeling that all the diverse groups of individuals are all human beings, and consequently there is no need for discrimination or avoidance of such people, I am inclined to think that the unity of the humankind is the best way to have peace on earth.
The parents education level is also essential in shaping the lives of their kids. My parents are university graduates and value the essence of education. Thus, they regard it appropriate for me to follow their steps. Formal education enhanced my cognitive skills, simultaneously providing me with the knowledge necessary for pursuing the career of my choice. The academic status of my parents enables them to use reasoning in the course of any actionwhich has made them my role models in the course of obtaining advice andguidance from them.
In conclusion, the social development of an individual relies on the various spheres of influence that shapes their life. Family is important as it is the foundation of the parenting style, relations with siblings as well as with the extended family. Culture is also important as it gives an individual an identity,influencing their development through religion and other aspects. The socio-economic sphere is also vital because such factors as the parents' income, education level, the educational process of the child, and the place of residence significantly influence the way a youngster develops socially. Lastly, it is important for parents, as the most significant determinants of their child's social development, to provide a suitable environment for the growth of their children and ensure that they are well-nurtured.