Social Child Development Theories -

Social Child Development Theories

social child development theories

Social child development theories are concerned with how children gain knowledge and understanding of their environment through different socialization experiences. These years are crucial in one’s development as a child. During this age, kids learn to count, learn to read and spell, develop significant social and interpersonal skills to socialize with other kids and adults, and more generally, obtain the broader international social and cultural values of adulthood. It is said that by the time kids reach about three, they already have developed rational thinking and the ability to problem solve. But this does not mean that socialization is totally done away with then; quite the opposite, in fact, it plays a major role in shaping an individual’s identity, thoughts, values and beliefs.

Childhood Development Is Highly Interactive

A person sitting on a bed

The best social child development theories highlight the fact that childhood development is a highly interactive one, that is, it involves many processes. Childhood experiences and the environment one grew up in, the kind of family one came from and the current social and cultural situations one interacts with are some of the factors that shape the child’s experiences in these crucial years. Thereby, many theories on childhood development propose that children go through distinct developmental stages with distinct characteristics, traits and attributes. For example, in the developmental stage of infancy, babies are incapable of understanding the concepts of right and wrong, or knowing the difference between good and bad. They also experience anxiety, fear and stress, but these are only short-term and transitory symptoms of what will be experienced later on such as irritability, compulsive behaviors and tantrums.

The Social Learning Theory

A woman standing in front of a window

Another emerging theory on child development is the social learning theory. This school of thought proposes that children acquire various learned behaviors based on what they observe around them. For example, babies exposed to television advertisements learn about taste, colors, and gender through their caregivers’ experiences and what they observe. On the other hand, these same babies gain knowledge about gender, time, space, and social concepts through observation of these things around them, but not necessarily directly learned rules.

Other Different Theories Conclusion

Different theories on child development suggest that children develop distinct types of strategies as they navigate their way through various experiences in their daily lives. These strategies can include imitation, rule learning, or problem solving. Some research has shown that certain strategies are universal and are developed during childhood. However, during the middle childhood years, these strategies may no longer be universal and some may even become dysfunctional. Social learning theories suggest that social stimuli such as direct experience, parental guidance, and intergenerational transmission of values shapes children’s strategies for problem solving in both the short-term and the long term.

Summing Up

One of the widely accepted child development focus is the socialization theory, which suggests that children learn from social interactions. For instance, parents can help their kids by arranging their homes such that they have more people they can interact with. They can give their children stimulating environments with different kinds of toys and games. Also, one can help children by providing a secure environment where they can freely express themselves. All of these actions help enhance a child’s social skills and will eventually help them to learn how to socialize with others.

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