Child Development Theories and Socialization

Child Development Theories and Socialization


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The Urie Bronfenbrenner theory on ecology which is known as the Ecological Systems theory is a theory on the development of human beings relative to the socialization environment they encounter during their development. These environments have different impacts on the behavior of the particular person. The five systems are;


This is the immediate environment/system which is very close to the child and thus has a direct link with it. E.g. of such systems are; family, friends, teachers, caregivers, peers etc. these environments form the immediate relationship with the child.

Due to the direct contacts, these environments have a very big impact to the child’s growth. The better the care and nurturing that the child is given in these institutions; the best outcome would be expected since they act as the social agents in the development of the child.


The mesosystem level is the interactions of the different parts of the microsystem. The interactions of these microsystems have an impact on the child’s growth. E.g. the relationship between the family and neighbors/school will have an indirect impact on the child’s growth, for instance if the parents quarrel with their neighbors, the child will be negatively impacted by such an interaction.


This is the system that doesn’t direct interact with the child but has an impact on the child’s development e.g. The workplace of the parent. For instance if the mother of the children works in the army whereby she is always away or in circumstances whereby the parent has received a promotion or pay rise.


The macrosystem comprises of the cultural, economic, political and social environment in which the child grows and how they affect him/her. e.g. If there is a war during the child’s growth and then he/ she is forced to become a refugee.

This environment poses both negative and positive impacts to the child’s growth.

The Chronosystem

Are the transitions and shifts in one’s lifespan. It also involves influences of socio-historical contexts. For instance divorce of child’s parents will have an impact on the child’s development and behavior.

Significance of the theory to the parents

Being aware of this theory is very helpful to the parents of the parents since they would have the knowledge of how the influence of each setting affects the growth of the child. Each of the system contains roles and societal norms that have an impact on the psychological and social development of the child.

Best parenting style

The best parenting style that must be adopted by the parents is the authoritative style. This type is best suited for the child because it has a high level of both responsiveness and demandingness to the child as opposed to the authoritarian style. With this style, the parents please their children but at reasonable levels. The child is granted more freedom but with set limits. The parents listen to the child’s wishes and reasons and asses the risks involved and if the situation seems dangerous, they negotiate the best way out with the child. “show a large amount of affection and warmth for the child, respect the child’s individual freedom and independence, clearly communicate expectations while giving the child some degree of choice, and have high standards for mature behavior from the child…When his sons disobey, his discipline is focused on understanding the consequences of their actions, not simply saying, ‘Follow my rules or else.’ ” (TEXTBOOK)

This mode of parenting is very beneficial to the child in the later life “They tend to have good communication skills, good social skills, and display high degrees of independence.” (Lao, 2016). The negotiation approach adopted by the parents is also very advantageous to the children since it enables them to interact mutually and with respect with the other people in the society. The use of reason by the parents is as very helpful “In addition, children get to learn, and evaluate, the reasons underlying their parents’ constraints and may come to internalize these reasons, not based on faith, as in the authoritarian and tough love styles, but based on reason” (Lao,2016). The autonomy and independence granted to the child by the parents is much more likely to result to the child becoming innovative and entrepreneurial in nature.

Since the Authoritative parents are also strict just like the authoritarian parents, their children are well behaved. And to add on the good behavior, they show love and reasonable parenting whereby the standards are set with the involvement of the child and this makes him/her have the reason to adhere to the set norms without fear or being coerced to do so.

Childcare option

A day-care center option is the best suited for the child. The day care center is very beneficial in that it provides learning opportunity and social development since kids socialize with other children of the same age. The staff in the day care are trained and educated in early childhood development as opposed to the nanny and family based cares. Day cares are licensed and regulated by the government implying that they offer what is best suited for the child. The early experiences have both positive and negative impacts on the child. “The social skills we learn as children prepare us for adult life. Socialization techniques learned during early play and form the foundation for later relationships with family members, friends and co-workers.” (Smith, 2016)

Safe technology use

Devices such as the TV and the media can be used positively to increase the knowledge and understanding of the world around them as well as teach positive social behaviors. Selective viewing promotes academic capabilities of the child. “According to a growing number of scientists, medical experts and other health professionals, the use of technology by children either actively or passively has the potential to affect their physical, mental, social and emotional development significantly. We should ALL be mindful of children’s developmental needs when considering the use of technology, whether it is in our homes, schools or elsewhere.” (“Child Development the National Association for Children and Safe Technology”, 2016)

The regulation of the child’s exposure to technological devices is very important. The technological advancement in the 21st century has posed both psychological health challenges to the children “Children’s developing sensory and motor systems have not evolved biologically to accommodate the sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. Rapidly advancing technology has contributed to an increase of physical, psychological and behavior disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, much less understand.” (Rowan, 2013)

The excess unmonitored use of the computers, and normally when coupled with the use of other screen based technologies such as the TV has had devastating effects on the child’s physical, social, and psychological development. Both the physical activity and social interaction are very important for the healthy development of the child. A child who spends a lot of time in in front of the screens will in turn be limiting the time that h should be spending on the field playing and thus increasing the chances of obesity, impacts on eyes and backs. Furthermore exposing a child to violent or sexual contents that’s far beyond them has a harmful effect on them.

Limits on the extent of exposure need to be set for the child and the content that they watch need to be supervised by the guardian “To ensure healthy and appropriate use of computers both at school and at home, children’s computer time must be limited and their exposure to different types of content must be supervised.” (Shields & Behrman, 2000)

The social development aspect of the child is also affected since the interactions with the microsystem i.e. family, friends, peers, school and community play a very significant role in their development, but instead the child spends most of his time before the screen and thus the machine becomes his friend and hence becomes a social dwarf.

Importance of culture and ethnicity

Ethnicity and culture form a very crucial part in a child’s development of one’s self identity. Thus attaching the child’s identity to a particular cultural group fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance and limits the chances of the child joining gangs due to low self-esteem and in the search of identity.

The parents ought to build a social network for the child that embraces their cultural background. This is very important since it helps him/her to feel as part of the community during the development. The development of the sense of cultural identity usually supports the development of their child’s identity and self-esteem. This in turn increases the child’s confidence and assertiveness.

Methods to increase the child’s self-esteem and positive attitude

Self-esteem of the child will normally result from having a sense of belonging, and believing in his/her capabilities and thus it is very important for the parents to instill the development of pride and self -respect.

The methods that raise self-esteem and positive attitude are;

Giving unconditional love to the child- the self-esteem of the child grows when showed love by the parent.  While also disciplining the child, it is important to ensure that it’s done on the basis of love.

Paying attention to the child- giving undivided attention to the child also boosts his self-esteem by making him/ her has the feeling of being wanted and thus does away with the feeling of isolation and loneliness. 

Celebrating the positiveto boost the self-esteem of the child, encouragement is very important. This will in turn enhance his sense of accomplishment and self-worth and let him know exactly what he did right. Encouragement is used to acknowledge effort and show the child that you believe in him/her. 

Family and schools as agents of socialization


The family is the most important agent to socialization of a child since children learn a lot from their immediate environments. These children spend most of their time with the family and usually learn a lot from them. “Young children are easily moldable and are often influenced by the actions they see and messages they hear from people they interact with regularly. Since they often spend the most time with their family members when they are young, these microsystems have strong influences on the initial development of their attitudes and beliefs” (TEXTBOOK). The Family members play a significant role in influencing the development of the attitude of the child and thus the family members must act diligently and rightly when before the child.

Schools and teachers

The schools being one of the microsystem in which the child spends most of the time, they play a very important role in forming his/her attitudes and beliefs. For instance, most of gender stereotypes originate from the school setting. Children see teachers as their role models and believe in anything that they do. They child grows up trusting that the teacher as being always right and thus anything they enforce is taken positively. Teachers are also the first people to identify bullying practices.


At day care and pre-schools, children are exposed to their age mates and have a glance at what they believe in. this gives the child the chance to compare his/her beliefs with those of the other children. The children tend to show prejudice to those who have different behavior to them and a liking to those with similar behaviors and beliefs. Parents need to promote the best ways of socialization with peers and also identify any peer victimization practices.


The career of the student is to become a Family and Marriage Therapist. Having knowledge on the theories of socialization and children development will be very useful since it would enable the student to effectively apply this knowledge in the development concepts of the children as an integral part of the family. It will also assist in giving the parents advice on the best ways of bringing up their children so that they don’t become misfits in the society due to poor upbringing and parenting when they are young.


Child Development the National Association for Children and Safe Technology. (2016). National Association for Children and Safe Technology. Retrieved 22 August 2016, from

Lao, J. (2016). Parenting Retrieved 22 August 2016, from

Rowan, C. (2013). The Impact of Technology on the Developing ChildThe Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 August 2016, from

Shields, M. & Behrman, R. (2000). Children and Computer Retrieved 22 August 2016, from

Smith, D. (2016). The Benefits of Socialization for Children in Daycare. Retrieved 22 August 2016, from http://Child care experiences vary greatly, and these early experiences are likely to have positive and negative impacts that relate to children’s achievement and behavior in kindergarten


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