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The development and socialization of the child begin at an early age, and the initial stage is the admission to an early childhood center. Habits, surroundings, and the regime of the day have a significant impact on the adaptation of children in the society, and the role of teachers and parents is essential. In order to assess the degree of the child’s socialization in an early childhood setting, it is significant to consider the factors that influence this process. Some sources of scientific literature will be useful for analyzing the issue and drawing up a general picture of the topic. As the basic factors that are considered the criteria affecting the socialization of children in an early childhood center, the environment, interactions, curriculum, and parent engagement are discussed.
During the early childhood, the development of the child depends solely on the social conditions of his or her residence. An early childhood center is the first step in the socialization of the child, the beginning of his or her relationships with peers and familiarity with the new environment. Admission to such a center is accompanied by a change in not only the circle of communication but also the regime of the day, nutrition, and the system of behavioral reactions. It, in its turn, leads to the need to establish social ties and adapt to new living conditions. Socialization begins at an early age, and in the future, this process becomes more complex, versatile, and connected with certain difficulties. Therefore, it is essential to determine what factors influence the development of the child’s personality in such a center of early childhood, and also to prove that all these criteria can have a significant role in the process of adaptation in the society.
The Influence of an Early Childhood Center’s Environment
Due to the fact that the child begins to spend much time not only with adults but also with peers, the environment plays an important role in the process of personality formation. According to McLeod et al. (2017), those principles of communication that are typical children help them to better understand certain features of interpersonal interaction. For example, in a peer group, the child involuntarily adopts the habits and manners of other children in an early childhood center, and it has an effect on his or her future behavior. Moreover, the fixed regime of the day allows forming the responsibility and strengthening the sense of order, which is also essential for further life in the society.
Interactions as the Way of Children’s Socialization
In the process of communicating with peers, children learn the basics of conversations and interaction. Even elementary games provide valuable experience, which can be useful in the future. For instance, Hay and Reissenberger (2016) claim that such essential qualities as patience, the desire to share ones’ belongings, and other useful traits of character are formed in early childhood. Also, according to Berns (2016), the process of interaction leaves an indelible mark on the manner of behavior. The more actively a child is willing to take part in communicating with peers, the more likely that he or she will not have difficulties in adapting to the society at an older age.
The Influence of the Curriculum on Children’s Socialization
A simple but important curriculum in educational centers not only helps the child to obtain the basics of knowledge that are necessary for further life but also contributes to the pupil’s full participation in social life. As a rule, the curriculum in early childhood settings is designed so that children could receive a sufficient amount of information that is necessary for them at the stage of personality formation and adaptation in the society (Berns, 2016). Moreover, not only educational but also cognitive disciplines are included in such programs, for example, training in etiquette, the observation of nature, etc. (McLeod et al., 2017). All these factors allow children to successfully apply the acquired knowledge in life and understand how the world around them works.
Parents’ Engagement in Children’s Socialization
The participation of family members in the process of forming the social identity of children is certainly of great importance since pupils spend most of their time at home. According to Berns (2016), parents’ informational education is one of the prerequisites for the development of a morally healthy child. In case senior family members are interested in the child’s soonest adaptation to the society and his or her understanding of the basics of interpersonal communication, teachers’ tasks in the centers will be greatly simplified. Moreover, many habits and behavioral traits are adopted by the child from parents; therefore, it is essential for a personal example to be positive.
Thus, the criteria influencing children’s socialization in an early childhood center are the environment, interactions, the curriculum, and parents’ engagement. The role of these factors is significant, and following specific manners of behavior contributes to the child’s better adaptation to the society. The importance of each factor is proved by the necessity to comprehensively develop children’s interests.
Berns, R. M. (2016). Child, family, school, and community: Socialization and support (10th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Hay, D., & Reissenberger, K. (2016). Building relationships to allow the sharing of authentic practice in early childhood settings. Educating Young Children: Learning and Teaching in the Early Childhood Years, 22(3), 11-13.
McLeod, B. D., Sutherland, K. S., Martinez, R. G., Conroy, M. A., Snyder, P. A., & Southam-Gerow, M. A. (2017). Identifying common practice elements to improve social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children in early childhood classrooms. Prevention Science, 18(2), 204-213.