Social Influences & Middle Childhood
During middle childhood,
friendships and peer relations become very important, as children
begin to spend a significant amount of time with their peers.
It is important that they find a place within their social group.
This requires an increased attention to social rules and an increased
ability to consider other peoples point of view. Social status
becomes important and children must compete for this. How children
are treated by their peers places them into a certain category
social status. Popular children are those who receive
positive attention from their peers. Rejected children
receive little positive attention from their peers and lots of
negative. They are actively disliked. Neglected children
are generally ignored by peers rather than disliked. Controversial
children receive both positive and negative attention. Victimized
children are selectively and actively harmed, psychologically
and physically by a few in their peer group. Finally, bullies
are children who act aggressively without provocation in order
to dominate children.
Why are some Children popular and others not?
There are reasons why some children
are treated differently than others. Popular children seem to
be physically attractive and skilled at interacting and maintaining
positive relationships, being socially competent. Rejected
children are often treated negatively because they are highly
aggressive. They overestimate their competence and social skills,
and underestimate how much others dislike them. Neglected
children are less sociable, but not aggressive or shy. Their
social status often improves over time. Often they perform academically,
are co-operative and liked by their teachers. Controversial
children are aggressive, but they compensate for it by joking
and using social skills so that they don't break relationships
with others. Victimized children loose their temper easily
and are immature and dependent. Bullies are often aggressive
without provocation and it is beneficial for them to behave that
way ( they get something they want).
Middle childhood is a time when
most children begin to judge themselves and are judged by others.
If a child sees themselves as competent and smart and likes who
they are they will have good self esteem. If a child fails to
demonstrate some skill that they feel makes them worthy they will
have poor self esteem. All people, children included, judge their
worth on two factors - their degree of competence and their acceptance.
Those who feel they are lacking certain skills or are not accepted
by others may have lower levels of self
esteem than those who perceive themselves to be high in these
Foundations For Self-esteem:
The self-esteem of a child is linked
to parenting. Three factors are important in ensuring that a child
feels good about themselves. In particular, there are three parental
characteristics that combine to produce high self-esteem in children:
1) Parents accept their children: Children with
high self-esteem have mothers who are closer and more affectionate.
The child appreciates their mother's approval and views them as
supportive. They interpret their mother's interest as an indication
of their personal importance. 2) Parents
set clearly defined limits: Parents who impose and enforce
strict limits on children's activities appear to give their children
a sense that norms are real and significant and this contributes
to the child's self definition. 3) Parents
respect individuality: Children with higher self-esteem are
allowed a great deal of self-expression. As well, parents
show respect for children's ideas by reasoning with them and considering
their points of view.
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Here for Problems of Teens
& Prosocial Behaviour
of Children & Teens