Development of Friendship

Activity 1

What does your data analysis suggest about children’s behaviors?

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This analysis was reached upon following a close thirty-minute observation of infants, and it suggests various types of behaviors presented by children in play. For instance, it is clear that most children like to interact in groups frequently while playing. It is also observable that children like interacting with their peers more frequently than with adults. Sharing is common among children, and this is evident in this activity where children were caught sharing speech, food, and toys, among other things. As observed from this activity, some children would frequently tend to get isolated from their peers during playtime.

This, however, is a common behavior among infants, which can be explained better using Bandura’s theory on social learning. According to Bandura (1977), humans learn from one another through observation and various observation approaches. In this case, it is most likely that the isolated kids are trying to acquire new ideas of interaction simply by observing the behavior of their peers.

The coded information plays a key role in motivating the kids to join their friends in play. Inappropriate behavior is very common among playing infants. One of the inappropriate actions observed in this activity is conflict, as the children fight over toys. Even though inappropriate behaviors are frequently observed in this activity, they do not last long. This is a clear indication that children lack control over emotion, thus, applying inappropriate responses against their peers more frequently.

Friendship and gender roles

How do children use friendships to develop their understanding of gender roles?

Childhood friendships and associations do play a key role in the development of growing children. This helps them develop self-concept, which is critical for their later development. Through interactions with one another, either in play or any other form of socialization, children are able to learn a variety of interests about their lives (Berk, 2009). This is basically achieved through a number of things observable from the social process.

As far as friendships are concerned, children are bound to learn about gender-appropriate behaviors expected in society through various ways such as how they are dressed, the way their peers speak to them, the observations they imitate in play, how they are held, and the way they are played with, among other aspects. This helps the children understand themselves better, thus getting to grow up with the desired lessons about life.

Do you think that children who do not follow typical gender roles suffer socially? If so, do you think that older children (teens) are more susceptible to being accepted or rejected by their peers for their non-adherence to standard gender roles?

Socialization plays a key role in helping children understand what may be regarded as appropriate and improper for the genders. It is true that those children who don’t follow typical gender roles are likely to suffer socially. Friends are said to be models, and, in most cases, humans would tend to follow and imitate the behaviors displayed by their friends on various issues. In this regard, children who lack friends’ exposure to typical gender roles are likely to develop more gender stereotypes, compared with children who have had the freedom to socialize with their peers at their infancy stages. This makes the children hate and avoid other children, especially those of the opposite sex.

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In other cases, these children are also likely to get isolated by their peers due to their unhealthy physical manner of associating with others. Teens having similar problems are more susceptible to be rejected by their friends due to their failure to adhere to standard gender roles.

Activity 2

Post a brief introduction of yourself and discuss how you think young children (4-7 years) differ from how older elementary age children (8-12 years) make friends

Children between ages 4 and 7 would greatly differ from how older elementary children between 8 and 12 years old make friends. For the first category of kids, the issue of existing gender differences is of no big concern when socializing. This is because children within this age bracket have no restrictions in socializing since their interaction is not based on anything else but normal play.

On the other hand, children within the second category are able to see the differences between themselves and their peers of the opposite sex. This would have the meaning that the latter can easily recognize peers of the same sex as the potentially desirable mates in their life, rather than those of the opposite sex. For this reason, children of this age bracket are likely to take into account several considerations while making friends, gender being one of them.

Do you believe that children imitate the behaviors of adults and children in order to learn social skills? Support your response with an example

Children tend to imitate adults in order to learn social skills. As Bandura emphasizes in his theory, children would have to identify and observe other people’s behavior, attitudes, and values and adapt them accordingly. The imitation of a model’s behavior by children has always been witnessed in life, whereby infants are observed to follow the actions of the adults in their own situations. For example, a child brought up in an environment where inappropriate social behaviors such as the use of vulgar language are common is likely to practice the same behavior towards his or her peers.

Case Study

Gender Role Development and Friendship

On a typical day, 6-year old Natasha was playing with her younger sister in the compound of their house. Natasha, holding a well-dressed doll in her hands, was eagerly hushing it into sleep by singing a cool lullaby song onto its ears. Meanwhile, her sister Sasha mimicked a lady busy preparing lunch just next to her, where an array of clay-made cookery items was nicely displayed.

“This baby won’t sleep, I think he’s restless,” Natasha informed her sister.

“No, I suppose he’s hungry, he has not eaten anything since morning,” Sasha replied, setting the table in front of Natasha.

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Suddenly, Tony appeared through the gateway, holding a large toy car in his hands. On seeing the two sisters, he dashed towards them, inviting them for a ride in his new car. Meanwhile, Natasha called to Tasha, “Come on, never play with boys; they are aggressive and will beat you up.” With this signal, Natasha strongly grasped her doll against her bosom with one hand as she used the other one to pull her sister away from the intruder.

“But I only meant to play,” Tony shouted behind the disappearing girls, but none paid even the slightest attention to him.

Questions

  1. Why do children’s interactive and social preferences appear to be strongly directed to gender-based factors?
  2. Does a child’s upbringing affect his/her views about peers of a different gender?
  3. Is Natasha’s negative attitude towards gender likely to change with age?

School Adjustment and Transitions

In the supplied reading, the author states that children in certain cultures (such as Indonesia and Mexico) interact more with older siblings than with their parents. Do you think that this early, frequent interaction helps children to develop more confidence in making transitions later in life (in school settings)? Explain why or why not

Children’s frequent interactions with older siblings than with their parents, as observed in certain cultures is crucial in helping them develop more confidence in making transitions in their future lives (Rhode, 2004). The reason for this is because younger children, who are always eager to learn through imitation of other people’s behavior, are likely to develop important social skills through these interactions much faster, thus finding it easy to make future transitions.

Based on your reading and experiences, what are some social problems that children might have when beginning a new school?

The transition from preschool life to school proves to be a stressful moment for all children. Most children are observed to have various social problems when they begin school. Some of the common social issues here include loneliness, rejection by peers, and intimidation. Other social problems are unequal opportunities and classroom racism or discrimination.

Suggest some strategies that can be used to help children to feel more comfortable when making school transitions that will help them to create a social support system

However, there are several strategies that can be used to help children make a comfortable transition to school life. For instance, parents need to walk their children through the learning process by explaining to them how they would benefit from school. If necessary, soothing and calming activities can also be applied to children to help them cope with school life. Another important approach that can be useful here is the involvement of children in decision-making processes through which their interests can be understood. Advice and encouragement are other significant ways of helping children make comfortable school transitions.

Development of Self

Sometimes, peers and/or friends believe something about us that does not agree with our own self-concept. Give an example of this and tell how the different information might help us to modify our self-concept

Sometimes, friends tend to observe something about us that doesn’t agree with our own self-concept. However, different information might be necessary for helping us modify our self-concept. For example, people who have been exposed to typical gender roles in their earlier stages may find it too unpleasant when they come across a person who likes practicing gender segregations.

Children usually do not have much control over their emotions. How does that affect their friendships?

In most cases, children lack full control over their emotions, and this is likely to affect their friendships in a number of ways (Newman, 1995). This, for instance, facilitates aggressive behavior among the children, such as fighting and the use of bad language against each other, among other inappropriate actions and responses.

Post your research activity results and tell what you learned from the exercise. How important are friends’ opinions about our sense of self?

This exercise has helped me gain deeper knowledge on the role played by social interactions in developing standard gender roles in humans. Understanding of gender roles is crucial for every child’s development. In that case, it is always important for children to get exposure on various aspects that effectively help them achieve these lessons. As it would be observed, friends’ opinion to our sense of self helps us gain special skills which are essential for smart interactions with peers and other people in the society.

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References

Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Berk, L. (2009). Child Development. Boston, MA: Ally & Bacon, and Pearson Custom Publishing.

Newman, D. (1995). Sociology: Exploring the architecture of everyday life. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.

Rhode, M. (2004). Infant Observation as Research: Cross-Disciplinary Links 1. Journal of Social Work Practice, 18(3), 283-298.

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