Free Emotional and Social Development in Middle Childhood Essay Sample

Self understanding according to Erikson's theory can either be influenced by the attitude of other people who are to oneself or by the relationship between the self and others.

Middle childhood can be influenced by what others think of them or what other people perceive of them. It should be understood that during this stage, adult expectation is very high especially in academic performance. It is in this stage that quality performance is expected, with the child trying to win the praise from both the parents and the peers. In stages as this, the child tends to develop psychosocial abilities such as patience and enduring activities that are time consuming.

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Cultures can influence heavily on a child's development and growth depending on whether they are either in the western or non western cultures. Children in the western culture are basically in formal schools and can start functioning within an industrial society. Those based in the non western cultures tend to pick up roles and responsibilities that are more adult like. According to Erikson's theory, to counter the psychosocial disability, parents or guardians and even the society should encourage the children to take up useful tasks and skills. Children who suffer from inferiority complex mostly wonder whether they are successful or not, or if they have any worth. Peers too can bring about this inferiority complex. A child in this age bracket might end up having depression in the later years due to either lack of competence in either academic or domains such as athletics. Besides having to reflect on the child itself, this age bracket also brings about having a perspective of others. Children begin to realize that others also have their own point of view. In the social surrounding the child takes up more responsibilities and has more freedom and thus an increased expectation from the society. This can either have positive or negative results in their self confidence. In the case of having negative results in the expectations, the child might develop a pessimistic view towards him or herself. A defined example could be that of a troubled young person who has grown up in an environment where neither his effort is acknowledged. The parents do not show any sign of appreciating what he has done and constantly put him down. This child will grow up having a less or low perception of himself, having low or no self-esteem. In the long run, in later years he can develop depression or become active in vices and other moral irresponsible behaviors (moral development). Take another example in which a different child grows up within a society that appreciates every effort that the child shows. He might not be very bright in class but constant praise and encouragement can make the child try to master the areas in which he finds it difficult. He will carry out responsibilities handed to him to outermost integrity as he looks forward to praise and encouragement. Such children end up having high self-esteem

The child in this age bracket of middle childhood tends to be with friends most of the time. At this time the child perspective grows from a "me" to "we". The child begins being conscious of their friends happiness as the peer/ friends develop into ranks, thus pursuing more of a mutual rank than a self rank. In such a case, take for example a child who is born in isolation. He does not grow up socializing with children of his age. This kind of child in the middle childhood has a tendency of being selfish. This child doesn't think of sharing what he or she has and his or her perspective of "me" never grows to "we".

Society greatly influences the perception of what children think. Some social situations gender type, dictating what women or the female gender should or shouldn't do concerning jobs. If this continues, it brings about misperception in future. For example, take John who has grown in a very conservative background where he was brought up to think that women cannot do certain jobs. During his career, a woman was promoted to the CEO position after their former CEO Martin resigned. From John's perspective, that should be a man's job, not a woman's. In the long run they start having misunderstandings with his boss as he takes all that he is told to be personal just because his boss is female. Is it right? Take another example of homosexuality. In this age and century, children are growing up with people who are homosexual. Others are being brought up by homosexuals as their parents. What will this child grow up knowing as right or wrong? What will his or her peers think of him or her? Social settings would dictate that a family should not divorce and should have many children. In a case of divorce, there is probably going to be a re-marriage where a child has a new parent. What happens if the new parent becomes abusive? What will that child grow up to be? If the child is the only child, he or she will feel the pressure to perform while a child, who has siblings, finds it easy to adjust to performance. 

In general, within the tender age of this bracket, there are many influences that dictate what a child will grow up to be. A warm and happy family should be ideal, with constant encouragement, approval and correction where necessary. This helps to mold a child's emotional and social development in readiness of the coming years/stage which some parents find difficult to handle and full of changes; puberty.


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