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The FamilyFamilies form a system of interactingelementsParents and children influence one another‐ Parents influence their children both directly andindirectly‐ Children influence their parents‐ Children’s behaviors, attitudes, and interests affect howtheir parents behave toward them
In the systems view, families,parents and children influenceeach other and parent‐childrelations are influenced by otherindividuals and institutions
Function of FamiliesSurvival of offspring‐ Families help to ensure that children survive to maturity byattending to their physical needs, health needs, and safetyEconomic function‐ Families provide the means for children to acquire the skills andother resources they need to be economically productive inadulthoodCultural training‐ Families teach children the basic values in their culture
Parental SocializationParents as direct instructors‐ Parents may directly teach their children skills, rules, and strategies andexplicitly inform or advise them on various issuesParents as indirect socializers‐ Parents provide indirect socialization in the course of their day‐to‐dayinteractions with their childrenParents as providers and controllers of opportunities‐ Parents manage children’s experiences and social lives, including theirexposure to positive or negative experiences, their opportunities to playwith certain toys and children, and their exposure to various kinds ofinformation
Parenting DimensionsThere are two general dimensions of parentalbehavior‐ The degree of warmth and responsiveness thatparents show their children‐ The amount of control parents exert over theirchildren
Warmth and ResponsivenessAt one of the spectrum are parents who areopenly warm and affectionate with theirchildrenAt the other end of the spectrum are parentswho are relatively uninvolved with theirchildren and sometimes even hostile towardthem
Parental ControlParents’ efforts to supervise and monitor their children’sbehaviorEffective control‐ Setting standards that are appropriate for the child’s age‐ Showing the child how to meet the standards‐ Rewarding the child for complying to these standardsParents should enforce the standards consistently‐ Children and adolescents are more compliant when parents enforcethe rules regularlyEffective control is also based on good communication‐ Parents should explain why they’ve set standards and why theyreward or punish as they do
Parental Styles (Baumrind)Authoritarian parenting‐ High parental control with little warmthAuthoritative parenting‐ A fair degree of parental control with beingwarm and responsive to childrenIndulgent‐permissive parenting‐ Warmth and caring but little parental controlIndifferent‐uninvolved parenting‐ Neither warmth nor control
Children with authoritarian parents typically havelower grades in school, lower self‐esteem, and areless skilled sociallyChildren with authoritative parents tend to havehigher grades and be responsible, self‐reliant, andfriendlyChildren with indulgent‐permissive parents havelower grades and are often impulsive and easilyfrustratedChildren with indifferent‐uninvolved parents havelow self‐esteem and are impulsive, aggressive, andmoody
How Can Parents Influence Their Children?Direct Instruction‐ Telling a child what to do, when and whyLearning by Observing (modeling)‐ Learning what to do by watching‐ Learning what not to do (counterimitation)Feedback‐ Parents indicate whether a behavior is appropriate and shouldcontinue or should stop
FeedbackReinforcement‐ Any action that increases the likelihood of theresponse that it followsPunishment‐ Any action that discourages the reoccurrence ofthe response that it follows
Negative Reinforcement TrapParents often unwittingly reinforce the very behaviorsthey want to discourage‐ First step: The mother tells her son to do something hedoesn’t want to do‐ Second step: The son responds with some behavior thatmost parents find intolerable‐ Third step: The mother gives in – tells the son he doesn’tneed to do as he was initially told as long as he stops doingthe behavior that is so intolerable
Punishment Works Best When:Administered directly after the undesired behavioroccurs, rather than hours laterAn undesired behavior always leads to punishment,rather than usually or occasionallyAccompanied by an explanation of why the child waspunished and how punishment can be avoided in thefutureThe child has a warm, affectionate relationship withthe person administering the punishment
Drawbacks to punishmentPunishment is primarily suppressive: if a newbehavior isn’t learned to replace it, the oldresponse will come back.Punishment can have undesirable side effects:‐ Children become upset as they are being punishedwhich makes it unlikely that they will understandthe feedback that punishment is meant to convey.‐ When children are punished physically – they oftenimitate this behavior with peers and youngersiblings.
Children who are spanked oftenuse aggression to resolve theirdisputes with others and are morelikely to have behavior problems
Parenting behavior and styles evolve as aconsequence of the child’s behavior.Children’s behavior helps determine howparents treat them and the resultingparental behavior influences children’sbehavior, which can in turn cause parentsto again change their behavior.
This reciprocal influence lead many familiesto adopt routine ways of interacting witheach other.Some families end up running smoothly(parents and children cooperate, anticipateeach other’s needs, and are generally happy).Some families end up in trouble(disagreements are common, parents spendmuch time trying to unsuccessfully controltheir defiant children, and everyone is oftenangry and upset).
Children’s InfluenceParental warmth gradually changes aschildren develop‐ Hugs and kisses work with toddlers not withadolescentsParental control gradually changes aschildren develop‐ Parents gradually relinquish control and expectchildren to be responsible for themselves
AttractivenessMothers of very attractive infants are moreaffectionate and playful with their infants than aremother of infants with unappealing facesWhy?‐ An evolutionary explanation would propose thatparents are motivated to invest more time andenergy into offspring who are healthy andgenetically fit and therefore likely to survive‐ Attractiveness could be seen as an indicator ofthese characteristics
DivorceNearly half of all first marriages end indivorce‐ Every year approximately one million Americanchildren have parents who divorceDivorce is distressing for children because itinvolves conflict between parents andusually separation from one of them
Family Life After DivorceChildren usually live with their mothers‐ About 15% of children live with their fathers after divorceHow does life change (based on the Virginia LongitudinalStudy)?‐ First few months after divorce, many mothers are lessaffectionate toward their children‐ Two years after the divorce, mother‐child relationshipsimprove, particularly for daughters‐ Six years after the divorce, children in the study wereadolescents‐ Family life continued to improve for mothers anddaughters‐ Family life was problematic for mothers and sons
Impact of Divorce on ChildrenChildren whose parents had divorced fare poorlycompared to children from intact families in:‐ School achievement‐ Conduct‐ Adjustment‐ Self‐concept‐ Parent‐child relationsChildren adjust to divorce more readily if theirdivorced parents cooperate with each other,especially on disciplinary matters‐ Children benefit from joint custody if parents getalong
Divorce’s Influence on DevelopmentThe absence of one parent means that children losea role model, a source of parental help andemotional support, and a supervisorSingle‐parent families experience economichardship‐ Creates stress and often means activities oncetaken for granted are no longer availableConflict between parents is extremely distressingto children and adolescents‐ Particularly for children who are emotionallyinsecure
Which Children are Affected?The overall impact of divorce is about the same for boys andgirls‐ However, divorce is more harmful when it occurs duringchildhood and adolescence than during preschool orcollege yearsWith regard to parents’ remarriage, young adolescentsappear to be more negatively affected than younger children‐ Young adolescents’ struggles with issues of identity areheightened by the presence of a new parent who hasauthority to control them and is a sexual partner of theirbiological parent
Peer RelationsChildren’s skills at interacting with peersimproves rapidly‐ Children are becoming increasingly self‐aware,more effective at communicating, and better atunderstanding the thoughts and feelings ofothers
What are some benefits of play?Play and social development go hand andhand.Play offers many opportunities to be withother children and to share, take turns,disagree, and compromise (Mitchell andDavis, 1992).While at play, children are increasing theirself awareness and are becoming moreinvolved in cooperative play.
Benefits of playEmotionally, children develop greater selfawareness and they are more able to predictthe emotions of others.According to Huffnung (1997) children willdevelop empathy or the ability to appreciatethe feeling of others and understand theirpoint of view.‐ If one child begins an activity, it is likely that hisfriends will want to follow along.
Developmental Sequence ofCognitive PlayPlay Category Description ExamplesFunctionalPlaySimple, repetitivemotor movements withor without objects.Especially commonduring the first 2 yearsof life.Running around aroom, rolling a car backand forth, kneadingclay with no intent tomake somethingConstructivePlayCreating or constructingsomething. Especiallycommon between 3 and6 years.Making a house out oftoy blocks, drawing apicture, puttingtogether a puzzlePretend PlayActing out everydayand imaginary roles.Especially commonbetween 2 and 6 years.Playing house, school,or police officer; Actingout storybook ortelevision characters
Partens Five Types of PlayMildred Parten (1932) was one of the earlyresearchers studying children at play. Shefocused on the social interactions betweenchildren during play activities.Recent research suggests that children donot necessarily spend more time in socialtypes of play as they get older, but rathertheir play within each category becomesmore cognitively mature (Berk, 2004)
Partens Five Types of PlayOnlooker behavior ‐ Playing passively by watching or conversing(or asking questions) with other childrenengaged in play activities.These children seem to move closer to agroup rather than watching whatevermomentarily catches their attention.
All by myself play…Solitary independent ‐ Playing byoneself. ‐ A child plays alone with objects.Even if the child is within speakingdistance of others, the child doesnot alter her or his play or interactwith others.
Solitary Play – Good or Bad?Some forms of solitary play are signs that children areuneasy interacting with others‐ Wandering aimlessly‐ A child that goes from one preschool activity to the next, as iftrying to decide what to do‐ They just keep wandering, never settling into play with others orinto constructive solitary play‐ Hovering‐ A child stand nearby peers who are playing, watching them playbut not participating
Parallel PlayPlaying, even in the middle of a group,while remaining engrossed in ones ownactivity.‐ Children playing parallel to each othersometimes use each others toys, but alwaysmaintain their independence. ‐ “He plays beside rather than with the otherchildren" (Parten, 1932).
Associative PlayWhen children share materials and talkto each other, but do not coordinateplay objectives or interests. ‐ All the children in the group are doing similaractivities, but specific roles and goals are notdefined.
A Group EffortExample: When several children make sandcastles at the beach, they may share the job ofmaking walls and digging the moats, andperhaps consult with one another aboutdigging a channel to these.BUT…as members of the group lose interestand wander off, others may joining the activity.
Cooperative playThis type of play occurs when childrenorganize themselves into roles with specificgoals in mind‐ They help each other accomplish a joint venture,such as selling lemonade or building a fort fortheir “club”Think back…What are some examples ofYOUR cooperative play?
Cooperative PlayExample: while playing hospital theyassign the roles of doctor, nurse, andpatient.Each member of the group remains withthe task until it is finished or the groupdecides together to go on to otheractivities.
The progression from solitary toparallel to associative to cooperativeplay reflects the childs growingability to sustain his interests andrelate to other children.Click on the picture for a video on play
Typical 1 ½-year-old Typical 4-year-oldParallel Play Associative Play Cooperative Play
Sociodramatic PlayAs children develop the ability to representexperiences symbolically, pretend play becomesa prominent activity.‐ Pretend play is when children act out various rolesand themes in stories that they create themselves.By the age of four or five, childrens ideasabout the social world initiate most pretendplay.
Sociodramatic PlayActions in play often reflect real world behavior, theyalso incorporate childrens interpretations and wishes.Through dramatic play, children learn to assertthemselves in a way to build their competence in lateradult roles (Elkind, 1981).‐ Children explore and rehearse social roles they haveobserved in society‐ A child learns basic life skills such as cooperation,negotiation and compromise through play.Click for a video on thistype of play!
Is there any value to sociodramatic play?When children play dress‐up they are takingon the role of someone else. By doing this,children must try to think and behave in amanner appropriate to their pretend persona.Such Sociodramatic play also helps them tounderstand others and develop feelings ofempathy.