Investigate the development of self concept, the influence of personal development and the relationships of children.
Self concept is created by two main concepts, self image and self esteem. How you see yourself, your personality and how others see you are all part of a persons self concept. The more positive a person views themselves, the greater the chance of that individual reaching their full potential and being able to maintain a positive attitude. Self image being how you see yourself and your appearance. It does not have to necessarily reflect that of reality, someone suffering from anorexia for example who is visibly thin may, “have a self image in which the person believes they are fat.” (1) The development within children and their self concept is quite significant. Young children will only possess a limited self concept of few descriptions which are usually physical. Older Children develops to a series of “factual categories”, these being things such as, hair colour, eye colour and height. In the adolescence period the self concept begins to expand further. Incorporating many likes and dislikes along with beliefs and may include details regarding others. Once self concept is in an adult stage it includes personalities and details of the quality of their life. If a person sees themselves as being a success it is likely that their self esteem will be high. With a positive self belief and a positive self image comes a positive self concept. According to Seligmon’s cycle of failure, if a child was attempting a certain activity and failed they could develop a negative concept of their abilities perhaps reinforced by others. With the negative builds a low self esteem leading the child not to try at the activity which in turn would lead to them failing once again. The cycle could also work in a positive way, If an individual performed an certain action and was rewarded for it they would repeat that action. For children to be able to develop need to have a role, a sense of worthiness. This could be as simple as tidying their bedroom or toys away. To have a positive self esteem children should also be praised and rewarded for good behaviour, and on the same principle have criticism and discipline for any bad actions. The case study of Emily illustrates aspects of her development and self concept, it is stated that, “she was an unsettled a baby and spent the first three months of her life crying.” At this stage in a child’s development the baby would have little concern over self image or self esteem and is therefore crying for comfort, safety, love, in pain or just hungry. Due to the unhappiness of Emily it is unlikely that she was receiving the sufficient care or attention she needed. As Emily grows older her role is diminished even more, being blamed for the collapse of the family and the walking out of her father. The lack of belonging will damage Emily’s ability to find her identity, causing her a low self esteem. This only encouraged as she grows older, being neglected and left in her playpen. With the lack of interaction Emily is unable to make any form of attachments and develop any social skills. She is constantly being compared to her brothers in a unfair fashion yet again breaking down her self esteem and therefore her self concept. The sense of rejection from the family is renewed later on when the father collects her brothers to go and play football. With the reasoning, “she is a girl and girls do not play football!” Not only presenting a sexist attitude, Emily is once again denied any form of acceptance. This denial of acceptance could influence her gender concept and develop the thought that she, and women in general are the weaker sex when compared to the male race. When Emily starts school, she does not mix with the other children. She instead isolates herself, a lack of confidence and social skills instantly signal a low self confidence and self image. This is most likely to be a result to her...
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