Social development can be distinguished as one of the main elements that ensure a child develops wholly. One definition determines the process as “the adoption of the behaviour patterns of the surrounding culture” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/socialisation, 30/11/2008), thus promoting the need for norms and values to encourage moral development, which effectively helps children learn and understand themselves as an individual. It undertakes the importance of play to allow children to draw away from their egocentric traits, whilst also addressing the influence of family backgrounds.
The family and background in which children are brought up have long been recognised as the foundation to children’s social development, since it’s here children begin to find shared interests with an older authority “through history of shared experiences, have a continually growing awareness of the salient and significant parts of their environment for each other” (Messer, 1997, p.306). Therefore, this notion is raised that the family prepares children to explore their surroundings, although parents tend to push children towards their own preferred values. This can often hinder development, as Messer highlights an example that children with disabilities can face problems with communicating “children who are born to hearing parents seem to be more at risk for long term problems related to communication” (Messer, 1997, p.302), effectively this issue needs to be counterbalanced when children find themselves in the school environment, which can be done by promoting equality between peers.
Other than parents much can be gained from siblings in the family setting, in particular when addressing prosocial behaviour. This voluntary conduct is encouraged in the school setting to build upon social values, yet it has been recognised that children with younger siblings are at an advantage in the process. Howe and Ross (1999) draw attention to the notion... [continues]
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