Development of a Child in Adopted Families

A social sphere of life demands knowledge and understanding of certain factors related to the social area. In cases when parents decide to adopt a child, they should be provided with the information about the child and an explanation about the peculiarities related to the development of an individual. Such information consists of several blocks and defines the social aspects of the child’s growth in terms of family relationships, culture, ethnicity, childcare, researched methods to increase the child’s self-esteem and positive attitude, and other features. Socialization decisions in relation to an adopted child are crucial (even if it is a decision about going to preschool). Therefore, parents should know the theories and scientific concepts related to the development of children; besides, an expert in the field should give specific advice and support the family in order to help them raise the child.

The whole process of a child’s development may be divided into aspects that correspond to various factors. One of such aspects is the scientific theories that are designed in order to account for the impact of a child’s surrounding. Here, in an effort to ensure a proper upbringing of a child, it is important to comprehend ideas described in the ecological models of human development, proposed by Urie Bronfenbrenner. The main statement of the models is that an ecological system in which children grow up is an intrinsic element responsible for human development. The ecological model consists of five subsystems that are organized in a way to help understand and support child’s growth. These subsystems may be divided into two categories: the microsystem and the macrosystem.

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The microsystem analyzes the subtle connections that form relationships between the environment and an individual. These relationships may be evaluated  applying the categories of family and school. The macrosystem refers to a cultural aspect that has a great impact on a developing person (for example, customs, economy, education, etc.). The whole model presents the ecological approach which provides information about human development. Apart from the theory, the approach is considered to be feasible in practice. Bronfenbrenner believes that it is crucial to establish long-term relationships within a family that would give a child a sense of caring and love that is meant to last. Such an interaction should integrate the relationships developed by teachers at school. It is important to acknowledge that stable relationships as a part of the child’s environment, described by Bronfenbrenner in his model, aid to avoid a possibility of conflicts at schools or work. There is a number of different models that describe human development; however, the Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model is one of the most significant among them as it stresses the role of the environmental factors that contribute to the development of the child in adopted family.

Apart from the environmental, a parenting style has a great influence on the development of an individual. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a parenting style that would be most beneficial for raising an adopted four-year-old child. Since the family under consideration seems to be tender and caring, parents might use a permissive philosophy in relation to the child. However, in this case, it is better to implement the ideas of the authoritative style. The style is defined as a child-centered approach according to which parents tend to meet emotional and physical needs of an individual. This style has expectations of maturity that is a quality of behaving in a sensible way. For example, in various situations, a child is given a choice and is able to decide a way to act. In cases of mistakes from the side of a child, parents are usually forgiving and try to explain things rather than to punish for them. This parenting philosophy allows connecting to a child and understanding its needs and desires.

The family under consideration is socially stable and is able to provide decent education to the child. It is important that it is not a single-parent family because both, a father and a mother, should take care of the child. Presently, the parents have decided that the child will go the preschool. This opportunity is valid as it assists the child in developing learning and social skills. These factors should be considered while choosing a childcare option. The care that is given to the child before and after preschool directly affects the family. On the early stage of the development, the time that is spend away from home by a child should be minimal in order to establish and maintain a feeling of being connected to the family. Thus, the concept of non-family care should be dismissed for families that want to adopt children. Family-based care is preferable as the family members have time to spend together and show how much they care about each other, learn the main traits of characters and share experience. Another reason for applying the given approach is defined by comprehension of social factors that increase the likelihood of the family. For example, a child can observe how his mother and father treat each, learn the basic principles of a family and implement them later in life.

The twenty-first century demonstrates a tendency according to which the influence and popularity of different devices increases. Thus, being at home or away from it, a child should know how to use technology safely and with benefits. One may suggest developing some rules regarding the exploitation of technology that would obey all the members. It is preferable to write the rules together with the child. The child may demonstrate a more restrictive approach than parents. Another way to ensure a safe technology usage is to explore it together, showing how everything operates. Children try new things with enthusiasm, especially when parents support them.

Consequently, a child will follow patterns proposed by parents. They should also prohibit their kids to use such technology as TV-set and other mobile devices at will. This suggestion is made on the basis of the statement about mass media having a negative impact. Obviously, there is a number of positive effects of the usage of media for such purposes as education, a formation of views upon the world, and an introduction to other cultures and traditions. However, the child’s exposure to media should be limited due to its negative influence. Television, video games, and the Internet affect psychological development. For example, a child becomes a witness of numerous scene of violence or media content with a sexual subtext; therefore, technology is not always safe.

As it was mentioned above, an introduction of other cultures is a thing to be encouraged. Culture and ethnicity are important in the development of the self-concept. Culture builds a character based on customs that are shared and accepted by people in a particular society; consequently, cultural education is needed due to different reasons. Firstly, it helps a child to maintain control in different situations that involve a multi-cultural surrounding. An individual should know peculiarities of a culture it belongs and be able to understand representatives of other cultures and ethnicity. Secondly, learning other cultures contributes to a development of such qualities as sensitivity to others and showing respect for different individuals.  Therefore, it is necessary to increase awareness that perceptions, actions, and interactions and those of children derive their meanings from the cultures in which they are embedded. It is a task of parents to create opportunities for the child to learn more about such thing as culture, cultural diversity, and ethnicity. This purpose may be achieved by, for instance, showing videos that contain culture-specific information, or reading literature written by American and foreign writers with a further discussion afterwards.

In addition to the self-concept, self-esteem and positive attitude should also be increased. The notion of self-esteem is connected with a chosen parenting style. The authoritative implies that the child is given a choice to act and is expected to be mature. In order to increase self-esteem, one should, for example, recognize mistakes as learning experiences that would ensure that a child obtains knowledge and would take failures into consideration in order to improve. Researchers also suggest building self-esteem using role models. For instance, knowing there are successful people with learning and attention issues who faced similar struggles can provide inspiration. It also shows that one can overcome obstacles with positive attitude.

Self-esteem is a valid attribute and an element of a successful socialization. Socialization that occurs at home differs from socialization that is developed at school. These two types of socialization are known as the primary socialization and secondary socialization. According to the research conducted by Ionut Anastasiu, primary socialization is a domain of a family and people who directly affect a child and its upbringing. This type of socialization is based on the whole process of a child’s development. According to the scientist, family and close relatives are a kind of society in miniature, a spyglass overturned, which reproduces in miniature dimensions the whole society. The point is that socialization in a comfortable home circle is founded on love and caring without any conflicts of interests.

A child and parents form a social unity where a kid is generally perceived to be the center of the world. Such an atmosphere creates a feeling of the unconditional love. This dominant position of affections ensures that the child develops as an individual and forms his main features of the character. In comparison to this, secondary socialization at school is considered to be a means of achieving personal interests and requires a certain level of adaptation. At school a child stops being special and the centre of the world. This social environment helps to gradually loosen the direct control exercised by parents and seek to integrate into a group of colleagues/friends/acquaintances, this group being an important agent of socialization. Thus, each type of socialization has its positive elements.

Socialization that is developed at school should also be taken into consideration.Teachers introduce the child to the world of adults. For this reason a teacher’s role is significant. The teacher affects the child’s socialization by setting examples of an adult-child interaction that differs from the patterns of socialization at home. For example, when a teacher looses his temper a child response to such behavior in a negative way and may be frustrated. When a teacher shows support, a child grows more confident and independent.

Socialization may be presented in other forms. One of the most significant is positive peer interactions. These interactions are formed between peers and children. The positive nature of peer interactions is determined by the results that children show after such socialization. It should be noted that children who associate with peers as soon as preschool, are, as a rule, have stronger friendships later, are more popular and demonstrate participation in classroom activities and events, unlike some other children who did not develop the necessary skills. Positive peer interactions give children an especially potent setting to learn about regulation emotions.

Parents may implement some peer interaction techniques at home in an effort to help a child to adapt to social environments on the emotional and physical levels. It is useful to gather children together and observe their conduct. In order to encourage positive peer interactions, it is essential to ensure that interactions develop in the right direction. In this context, parents should praise interactions using verbal formations. For example, when a child shares an apple, parents have to emphasize this action by saying something like, “Thank you for sharing an apple.” Parents should also prevent children’s solitude. In this case, it is enough to make some activity interesting for everyone saying, for instance, “Everyone will get candies if you finish painting this item. It will be faster if you work together.” This and other techniques should be applied in order to achieve better results.

Conclusion

The nature of families and children is a complicated subject that consists of several factors. Social elements of the nation such parenting style, child’s care, the role of culture and ethnicity is important in relation to society and when choosing a profession. A job as a social worker is based on the understanding of the general notions related to people and their social factors. It should be emphasized that there is a number of theories of socialization that help a professional to develop proper strategies and individual approach to a number of situations that involve families.

Some of these theories, for example, ecological models of human development, proposed by Urie Bronfenbrenner, focus on the important role of the environment in the matter of a child’s development. This knowledge has a great impact as it directs a person to consider all the factors that contribute to different kinds of social interactions. A student who decided to become a social worker should realize that people are a part of one unity that is able to change and develop under the impact culture and society. In the given case of a four-year child who is adopted, there are certain factors for consideration. Other cases may require a deeper knowledge of social systems and theories needed in order to succeed in helping people with various questions. Therefore, further research and general ability to observe and make conclusion are always required in the profession.

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