Ministry of Education, Guyana

Why Are Parents Such a Powerful Agent of Socialization?

An agent of socialization is a person, group or institutions that creates the social context in which socialization occurs. Parents have the power to shape their children's social development by nurturing their social skills. As kids grow through childhood, into adolescence and become young adults, the need to interact with people and make new friends doesn't cease. You, being an agent of your kids' socialization, have to provide them with every opportunity to develop good social skills that are critical to successful functioning in life.

Create Lasting Relationships

When you build a family, you create an environment where kids can establish relationships with you and their siblings. Within the family children can form emotional attachments, adopt pro-social skills, learn character and morality, and learn to respect authority and comply with rules.Maintain a good relationship with your partner to help your kids learn the importance of creating lasting relationships.

Adopt a Consistent Parenting Style

Your parenting styles or discipline techniques can influence your children's social behavior. Parents who use forceful measures to enforce proper behavior or are uninvolved in their kids’ welfare often raise children who are withdrawn and unhappy. Unhappy kids can find it difficult to socialize. You have to be loving and ready to enforce appropriate disciplinary measures to raise children who are independent and confident of leading a socially fulfilling life. Be consistent in your parenting approach and take time to understand the social needs of each of your children.

Model Desired Behavior

When kids are young, they spend a lot of time with their parents and can learn from their personalities. Parental influence is a powerful force, which can be used to shape kids' social development. The way things function in your home, and how you conduct yourself in the presence of your kids, can affect their social behavior. For example, regular fights with your partner can adversely affect your kids' social development. Be what you want your kids to grow into.

Boost Social and Communication Skills

Parents have a legal responsibility to educate their children. When you send your kids to school, they get an opportunity to put their social skills to work. Besides meeting new people from diverse backgrounds, the education they receive can help improve their social skills. School nurtures children's communication skills and enhances their language, making it easy for them to put their ideas into words and express feelings to others. Teach social skills by modeling, role-playing and providing opportunities for your kids to practice new skills.

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