What is the Importance/Impact of Family on Early Socialization?

What is the importance/impact of family on early socialization?

E.S. Bogardus states,

“Socialisation is the process of working together, of developing group responsibility or being guided by the welfare needs of others.”

Socialisation can be defined as the process of learning to associate and relate with other people. Socialisation is a process that begins when a baby is born and continues into adulthood, shaping each of those stages of development all the while. Every single interaction the child has, regardless of how big or how small it is, aids them in learning language skills, coping with emotions, and working within social norms. This eventually helps them in identifying their thoughts and emotions as they grow.

Socialisation and Family 

Family is fundamental in every individual’s life and socialisation is a process which plays a significant role in this process because it is the source that allows a family to acquire its individual indenting. Socialisation has many aspects to it ranging from positive to negative, natural to planned, and regardless of an individual’s gender or age, they have to undergo this process in their life. A child is introduced to different aspects and some of the most important elements of socialisation such as environments, behaviours, psychological identities, physical, and cultural through the family. 

Family can be divided into three different categories namely:

1. Single parent 

2. Extended family 

3. Nuclear family 

A child may be exposed to the different elements of socialisation in a different manner depending on his or her family. A child who does not belong to any kind of family has a high probability of undergoing a negative socialisation process because the family plays the main role of providing guidance to the child as well as nurturing and moulding them into the society. Family is the foundational institution that enables a child to adapt to the ways of the society and helps them become a member of the society too. A family helps the child to learn different cultures, traditions, social roles, values, norms, and establish an individual identity while also developing a sense of belonging. A child also gets a decent living environment through the family. 

Importance or impact of family on early socialisation 

1. Values:

During the early stage, children are easily influenced by what they see and hear around them. If they see that you respect people and things, they will develop the same value and if you show disrespect, they will develop this value. As such, it is highly important to inculcate them with positive values such as respect, politeness, honesty, and the like so that they not only develop these values but also learn to value them. Since family is the first social environment a child is exposed to, it is necessary for a family to impart positive values. 

2. Skills:

A family is also responsible for developing a wide range of skills in the child such as cognitive skills, language skills, emotional skills, and motor skills and the development of these different skills starts at home and starts with the family. It is the main responsibility of the family to develop these skills in the child so that they can become a well-rounded individual. These skills have to be taught and fine-tuned from an early age. 

3. Security:

Apart from developing skills and values, one of the most important roles a family fulfils in the process of early socialisation is providing a sense of security and safety to the child so that he or she can feel safe and strong to become a part of the society. 

W.F. Ogburn adds,

“Socialisation is the process by which the individual learns to conform to the norms of the group.”

According to Horton and Hunt (1968),

“socialisation is the process whereby one internalises the norms of his groups so that a distinct ‘self emerges, unique to this individual.”