Growth and Development: Drugs: Influence of Siblings: Peer Group, Gender and Culture

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Drugs

Influence of Siblings

Apart from parents, children are strongly influenced by their siblings. They can be a source of emotional security and can help each other acquire skills. If the parents involve an older child in supporting them in looking after the younger sibling, the child learns responsibility and develops a willingness to share.

Influence of Siblings

Influence of Siblings

On the other hand, siblings may develop jealousy and rivalry with each other. Parents should avoid comparing the siblings, as this can create resentment and jealousy.

They should also ensure that their behavior towards them is impartial and fair:

  • Peer group - Beyond the confines of home and one’s immediate family, how well children are accepted within the peer group deeply influences their self-concept. The peer group helps children to learn and behave in a socially acceptable manner. Acceptance by one’s peer group is a strong source of emotional support. Though parents teach social behavior, it is in the company of friends that children learn sharing, cooperation, autonomy, skills of leadership and a sense of competition. Hence, the importance of peer group in healthy growth and development cannot be undermined.

  • Gender and Culture - Learning to behave according to the gender roles prescribed by society is an important task that children have to master to be accepted by the peer group. Differences in behavior shown by boys and girls emerge because of parental and societal expectations. Often, it is seen that boys are encouraged to fight back and not to cry “like a girl” while crying is accepted in girls when they are attacked. This is harmful as it creates gender stereotypes, and parents and teachers should ensure that no such behavior is encouraged through action and words. In addition to this, cultural practices also directly and indirectly influence children’s growth and development.

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