Forming representations about norms
Most children in the last six months of the second year of life form behavioral norms. In this case, the norms we call ideal samples of objects, phenomena, behavior. Children begin to react vividly to a broken toy, a cracked cup or a torn off button. At the same time in their lives, they actively adopt norms of behavior in certain situations. Speech, in the first place, is about situations related to neatness, obedience and control of aggression. "Such attempts to comprehend what is good and what is bad" can be regarded as the first manifestations of the development of moral self-consciousness.
In this period, events that are consistent with the norms adopted by the child, cause him positive reactions and positive emotions. Events that do not fit the norms can cause tension and anxiety. Not only researchers, but parents also note that children of two years old suddenly begin to show increased interest in dirty hands, broken dishes or torn clothing. This happens because children of this age realize for the first time that everything has a norm and every phenomenon or event has a cause. For example, a toddler, seeing a child crying, realizes that his tears and experiences are caused by hunger or pain. Seeing a broken toy or a cracked cup, children understand that this is a defect and it is not inherent in the subject from the beginning, but has some reason. The results of observations of children of two years indicate that they are forming an interest in events that go beyond the norms, and they are inclined to look for their causes in the actions of external forces (J. Kagan).
Studies have shown that children of two years of age experience serious experiences if they can not meet the standards of behavior established by other people. Unsure of the correctness of their performance of the action, the children try to repeat it, if they fail, they become frustrated. The child's understanding of the norms of behavior is evidenced by the smile that appears on the face in the event that the child after several unsuccessful attempts has performed the action specified by the rules.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that children of two years of age, passing from infancy to childhood, are increasingly showing interest not only in compliance, but also in violation of the rules. There arises and intensively develops a desire for a variety of actions that cause others to disapprove and resent. Regardless of the culture in which children are being brought up, they, as evidenced by cross-cultural studies, begin to distinguish "right" and incorrect behavior at almost the same age. Usually at this age, mothers begin to teach children to be accountable for their actions. The emergence in the minds of children of measurement standards of events and behavior is a prerequisite for the assimilation of morality by them.
The above research results indicate that the child's behavior gradually becomes more and more mature with age, but parents, the main educators for children of this age, can not and should wait for it to come by itself. Every day they should take care of the development of moral consciousness, about forming a sense of responsibility in the child, while at the same time not restraining the development of his independence. Parental approaches to education and the environment as a whole are important factors in the child's psychosocial development. Of course, their importance in this matter should not be overestimated, the genotypic factors and the child's own activity are very effective in this regard. The traditional level of everyday psychology and mass educational practice was the notion that parents influence the child's unstable and therefore easily formed psyche, therefore, the entire responsibility for the behavior and personality characteristics of the child lies with them. However, it is easy to notice the other - much development is determined by genotypic factors and, in addition, children play a very active role in their own development. After all, as has been repeatedly noted above, an adult and a child actively influence each other in the process of education.
Analyzing the acceptability of certain methods of parental education, one can not ignore the idea of what mental qualities and behavioral standards, cultural traditions in the first place require to form a child. In cultures that show increased attention to independence and autonomy, some methods of upbringing are used, in cultures professing obedience, directly opposite. Accordingly, the notion of a positive result of the process of education is significantly different in content.
Researchers I. I. McCoby and JA Martin proposed one of the variants of the styles of parental education, their classification is based on differences in two parameters:
A. The first parameter by which they differentiate the behavioral styles of parents is conditionally called "warmth". It is characterized by two polar points: "acceptance, responsiveness, child-centered" and "rejection, detachment, parent orientation."
B. The second parameter is described through other polar characteristics: "demanding, high control" and "indulgence, low control."
In the identification of the significance of this or that variant of the parental educational strategy, a great contribution was made by the works of D. Baumring. She on the basis of the previous division suggests considering the following styles of parental upbringing.
1. Authoritative - the style of education of loving and at the same time controlling the child's parents. Such parents consistently and unambiguously require the child to mature, according to his age, behavior. Their demands are not rigid, compulsory, they practically do not apply physical punishment. Such parents, instead of harsh measures, usually explain to children the reasons for their actions, without rejecting complex issues and avoiding direct discussions. But decisions are reserved.
The authoritarian style of parental education is characterized by exactingness in combination with "coldness".
2. The liberal style of education characterizes the parents of undemanding, but at the same time "warm."
3. Rejective-neglecting style is present when parents are undemanding and "cold."
Along with these mechanisms, at the age of two, observation and imitation are beginning to work actively as ways of socialization. Watching, children, as studies show, more readily imitate the benevolent people. Therefore, parents who have high indicators for the heat parameter, are more effective educators. The process of education, at this age, as in the future, is more effective if adults consistently demonstrate the desired behavior. N. Newcomb writes: "If the parent sometimes applies severe physical punishment, the child is unlikely to learn to control his own aggressive actions, watching how effective aggression is in controlling someone else's behavior." Conversely, if a child does not face physical aggression in the family, he easily assimilates the norm of non-aggressive reaction to the frustrating situation.
However, it should be remembered that the role models for the child can be played not only by parents, but also by other people, including movie characters and even cartoons. Studies convincingly show that, by observing them, the child can very successfully learn the methods of aggressive reaction and assimilate other undesirable behavior patterns (A. Bandura et al.).Summing up, it can be noted that the most effective methods of educating two-three-year-olds include the consistent demonstration of the desired behavior as a model for imitation, the establishment of a warm, trusting relationship with the child in his first two years of life and exercising control. Penalties, in the first place, physical, are less effective than regular and consistent observations and non-rigid interference. However, all these methods should definitely be discussed only with an amendment to cultural traditions.
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