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Essay Example: Impacts of Family, Friends, and Peers on Child Development

5 pages
1127 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
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Lifespan development is age-related changes that take place from birth until old age. Infancy, childhood, middle age youth and adulthood are the stages involved. Peers, friend, and family usually have a significant influence on this development following their contribution to our lives. Childhood experience typically contributes to behaviors of people at this point in life. Those who grew up in disjointed families tend to have negative perspectives towards life. Family in most cases means nothing to those who were subject to abusive homes. For those who grew in cohesive families, they tend to love relationships. Children from families with high social support usually treasure any relationship they have.

At infancy, family plays a vital role in child development. The family lifestyle has a grave impact on the growth of the child. Behaviors and talks within the family will determine what the child will grow into since it is at this stage that the mind also develops. Whatever the elders do will serve as an example hence evolve into what they see. Family values will also determine the kind of relationship a child will have with others. Dysfunctional or abusive families usually leave children with emotional scars. The behaviors of most children as they grow up a result from the life him /her experience in the family. Disjointed families where the parents cannot see eye to eye makes children into very arrogant and reckless people. Family diet also affects a childs growth both physically and mentally. Friends also influence the growth of a child. When children gather to play with their peers, they tend to grow physically. The games they engage in making their bodies healthy, active and fit. Children should be allowed to mingle with their friends during early childhood to help in their social development.

At middle childhood, parents still play a vital role in child development. Between when children enter school and the time they reach adolescence, the family plays a critical role in socialization, but not predominantly as it used to be in early childhood. It is at this stage that a child starts a new phase of life where they join schools. At this stage, the child meet new people and interacts with a different character. Teachers, peers and even coaches tend to spend much tie with the children than family. At this stage parents rarely socialize with their kids but practice their parental roles through their interactions. Children at this time usually emerge with unique behaviors that they probably borrow from their friends. The changes in a childs behavior at this stage create animosity between children and parents since bad behaviors usually get punished. Keeping track of what the child does or their whereabouts becomes difficult at this stage. In most cases, parents direct their children to report home first immediately after school and ask permission on what they want to do. They try to mold children into being responsible people by engaging them in home activities at an early stage. Children at this age participate in several events hence partially concentrate on their studies. The parents, therefore, ensure that they do their homework. At this stage, children concern regarding being accepted in a group usually rise. Their urge to create friends increases as they want to learn from them. Peer influence typically determines the kind of friends children have at this point in life. Peer acceptance often depends on the relationship at home as well as the familys level of social support. It affects social development of the children since they start to create contact with different people.

During adolescent, peers tend to contribute much to an individual's life than any other group. In most cases, adolescents that have friends tend to have cohesive family relationships. Even those with low-income families usually have a level of self-worth as well as social competence like their friends with consistent families following the closeness and support they receive from their friends. Friendship boosts their self-esteem and self-worth hence enables them to explore and develop their strengths. Adolescents that have friend are more altruistic than the lone rangers in that they can show effective perspective communication skills, engage in various activities like sports and also maintain positive peer status. Despite the significant contribution of peers in an adolescent life, parents still play vital roles in their development. In most cases, adolescents that receive support from both parents and peers usually perform well academically unlike those who get supported by one or none. For those with robust and involving relationship with parents, they are never swayed by their peers. Adolescents whose behaviors and attitudes are profoundly affected by friendship are those with a perception that their parental relationships are not enough for their growth. They rarely get all that they need at that particular stage in life hence have to seek it from somewhere. The parental style would also determine the influence of peers on adolescents. Authoritative parents usually rescue their children from dangerous inspiration from friends as their children try to engage in most sensible things.

At adulthood, family, friends, and peers usually have significant influence in ones life. At this stage, individuals are faced with several decisions to make in life. Childhood experience typically contributes to behaviors of people at this point in life. Those who grew up in disjointed families tend to have negative perspectives towards life. Family in most cases means nothing to those who were subject to abusive homes. Regardless of all these, people need family at this stage. They require guidance from parents or guardians on whatever thing they intend to do that may have an enormous impact on their whole life. The most important family member one needs at this point is a parent or an elder who may guide him in various ways. Regardless of the age, parents remain vital in everyone life since they will always offer their help where necessary. Emotionally, parents may help an individual to cool down especially when going through a rough time in life. Family allows people especially those disappointed to forge ahead by supporting them financially or advising victim. Parents correct their children whenever they go astray or are about to make wrong decisions in life. Friends, on the other hand, contribute a lot to a persons life at adulthood. For those who never had a united family while growing up, they tend to gain from their peers. Peers do influence adults decision making mainly people that were never brought up with proper values. Most adults may fail to have a family following peer influence and decide on a life that may ruin them completely. On the other hand, their people who succeed in life following the advice of the friends.



Feldman, R. S. (2017). Discovering the lifespan. Pearson.


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