The Importance of peer relationships

TRANSLATOR: Salma Syeda

KEYWORDS: Children, Peer relationship, Siblings, Sibling rivalry, Co-operation, Role Model, parents role, intellectual independence , patience and perseverance

Let’s remember our childhood and compare it with the childhood of our children . Of course, we will find many differences, especially in the number and nature of relatives and acquaintances.
If you were born into a large family, you did not need to search for play mates from the very beginning of your childhood because your Siblings have always been present in your life. But, some of us did not have siblings in our childhood, or we were not close to them in our early age, but family, travel or attending kindergartens has given us the opportunity to be in a social environment and thereby communicating with children of the same age .
During recent pandemic coupled with life style changes, children are forced to spend more time at home which has taken toll to their physical and mental health. Since socializing with peers is one of the most important components in the upbringing and development of the child, this issue has become one of the main challenges for mothers, especially mothers of small families. Therefore, parents need to think more about their children’s social interaction experience. In this regard, good solutions are available to reduce the negative effects that the busy lifestyle and Covid pandemic has had on children. For example, a private tutor can be hired to set up a small kindergarten that brings together a small number of children, or to create opportunities for children to spend a few minutes in small groups with their peers together.

In this article, we will discuss some of the effects of children’s interaction with his/her the family members:
• Sense of responsibility and intellectual independence!
The family is the most important social institution that is effective in preserving human emotions. It is the first place where the personality, values, and intellectual standards of children and adolescents are developed. In the past, the atmosphere in families was often centered on the respect and authority of parents; But today,this has taken an opposite side ,its consequences on the family and society are quite clear. Under these conditions, the fertility rate in humans have decreased, life styles diseases are increasing at alarming rates and there is lack of a sense of responsibility and independence in filial families.
Such families deprive the individual of the conditions for growth and prosperity and social creativity. As a result, the power of choice and decision-making and solving individual and social problems in such children is very low.

• Shaping social identity.
The sibling relationship is usually one of the longest and crucial relationship in life of a child. This relationship is more important in childhood and adolescence and later on as well. This relationship can include friendship and hatred, loyalty and non-secrecy, heated arguments, support and love and much more. Siblings are the first group of childhood peers to support each other; They attack each other and learn from each other.
They learn how to reconcile; How to learn from others and how to show your identity to others. In the last two decades, much clinical attention and research has been done on siblings as an important influential factor in shaping their personal identity and future relationships.

• Learn patience and perseverance!
During recent times people prefer one child .One of the advantages of having one child, should in fact be considered as one of the disadvantages of having one child; Lack of siblings and parents’ full attention to their only child causes the child to achieve all his desires and not face any failure in life, and hence when he faces failure in the struggle of life, he fragile and impatient.

• Resilient spirit
Alfred Adler believes that single children are more selfish than others, and in adulthood, like their children, they desperately want to be the center of attention. For this reason, they are more likely to experience severe psychological trauma. If parents do not give their child the opportunity to socialize with peers and others, they are contributing towards the upcoming disaster.
There are various grounds for abnormalities in his/her social and personality development. Such children will get into trouble later when they are not loved and admired by others.

Strive to become a role model!
The emotional bond between siblings is almost always strong, and despite the many positive aspects of most sibling relationships, the conflict between them is more prominent in the minds of parents. Don and Kendrick emphasize the importance of the role of sibling interactions in facilitating the socialization of both children. In general, behavioral adjustment often occurs in interactions between younger siblings.
Behaviors such as imaginative play, taking turns, and partnering are all facilitated by sibling interaction. Children also learn how to use negotiation to resolve conflicts through interaction with siblings. Ultimately, older children serve as role models for younger siblings.
For example, imagine two younger children in a family arguing over their toys. To prevent this from happening; parents use different methods of love and anger.
But eventually a mother or father can ask an older teen in the family to help their two younger siblings to stop arguing, and here parents can supervise directly or indirectly. The main purpose of resolving disputes between two younger children is to teach them the skills of how to deal with life problems?

To sum up let me say that school friends and playmates in the park can develop many of the components in your child’s personality that can in turn make your children brave and successful.
Peer relationships provide a unique context in which children learn a range of critical social emotional skills, such as empathy, cooperation, and problem-solving strategies. Peer relationships can also contribute negatively to social emotional development through bullying, exclusion, and deviant peer processes.