Have you ever thought about how family socialization fits in to your overall socialization goals? Spending time together as a family isn’t just for making memories, but it also serves the purpose of building the foundation for healthy and strong adults that can function in their surrounding community.
We’ve already determined the definition of socialization is preparing growing children for the responsibilities and expectations of adulthood, and the family should be playing an integral part of that adult-shaping role. After all, our hopes and dreams for our children can not be outsourced to a third party. Tweet this
There are numerous socialization opportunities in families, from simple things like playing board games, camping, and holiday gatherings. One tradition my husband enjoyed as a child was when he would get one-on-one time with his dad to do whatever he wanted. They would normally head to a motorcycle shop and check out the motorcycles while his sister normally chose going to a special candy store that was about a 20 minute drive from their house. Neither was terribly expensive, but the time he took to be with both is children made an impact on them.
Cross generation family socialization
With the great distance that now exists between family, plus the fact that kids in school spend the vast majority of their time with kids all their same age, it seems harder for kids today to cultivate relationships with people much younger or older than them. Family socialization shouldn’t be limited to one’s immediate family, but also learning the value of relationships in our extended family. Tweet this Even within an extended family, there are many different experiences that one can learn from. Even though many generations feel they are making right the wrongs of the previous generation, we shouldn’t lose the wisdom gained from years of experience.
Cross generation and socialization definition
Again going back to the definition of socialization (because I believe that’s important!), it’s easy to deduct that you need people both older and younger than you to fully form your rights and responsibilities in life. When we have our local Homeschooling 101 sessions, we talk about how valuable it is for kids to both me a mentor and one being mentored. Many times in homeschools, this is between siblings, or other kids in a homeschool co-op. Even being the bigger kid makes them stand a little taller, trying to be responsible, in sha Allah. They also find people look up to and try to emulate. When families get together, joining multiple generations, there are even more opportunities for mentors, and a feeling of greater responsibility to be a good mentor.
Moral of the story? Get the generations together more than just for holidays!
We touched on the idea that siblings can mentor each other, but more than that, it’s their first real peer relationship they need to nurture. Through sibling relationships kids learn that they can’t be hurtful day in and day out and expect the other person to forgive each and every time. They have to watch what they say, learn from their mistakes, and in sha Allah nurture that deep bond between them. One could argue that sibling relationships pave the way for the marriage relationship in that they are your peer, and you’re trying to foster a healthy, functional relationship.
Family socialization is often overlooked as a resource for valuable lessons for growing kids. True, not all families are all that functional, and some live far away, but there are still lessons to be learned, and technology available to make the best of any situation, in sha Allah.