Essays on the Socio-Emotional Development of Upper Primary School Children

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Socio-Emotional Development:

Children are not link machines witty gradually developing abilities.

The development of various aspects link physical, social, emotional, intellectual, etc. take place together. Their development is inter-dependent. It is also inter-related with the development of cognitive skills, self-concepts, ways of interacting with others besides social attitudes and values.

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Upper Primary School Children:

A child’s social development during the primary grades is shaped by three major influences:

(1) The parents and the family.

(2) The peer group.

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(3) The school experience.

During this stage children try their best to prove that they are really grown up. This is the “I can do it myself’ stage.

(1) Children’s powers of concentration grow.

(2) Children can spend more time on chosen tasks.

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(3) Children often take pleasure in completing them. This stage also includes :

(1) The growth of independent action by children.

(2) Their co-operation with groups.

(3) Their performance in socially acceptable ways.

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(4) A concern for airplay.

By the sixth grade, student often form groups that include both boys and girls.

The peer groups serve important purposes to shape their social behaviour:

(a) The children compare their abilities and skills with those of other children.

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(b) Members of peer groups also exchange notes with one another about their different worlds.

(c) The membership of groups tends to promote feeling of self-worth.

(d) Not being accepted by the group may result in serious emotional problems.

(e) It leads to the pre-adolescent’s changing relationship with parents.

(f) Their friends become more important than ever and will continue to be throughout adolescence

(g) The adolescents want that their parents should treat them differently.

Nine to twelve years old children still depend heavily on their families. They generally affirm that they love their parents. However, they feel their parents do not understand them.

According to thorn Burg (1979), the parents (and teachers) of pre-adolescents should remember two facts as under:

1. Radical Change:

When these changes occur, pre-teens break up the well- defined, predictable behaviors and attitudes of childhood. They grow up and change the ways they do things.

2. Need for Guidance:

When changes occur, pre-teens need additional guidance. Parents must remember that their direction and reassurance are important to their normal growth.

The school has to assume a wide responsibility in developing in its pupils social consciousness. It is the only institution, second to family, which is charged with the responsibility of socializing the child and the youth. It is the teacher who has no shoulder the responsibility of becoming parent substitute as soon as the child enters the school.

It is the sympathetic and skilled teacher who encourages the development of socially desirable behaviour. It is he who gives him a sense of self-esteem and feeling of security.

It is he who provides opportunities to children for organised group living. It is he who leads the retiring child to assert himself and the aggressive child to learn the art of submission.

Television as a Socializing Agent

Television is an important socializing agent that influences children’s behaviour and hence their development. Its role is as under:

1. Children learn both aggressive and pro-social behaviour from television.

2. Children also acquire knowledge about social relationships and social behaviour from television programmes.

Emotional Development in Upper Primary School Children

Though pre-adolescents are generally happy and optimistic, they also have many fears. Some of them are as under:

(a) Not being accepted into a peer group.

(b) Not doing well at school.

(c) Not having a best friend.

(d) Being punished by their parents.

(e) Getting hurt.

Other emotions in this age group include anger and fear of being unable to control it besides guilt, frustration, and jealously.

It is our task to help pre- adolescents in realizing that these emotions are not fearful things instead they are a natural part of their growth.

(1) Many children have unrealistic fear. They should be encouraged to discuss those fears.

(2) Feelings of guilt often come in them when a conflict takes place between children’s actions, which are based on the values of the peer group and their parent’s values.

(3) At this stage anger is displayed with more intensity than many other emotions. The parents often tell their children that they should not have any fears. Likewise they should often tell them, they should not get angry.

Emotional Characteristics

Other emotional characteristics of upper primary children are as under:

(a) They desire attention and recognition for their personal effort and achievements.

(b) The have a wide range of behaviors and their moods can swing from one extreme to the other.

(c) They want freedom, yet they fear the loss of security.

(d) They are anxious, doubtful and confused about their physical and intellectual development.

(e) They are very sensitive to criticism of their personal short-comings.

(f) They seek adult’s approval and acceptance. According to Charlocks following are the characteristic of this age group.

1. Emotions are intense:

It is observed that young children respond with equal intensity to a trivial event and to serious situation.

2. Emotions appear frequently:

Children display their emotions frequently. As they discover that disapproval or punishment often follows an emotional outburst, they learn to adjust to emotion arousing situations.

3. Emotions are transitory:

Young children shift from laughter to tears, from anger to smiles or from jealously to affection. Thus, their emotions have no stability.

4. Responses reflect individuality:

In all new booms, the pattern of response is similar. By the lapse of time as the influences of learning and environment

are felt, the behaviour accompanying the different emotions becomes individualized.

(5) Emotions change in strength:

Emotions that are very strong at certain ages are found waning in strength as the child grows older, while others formerly weak, become stronger.

(6) Emotions can be detected by behaviour symptoms:

Children may show emotional reactions indirectly by restlessness, day-dreaming, crying, speech difficulties and nervous mannerisms such as mail-biting and thumb sucking.

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