Relationships on a Child

1 Summarizing Activity Excerpt From an Article on Children’s Emotional Development Peer relationships are an important part of a young child’s social and emotional development. Interactions with parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family, friends, and school mates all have an ongoing part in a child’s continuing development (Berk, 2012). Family members can encourage or discourage healthy social and emotional skills that impact peer relationships. Social development is important for overall mental health and well-being. Children spend countless hours with peers in school and other educational and social environments. Learning to cope with social stress and form meaningful friendships contributes to positive mental health. Studies illustrate the relationships between family interactions, peer relationships, and social and emotional development. Wilson, Havighurst, and Harley (2012) tested the effectiveness of the six session parenting program, “Tune in to Kids”, on parents’ emotional coaching of their children. The authors report that following the training the 67 parents in the treatment group were significantly less dismissive of their children’s emotions, provided significantly more coaching, and were significantly more positive in their interactions as compared with a waitlist (control) group. Additionally, at a seven month follow up, parents and teachers reported significantly less behavior problems from children and more prosocial behaviors. Abaied and Rudolph (2011) investigated mothers’ coping strategies and suggestions for their preadolescent children in handling stress with their peers. The styles measured were effortful coping and level of e ngagement. Interactively they were categorized as effortful engagement (consisting of emotional regulation, positive thinking, acceptance, and problem solving), and involuntary disengagement (consisting of emotional numbing, inaction, and escape). Results indicated that when mothers suggested disengagement strategies to managing stress with peers, there were higher levels of maladaptive responses by children in coping to heightened problems with peers. Similarly, Barnett, Scaramella, Neppl, Ontai, and Conger (2010), found that higher levels of grandmother involvement with young children, as reported by mothers, led to lower levels of emotional reactivity and to higher levels of social competence. This evidence from research demonstrating the relationships between mother and grandmother support for children in emotional management, managing conflict, and prosocial behavior highlights the importance of family in the develo ping social and emotional self. References Abaied, J.L., & Rudolph, K.D. (2011). Maternal influences on youth responses to peer stress. Developmental psychology, 47(6), 1776-1785. DOI: 10.1037/a0025439 Barnett, M.A., Scaramella, L.V., Neppl, T.K., Ontai, L.L., & Conger, R.D. (2010). Grandmother involvement as a protective factor for early childhood social adjustment. Journal of family psychology, 24(5), 635-645. DOI: 10.1037/a0020829 2 Berk, L.E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Wilson, K.R., Havighurst, S.S., & Harley, A.E. (2012). Tuning in to kids: An effectiveness trial of a parenting program targeting emotion socialization of preschoolers. Journal of family psychology, 26(1), 56-65. DOI: 10.1037/a0026480