The three principles point to a set of key questions: What are policies, systems, At the individual level, policies can focus on skill-building for both kids and and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. . the brain needs for healthy development in childhood and adulthood to deal with. Explore tools to develop Strengths-based Attitudes and Relationship-based Practices. Reflective Strategies 1. Getting Started. What are Positive Goal- Oriented Relationships? . Explore guides for working with families from diverse cultures at the Early Childhood Learning . vary a great deal within a multicultural society. obviously attuned to adults, focused on their communication, and positive relationship building is a prerequisite to effective intervention practices for The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. Vanderbilt.
The use of generics is thus an indispensable way of learning about the category as a whole. Generics are a powerful way of conveying general facts, properties, or information about a category, and those generalizations often can stand even in the face of counterexamples Gelman, The National Academies Press. This stability has many advantages, but as with categorization, it also can be problematic—for example, generic statements about social categories can reify the categories and beliefs about them.
When an individual encounters members of a social category that do not share the relevant trait or behavior, those people may then be seen as exceptions but the generalization will still stand. Properties conveyed by generics also are construed as central or essential to the category Cimpian and Markman, Four- and 5-year-old children given the same information conveyed using generic versus nongeneric phrases interpret the information quite differently.
Subtle differences in generic versus nongeneric language used to convey information to children can shape the kinds of generalizations they make, the strength of those generalizations, and the extent to which properties are considered central or defining of the category.
Here, too, generics can sometimes play an unwanted role Cimpian and Markman, Dweck and colleagues have shown that children who believe an ability is inherent and fixed are more likely to give up when faced with failure and to lose motivation for and interest in a task, while children who view an ability as malleable are more likely to take on the challenge and work to improve their skill.
Many of the foundations of sophisticated forms of learning, including those important to academic success, are established in the earliest years of life. Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: Many of these concepts describe cognitive processes that are implicit. These opposites can also experience conflict, for instance when a person from an informal culture gets too friendly and pats the CEO of a multinational from a formal culture on the back.
Painful situations like that can be avoided by gathering knowledge beforehand, preventing it from being an obstacle to further business.
Arriving late is not the done thing and missing deadlines or meetings running late is unthinkable. Very different are the countries with a fluid attitude to time. People and interpersonal relations are considered more important than time, making deadlines or sticking to schedules. Conflicts about time are unpleasant and often difficult to solve.
Schedule overruns caused by the other party undermine trust. On the other hand, people from a fluid-time culture can be very surprised by a strong reaction to schedule overruns by the other party.
They do their best to avoid awkward silences and there is little consideration for personal space during conversations; people stand close together, often touch each other and look each other in the eyes. People in reserved cultures tend to speak more calmly. General and continuous eye contact is avoided and they use little if any hand and arm gestures. This is characteristic of Southeast Asia and Northern Europe. This is often expressed in non-verbal ways when the reserved party is keeping their distance or literally taking a step back.
Acting modestly can make it easier to do business and come to an agreement. Cultural groups To distinguish between cultures, Gesteland has divided the most important countries in eight groups that have the characteristics of the dimensions mentioned earlier: Group 1 — India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines These countries are relationship-focused, formal in the way they interact, fluid when it comes to time and reserved.
Group 2 — Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore These countries are relationship-focused, formal in the way they interact, rigid when it comes to time and reserved.
Group 3 — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Brazil, Mexico These countries are relationship-focused, formal in the way they interact, fluid when it comes to time and expressive. Group 4 — Russia, Poland, Romania These countries are relationship-focused, formal in the way they interact, fluid when it comes to time and expressive. Group 5 — France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Hungary These countries are deal-focused, formal in the way they interact, rigid when it comes to time and expressive.
Group 6 — Baltic states These countries are deal-focused, formal in the way they interact, rigid when it comes to time and reserved.
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Group 7 — Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, Russia, The Netherlands, Czech Republic These countries are deal-focused, formal in the way they interact, rigid when it comes to time and reserved. Group 8 — Australia, Canada, United States These countries are deal-focused, informal in the way they interact, rigid when it comes to time and expressive. Beyond this emerging evidence regarding physiological reactions to stress, there is much to learn about how secure attachments function to promote and protect early development.
Some have proposed that secure attachments enhance the child's receptivity to other facets of parents' socialization efforts.
This mutuality, in turn, heightens the child's receptivity to the many ways in which parents socialize their children to get along with others, deal effectively with conflict, and become motivated early learners Kochanska, ; Kochanska and Thompson, ; Waters et al.
The children, in effect, are more receptive to the parent's instruction, guidance, and teaching, which then reinforces the parent's sensitive parenting and, in all likelihood, further binds their secure attachment. This evidence of the developmental significance of secure attachments supports the focus on relationship building in early intervention studies with high-risk populations of children.
It is also important to recognize, however, that the effects of early attachment relationships are provisional and contingent on many other influences on psychosocial growth, as well as on continuity or change in the parent-child relationship itself Sroufe et al. The security or insecurity of attachment relationships can change in the early years of life. A child who begins with an insecure relationship may, for example, later have opportunities to develop a sense of secure confidence in the same caregiver.
Changes in attachment may arise from changing family circumstances, such as the birth of a sibling or periods of family stress Cummings and Davies, a; Teti et al.
There is therefore no guarantee that the influence of early attachment security will endure, unless that security is maintained for the child in the years that follow. The instability of early attachments renders efforts to trace long-term consequences very difficult. At best, we can conclude that the effects of early secure attachments are conditional.
They shift the odds toward more adaptive development, but subsequent experiences and relationships can modify their longer-term impacts, sometimes substantially. In essence, parents must have the personal skills to interact constructively with their children, the organizational skills to manage their lives inside and outside the home, and the problem-solving skills to address the many challenges that children invariably present. Doing this well requires sensitivity to the child and an ability to read, interpret, and anticipate what the child needs and how the child is responding to the world.
It also requires supports, like child care and social networks, and resources that come with economic security. Capturing the almost infinite variety of ways in which parents carry out their childrearing responsibilities is, of course, an impossible task. Some variations are related to the cultural context in which the family lives. Others are related to the economic resources that are available to them. Still others are forged in response to the characteristics and needs of individual children, or represent the best efforts of parents who are struggling with problems of their own.
Even within relatively homogenous groups, parents deploy their childrearing responsibilities in widely differing ways. Confronted with this task, researchers have continued to pursue the dimensions of control and warmth, but they have also extended their reach to capture the ways in which parents support learning and make investments and choices that affect the well-being and future prospects of their children.
There is also a growing interest in the ways in which parents convey cultural values and traditions to their children and adjust what they do in light of the attributes they want their children to have.
We have organized our discussion of these issues by addressing parents' role in fostering cooperation and the development of a conscience, encouraging exploration and learning, and raising their children to live adaptively in differing cultural contexts. Fostering Cooperation and the Development of a Conscience The growth of cooperation in the context of close relationships has been studied much less intensively in young children than has the growth of love in the context of attachment.
Yet at the same time that attachment security is taking shape late in the first year through the sensitivity and warmth of the caregiver, another dimension of the relationship is being forged by the negotiation of conflict between parent and child.
Developmental scientists are showing renewed attention to this aspect of the parent-child relationship because of its relevance to the early origins of psychosocial problems in young children, including defiance, withdrawal, and conduct problems Caspi et al.
Young children can experience conflict with virtually every family member, as well as with the peers with whom they play. As noted earlier, for example, getting along with peers is one of the central developmental tasks of early childhood. Sibling relationships are also a potent arena for conflict between young children, as well as for empathy, cooperation, and social comparison Dunn, ; Dunn and Kendrick, How parents manage these episodes of conflict can be significant for how young children learn about the feelings of others, the skills of competent sociability, and how to negotiate and cooperate.
Even more important, however, is conflict between a young child and a parent because of the significance of their attachment relationship and the adult's capacity to guide the child in learning how to manage disagreement and defiance.
Young children's conflicts with caregivers who are skilled at helping them learn to manage experiences of disagreement and defiance early in life can provide a foundation for the growth of empathy and prosocial motivation, as well as the development of skills for negotiating and successfully resolving conflicts with others Eisenberg and Murphy, ; Goodnow, In this light, how young children experience conflict with their caregivers provides a forum for learning how to address conflict in their encounters with others throughout life.
Conflicts and the negotiations they entail also provide essential practice as children learn acceptable ways to elicit help and to be assertive about their own needs and interests. They also provide opportunities for parents to learn how best to issue directives and make requests of their child. Little is currently known with assurance about how these experiences become catalysts for the growth of prosocial behavior and the rudiments of conscience, or the development of dysfunctional social behavior.
It is clear, however, that nothing focuses a young child's attention on what others are thinking, feeling, and expecting better than the realization that conflict with that person must be resolved.
Research in this area has moved away from static characterizations of parenting style e. As a result, researchers are now trying to understand how parents and others work with young children to foster capacities for safe, socially acceptable, self-regulated behavior in the context of conflict.
This, in turn, shifts attention from whether parents are doing the right things or the wrong things to limit unacceptable behaviors, to how they encourage the joint resolution of conflict and the social understanding and skills that come with it. The focus of inquiry is thus less on the moment of conflict, anger, or frustration and more on what happens next. The phenomenon of interest then becomes the particular areas on which negotiation or divergence in values are more or less acceptable, and the particular ways in which differences are accepted, negotiated, or encouraged Goodnow, The second and third years of life appear to be pivotal for the child's emerging capacities and inclination to be cooperative and considerate toward others.
Toddlers are developing the cognitive skills to understand parental standards and apply them to their own behavior and achieving capacities for self-regulation that enable them increasingly to comply with internalized standards of conduct Kopp,; Kopp and Wyer, They are also becoming increasingly aware of the feelings and perspectives of others, which provides a resource for empathic responding to another in distress Zahn-Waxler and Radke-Yarrow, ; Zahn-Waxler et al.
At the same time, the parent-child relationship is changing, as the child's growing assertiveness and the parents' growing use of prohibitions and sanctions lead to what can sometimes seem like endless conflicts of will Biringen et al.
Parents now use emotional signals to convey approval or disapproval, sometimes before the obviously contemplated act of misbehavior even occurs Emde and Buchsbaum, ; Emde et al. All young children internalize messages from these interactions; what is of interest is what they internalize. The strategies used by parents to elicit cooperation also change to build on the child's maturing capacities for self-regulation.
Specifically, they begin to rely more on explanations, bargaining, indirect guidance, and other nonassertive strategies Belsky et al. At the same time, however, children are also asserting their own independent judgment, making the preschool years ones of greater cooperation and greater conflict between parents and their offspring Kuczynski and Kochanska, ; Kuczynski et al.
Young children tend to comply more with behavioral standards as they reach the preschool years, but they also show a greater tendency to refuse before they comply and to negotiate, compromise, and display other indicators of self-assertion Gralinski and Kopp, ; Vaughn et al.
Complicating this process is the fact that young children want to feel that they are in control of their lives. Long before babies understand that they are the ones making things happen, the controllability and predictability of stimulation affects their attention, emotions, and behavioral reactions Sullivan et al. In studying face-to-face interactions between young infants and their caregivers, for example, researchers have noted that after a period of back and forth smiles and vocalization that often build in intensity, babies will look away.
Skilled caregivers react by remaining quiet for a moment. The baby then looks back and the two begin to interact again. Unskilled caregivers or ones who are depressed sometimes ignore the cue or try even harder to get the baby's attention when he looks away.
This often makes the baby fussy and irritable and increases the time he looks away.
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Overall, in pairs in which the baby controls the action by looking toward and awaythe caregiver keeps the infant's attention longer and elicits more smiles, coos, and active infant participation. Social interaction with a baby, however, is somewhat of a one-way street.
Let the adult be the one to turn away and ignore the baby e. By 1 year of age, being able to control the action can actually alleviate fearful responses to potentially frightening events. In one study discussed earlier Gunnar,month-olds were presented with a toy monkey that clangs symbols and flashes its eyes and can be quite frightening to children this young.
The infants who were able to turn the toy on for a few seconds at a time did so repeatedly and often smiled and laughed. In contrast, the children who could not control its actions were often upset, cried, and tried to get away from it.
For older children, issues of control have been studied in the context of more subtle situations in which, for example, adults offer rewards if children engage in certain activities or are highly directive and intrusive while children are at work on a task Fagot, ; Hamilton and Gordon, ; Lepper et al.
These circumstances presumably undermine children's sense of autonomy and feelings that they are engaged in an activity because they want to do it. In fact, following these manipulations, children's levels of interest and persistence decline significantly.
These situations are not unlike those in which a parent insists that a child clean up his room before he can play outside or finish her dinner before she can have dessert.
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The challenge for parents is one of encouraging cooperation while also fostering feelings of control and self-determination that lead the child to cooperate because he or she wants to. Beginning in early childhood, as these examples illustrate, cooperation is not primarily a matter of whether parents consistently and firmly enforce their intentions on offspring, but is rather an interactional process in which a child's capacities to understand, agree with, and be motivated to comply by a positive parent-child relationship are also important Grusec and Goodnow, ; Kuczynski et al.
Interactions that, at one extreme, become highly coercive and engage parents and children in escalating battles of will can contribute to the mix of factors that place children on a path toward dysfunctional social behavior Dodge, ; Patterson et al. Alternatively, when these interactions are characterized by clear and consistently enforced limits, low levels of emotional arousal, ample affection, and a deemphasis on the use of power, threats, and criticism Campbell, ; Herrera and Dunn, ; Lepper, ; Maccoby, ; Zahn-Waxler et al.
Caregivers who are warm and provide clear expectations for child behavior that are consistently enforced also encourage early conscience development Eisenberg and Murphy, ; Kochanska, At times, this can involve directly focusing the child's attention on the consequences of misbehavior especially when those consequences involve harm to others or their responsibility for harm, explaining why certain actions are inappropriate or harmful, or drawing attention to the needs of another person whom the child can assist Hoffman,; Zahn-Waxler and Kochanska, ; Zahn-Waxler et al.
The benefits of these activities for the child are enhanced when parents themselves model morally responsible behavior and respond prosocially to others.
In short, when parents are clear about their expectations e. Early conscience also grows significantly in contexts other than direct conflict over misbehavior.
When parents and offspring converse about the day's events, for example, moral lessons are often implicit in what the adult conveys and what the child learns from their conversation Dunn,; Dunn et al. In these situations, moreover, children can reflect on what they hear—whether the conversation concerns the reasons for a sibling's outburst, the parent's response to being wronged, or a recounting of the child's own previous misbehavior—without the heightened emotion that may make it difficult for a young child to learn the same lessons in the context of a discipline encounter.
Moreover, everyday family life is characterized by routines that enlist the young child's cooperation in rituals like bedtime, storyreading, waking, mealtimes, bathing, and other recurrent, predictable events Fiese et al.
The presence of these routines is one way of making expectations known and of avoiding constant confrontations. Children thus learn cooperation not only in the context of conflictual encounters and occasions for mutual give and take, but also in the predictable flow of daily life. Interactions with siblings as well as parents are also important catalysts to early moral understanding, especially in relation to disputes over rights, possessions, and territory Dunn and Munn, ; Slomkowski and Dunn, ; Tesla and Dunn, And at times, parents foster early conscience development when they devise alternative control strategies, such as avoiding a discipline encounter by proactively structuring circumstances or providing anticipatory guidance, each of which succeed in enlisting the child's cooperation in a nonconfrontational manner Belsky et al.
Although these influences have been studied almost exclusively in the context of parent-child relationships especially mother-child interactionsthere is reason to believe that they are also important in the child's relationships with other caregivers, including fathers, grandparents, child care providers, and teachers.
The ways that caregivers can best support early conscience development also depend on the young child's temperamental characteristics Kochanska, Depending on the extent to which a child is dispositionally more inhibited and fearful, for example, the parent's disciplinary efforts may either provoke cooperation or distressed withdrawal.
Relatively gentle discipline characterized by suggestions and reasoning appears to be especially important for these children, for whom power assertive techniques are neither necessary nor effective. It is important for caregivers to calibrate their response to misbehavior according to the child's personality attributes, as well as the child's tolerance for stress and capacities for understanding. Regardless of temperament, however, developmental researchers have found that a secure, positive relationship with the parent is the best predictor of early moral growth.
In a sense, a relationship of warmth and mutual responsiveness provides a context in which the parent's values and standards are most likely to be believed, accepted, and adopted by the young child Kochanska, Encouraging Exploration and Learning Our prior discussion of children's emerging capacities for communication and learning Chapter 6 documented the many ways in which parents support young children's linguistic and cognitive development.
Much of early learning, in short, requires environmental supports, and children are dependent on their parents for providing them.
Starting in infancy, researchers have sought to identify the facets of parenting that are associated with higher scores on various tests of developmental status and cognitive abilities. The contingency and sensitivity with which parents respond to their baby's cues emerge consistently as important correlates of early cognitive outcomes Beckwith and Cohen, ; Beckwith and Parmelee, ; Donovan and Leavitt, ; Landry et al. Infants whose parents can interpret, adjust their own behavior, and respond appropriately to their bids for attention, moods and states, expressions of interest, and efforts to communicate their needs are more advanced on virtually all assessments of developmental and cognitive status.
Sensitive give and take between parent and infant appears to get children off to a good start on early markers of cognitive growth, just as it facilitates secure attachments. Other aspects of parenting that have shown positive associations with these outcomes include encouragement of exploration in contrast to highly restrictive parentingprovision of a rich verbal environment, and ample amounts of nurturance and warmth Clarke-Stewart et al.
These features point to parents' role in creating an environment that is playful and nurturing, is rich in conversation, strikes a balance between safety and freedom to explore, and, in general, builds a belief in the child that the world is a receptive and responsive place. A related literature has focused more directly on the interplay between the child's emerging capacities and the parents' ability to structure learning opportunities to both bolster and challenge these capacities.
Originally proposed by the Russian psychologist Vygotsky e. These kinds of processes, which have been portrayed as scaffolding Wood, ; Wood et al. Although most of the studies in this area have been concerned with cognitive development, parents have been observed to engage in the same kinds of supportive activities as they facilitate their children's entry into peer groups, with demonstrated benefits for the child's later social skills Finnie and Russell, They undoubtedly apply, as well, to other situations in which parents attempt to manage or shape children's experiences—from making play dates to arranging child care—so that they remain within the child's tolerances for stimulation and challenge, while also fostering new capabilities see, for example, Parke and Buriel, These processes have also been examined in the cross-cultural literature on the teaching and learning roles of children and parents.
This research has directed attention to the culturally organized ways in which adults involve children in routine activities and interactions, supportively structure their activities, and gradually transfer responsibility for specific tasks as the children acquire understanding and expertise Goodnow, ; Ochs, ; Rogoff, In this sense, early learning is portrayed as a form of apprenticeship that is enacted in different ways in different cultures Rogoff et al.
For example, in some cultural communities, parents directly instruct children, play with them, and engage in conversations with them that are structured around materials and activities geared to the children's interests and abilities. In other communities, children are expected to learn through observation and participation in adult activities and through play with siblings and peers.
The cross-cultural literature has also called attention to the role that parents' expectations about the importance of various forms of achievement play in children's early learning—their familiarity with particular task strategies, their investments of effort in some tasks and not others, and their readiness to interpret various instructional or learning situations in particular ways Goodnow, There are, for example, differences across cultures e.
Subgroups within cultures—boys and girls, for example—also encounter different expectations, and children's own assessments of importance can influence what parents and others in their community view as important, as any nonsports-minded parent with a child who excels at baseball can attest.
As children reach the preschool years, researchers have turned their attention to the ways in which parents foster skills and abilities that are considered basic elements of school readiness, namely, literacy and number skills. For example, as mentioned earlier, maternal speech patterns predict vocabulary growth during the first three years of life Hart and Risley, ; Huttenlocher et al.
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Parents encourage learning very explicitly through frequent visits to the library, routines that include regular reading to the child, and involvement in activities that allow children to play with notions of quantity. These behaviors show strong associations with early literacy and numeracy skills and later academic achievement Ginsberg et al.
Children generally benefit from parenting practices that expose them to high amounts of rich discourse and lots of print-related experiences Beals et al. Of particular importance for the early acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills are the language and social interactions that surround such activities as storybook reading and board games that involve number concepts Case and Griffin, ; Snow, This work on parent-child interactions per se has been extended to encompass the next broader level of influence, namely the quality and quantity of stimulation and support that the overall home environment provides to a child.
The home environment is most commonly assessed with the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment HOME Inventory Caldwell and Bradley,which assesses the materials, activities, and transactions that occur within the family setting and are supportive of early learning, defined largely in terms of IQ and traditional academic skills.
Literally hundreds of studies have reported significant associations between HOME scores and children's IQ, cognitive and language development, and school performance Bradley, ; Bradley et al. These relations hold for white, black, and Hispanic children from low and middle socioeconomic groups, although the patterns of relations may vary somewhat across ethnic groups Bradley et al.
Virtually every item on the HOME inventory distinguishes poor from nonpoor families both within and across white, black, and Hispanic families.
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Efforts to assess the home learning environment raise the question of resources more broadly. Parents play an instrumental role in providing both social i. Economists and sociologists, in particular, have been interested in how the resources that families provide for their children influence their life trajectories Becker and Tomes, ; Haveman and Wolfe, These family decisions are, of course, constrained by the decisions of government policy makers and employers, much more for some families than for others.
Unfortunately, with the major exceptions of research on child care and family income reviewed in the next two chaptersthe influence on early development of the investments that parents make remains unexamined. Parenting Practices and the Transmission of Cultural Values Efforts to understand the importance of cultural practices in the rearing of young children, as described in Chapter 3emphasize the extent to which culture is both reproduced and transformed within each child Miller and Goodnow, These processes are of particular importance with respect to immigrant families Portes, ; Rumbaut, ; Waters, ; Zhou and Bankston III,