The evolution of family relationships as the child develops

17 February, 2023

The evolution of family relationships as the child develops

By Laurence Morency-Guay

Parents and siblings are the first agents of socialization for a child, who will be able to quickly integrate social skills through his interactions with them. Socialization can be defined as being the learning of behaviours, habits, values ​​and motivations allowing integration into the society to which one belongs.

Here is the evolution of these family relations over the years:

  • 0-2 years

Parents are the first agents of socialization; the discipline they exercise helps children to integrate rules of conduct that are both social (politeness and acceptable gestures) and moral (good and bad gestures, such as waiting their turn or not knocking).

Within the family, older brothers and sisters act as role models and allow the younger ones to acquire the social behaviors that life in society requires, such as sharing or dialogue.

  • 2-5 years

Parents continue to teach the rules of conduct to be respected and help their children develop their social skills (conflict resolution, emotional management, etc.).

Any other adult who regularly takes care of the children (grandparents or educators) will fulfill the same functions as the parents when the latter are absent.

Older siblings allow younger siblings to exercise their conflict resolution skills, being faced with frustrating situations, but not having the option to run away considering that they are around each other, that they like it or not!

  • 6-12 years old

The climate and structure of the family environment have a great impact on the socialization of children (for example, compared to a child living in a warm family environment, a child living in a conflicting family environment may show more aggressive behaviors, disobedience or hostility). The place of parents and siblings, even if it sometimes seems to be less given the importance of friendships that are increasingly established, remains essential for the learning of social skills and as an emotional basis for self-esteem and the identity of the child.

  • 12-20 years old

Adolescents still rely heavily on the secure base established by their parents in order to be able to develop their autonomy and sense of responsibility. Although they are more often outside the home, they often refer to transmitted family values ​​and parental behaviors on a regular basis.

Given the identity which is in full development, it happens that the siblings dissipate according to the interests of each.