Role of the Family in a Child’s Development

Humans are social animals, and, thus, social structure plays an important role in their development. The first social interaction that takes place in a baby’s life is with his family only, or his immediate family is the first social group that a child may interact with. So, what role does a family play in a child’s development? Let’s take a look.

How Does the Family Influence a Child’s Development?

Family members are the first few people that a child interacts with and, thus, the role of the family in the socialization of a child cannot be undermined. It is because of these interactions that may help a child to have a better understanding of himself and of people around him. The way a child is loved, cared and nurtured at home provides the opportunities for a child to thrive better in his life. A family’s impact on child development is like a foundation, which may help in shaping up the future of a child. Here are some ways a family may influence a child’s development:

1. Values

A child is like a sponge and absorbs whatever he may notice or observe. This leaves a big onus on the parents because the child may eventually learn from the parents. Therefore, if you respect a certain section of society or give more preference to some people, your kid may be making his opinions in a similar manner. When you may behave in a disrespectful manner with somebody, your kid may be observing that too. The best way to teach a child is to lead by example, more than preaching it is what you may be practising that your child is more likely to follow.


Also, it will be a good idea to start inculcating good values from a younger age only. Many believe that a younger child may not be able to appreciate or understand the importance of learning good values, but that may not be true. Kids understand better when you make them understand the consequences of their actions. Help them know what may happen if they do things a certain way and vice-a-versa. Therefore, it is very important for a family to inculcate good values in their child.

2. Socialisation and Social Development

The family is your baby’s first social group. This means whatever your kid may be learning, he may be learning by observing the family members. It is observed that happy families or families that treat each other with love and respect help in giving a positive outlook of a family with their kid or share a positive example of social interaction. If your family spends quality time by having meals together, watching television together or spends time doing other such things together, it may help in fostering healthy social development.

Also, your interactions with your child help him in learning about interaction with others. It is the way a family interacts with a child that may help a child to understand relationships better. He may learn how to feel comfortable, make friends or trust people from his own family only. Relationships are very important for human survival, and your kid may learn to make and sustain relationships from his family. The foundations of good social skills are laid at home, which may help your kid to have better social skills and help him socialise better as he grows.

3. Developmental Skills

It is very important for a child to learn various developmental skills such as motor skillscognitive skills, emotional skills and language skills for his optimal growth and development. For helping your child polish his motor skills, you should involve your kid in various kinds of physical activities that may help him tune his motor skills. What may seem ordinary or comes naturally to you as an adult may be a task for your little one. In order to help his motor skills help your kid to learn to sit, walk, crawl, run and do other such physical activities.

To help your kid with the language, it is important that you talk, read, sing or engage in other such activities that involve the use of language. It has been observed that parents or family members who spend more time talking to younger children have better hold over language. It is very important for a child to learn various emotional skills and a family plays an important part in that. It is from a family that a kid learns about various emotions such as love, compassion, sympathy etc. In lack of proper emotional skills, your child may not be able to express himself better emotionally, which may lead to making destructive choices later in life.

4. Security

A child understands security from his family because it is the family only that tends to all his basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Apart from taking care of these basic survival needs of a child, a family provides a child with emotional security that he may not find anywhere else. This is because when your kid is outdoors, he may be required to behave in a certain manner or be social because he may be expected to behave as per the social norms. However, at home, he may express openly and. thus. it becomes important that a safe and secure environment is created at home for a child to express freely. A child who feels secure and safe may grow and develop better than a child who may be living in an unsecured environment, where he may be scared to express himself freely. Security is of utmost importance for a child, and it may help your kid to grow better emotionally, physically and cognitively.

Nurturing a child is not a cake walk, and it requires great effort on the parent’s part. However, it is an extremely rewarding experience to see your child turn into a responsible and caring human being. It is not only important to inculcate good values and habits in your child, but it is also important to provide a conducive and secure environment to make sure that your child is able to abide by what you have taught him. Also, perfection may not always be feasible, and there is no harm in making mistakes, and the same goes for bringing up children. Parents are humans and may make mistakes but what is more important is to register the mistake and make amends. Do not be too harsh on yourself or your child. A family is a child’s first source of learning and thus make sure it is a good one. No one is perfect, but you can surely strive to make efforts to do the right things so that it may help in the optimal growth and development of your child.