reply to post by filosophia
First off I would like to say thank you for the thread, it was an intresting read. Althrough #3 about the TSA agents never came about. the court
ordered them to to attend but none did.
To reply to filosopha, children need to interact with other children. Home schooling is not a solution, althrough i do agree with it in principle it
will cause more hame than good.
Children need to interact and play with each other. and this is the reason why; this is my 2000 word essay on why children interacting with each
other is necessary. yes im a psychologist and yes I spend my days writing papers.
Harris (1998) and Pinker (2002) agree that the influence of parents on children has been over exaggerated and that it is within the peer group (other
children) that socialization occurs.
There are two main types of interaction with children and one hybrid;
1. Complementary interaction is when a child interacts with a parent by asking for help and receiving it.
The main role in complementary interaction is to provide the child with security and protection to enable them to gain knowledge and skills.
2. Reciprocal process is when the child interacts with a peer (roughly the same age) of an equal level of knowledge and social power. It has been
suggested that these reciprocal interactions are a way of children gaining social skills that they can only learn among equals.
3. Sibling relationships are a hybrid of both these theories (reciprocal and complementary). Among siblings there is thought to be a difference in
knowledge and power that is not so great that the children (siblings) cannot play together and communicate at the same level.
It is argued that because siblings can interact as both reciprocal and complementary that the influence they hold between each other is greater than
having either and this is because;
• The older child can act as a teacher, guide and role model for the younger sibling.
• Both children share interest and competence to a sufficient degree that they are able to tackle the task of social understanding jointly.
Before we go into peer to peer social interaction we must first address why it is so important compared to peer to care giver interaction (parents or
When children interact with caregiver(s), the caregiver usually use their own knowledge and experience to “scaffold” the interaction by
interpreting their intentions or by reforming what the child says or does thus limiting the child’s ability to develop. In this instance the
caregiver is not letting the child freely express himself instead the caregiver may be putting words in his/her mouth and not letting the child fully
express him/herself before being cut off.
In simple terms, the caregivers pre-empt what the child is asking or looking for not letting the child fully express him/herself like she or he would
have to, to another peer because both would be at the same power and knowledge level unlike a caregiver who would be able to ‘guess’ what the
The main underlying context in the Children’s Personal and Social Development hand book (chapter 3) is that peer to peer interactions is one of
children learning social skills through playing together.
Each child when interacting with others has;
1. Their own agenda
2. Their own aspirations
3. Their own motives
With each child having his/her own “agenda” then there is obviously going to be conflicts while interacting with other children. While one side
of this is that a child is going to be conflicting with others there is also the case to be made that after conflict come’s peace and this is
achieved by children reconciling their differences with each other.
Children’s interactions with siblings.
Children’s interactions with siblings can be particularly intense Dunn and Kendrick (1982 pp210-11) explain because interactions with siblings are
not emotionally neutral. The interactions can be categorised by;
Dunn goes on to explain that although brothers and sisters may show dislike to their siblings i.e. “I hate my brother/sister” under that layer of
emotion they have a deep seeded protection of their sibling. For example protecting them from school bullies.
This view of protecting their kin can be seen in Stalker and Connors (2004 p233) research on children and families with a disabled sibling.
This piece of research reflects and endorses the view that children are protective and caring of their siblings to the point of protecting them from
negative reactions from other peers.
In my interpretation it shows a clear indication that children not only recognise their own emotional needs but that of their siblings also. It also
shows that even though they may dislike or not agree with their siblings they still feel as if they have a protective duty over them.
Children playing (peer to peer) and how this is important for their development.
By taking one example of children playing together and studying the context we can see a multitude of different emotions and behaviours that show us
just how much children learn from interacting with each other (playing). Children’s playing together is important because it is a form of
socialisation and helps them develop for tasks in everyday life.
Fein 1984 (pp136-137) also available in Children’s Personal and Social Development handbook page 100-101 shows a transcript of two boys Peter and
Michael both boys being just under 4 years old playing .
The game they are playing is “Dracula monster” which has a “monster vanishing hero” while using wooden toy blocks as weapons. We can deduce
the children’s knowledge and agendas from this interaction by closely examining the transcript and looking for the meaning in words and how they
• Imagination, this is shown in the context of the wooden toy bricks being used as weapons also because they are able to reinvent themselves as
fantasy characters from science fiction novels and not simply good guy versus bad. The two main types of socio-dramatic play are;
1. Familiar themes such as parents , children or doctor patient
2. Fantasy play Is more creative and varied which allows children to work out their feelings about major life events such as threat and loss i.e.
monsters vs. Dracula
• Good vs. Bad, from the context in which the children are playing is “Dracula monster” (bad) and “monster vanishing hero” (good) because of
the words they use to describe what and who they are. This shows they have an understanding of good and bad, right and wrong.
• Leadership, dominance and confidence. Peter shows clear leadership and dominance as he approaches Michael and tells him “You be Dracula”.
Peter did not ask Michael if he wanted to play but instead took charge and told Michael in basic terms you’re playing ‘Dracula’.
• Submissive, non-confrontational and compliance. Michael shows clear signs of being submissive to Peter. This is known because he accepts
Peter’s invitation to play ‘Dracula’ without arguing over roles as to who plays ‘Dracula’ or ‘Dracula vanishing hero’. Another
indication Michael is submissive is when Peter confronts him in an aggressive stance with a block and pushes his arm trying to provoke a reaction but
Michael does not rise to this and instead agrees with Peter.
• The ability to reconcile differences. This is another point made when Peter and Michael are arguing over roles; while Michael is the submissive
one in this scenario which could be put down to Peter’s ‘aggressiveness’ it could be argued that he is demonstrating the ability to reconcile
their differences before the situation escalates into an argument.
• Team work, can be seen in this transcript also because they are playing together for the same goal of passing time, enjoyment and having fun with
As you can see from my interpretation of the transcript and reading over the notes provided in the hand book, children playing together (peer to peer)
is indeed important for children’s social, personal and mental development because it reinforces roles and teaches children about their role in
life, sharing experiences and how to overcome aggressive behaviour.
In conclusion to the transcript, although both children appear to have different personalities one being dominant and confident while the other is
submissive and compliant its helps the children develop skills so they can interact with each other i.e. reconcile differences and co-operate so they
can play and have fun.
Rough and tumble play (R&T) is not only subject to males but also females. Pellengrini, (2003, p. 1531) expresses that rough and tumble play is
related to aggression in males, females on the other hand see it as playful. Females also engage in rough and tumble play with their male
(Smith et al 1999) have suggested that even the negative aspects of children’s experiences such as dealing with aggression (such as in R&T) can be
useful preparation for adult life. They also suggest the following reasons as to why rough and tumble play is so important for the development of
• The ability to understand body signs and signals (aggressive & submissive)
• The ability to display body signs and signals (aggressive & submissive)
• The ability to show restraint and regulate physical strength as to not hurt their peers while playing.
• The ability to share or take turns as being the good guy or bad.
• The ability to understand other peers point of views.
• To understand that too much physical violence may be seen as cheating and an understanding of the word.
Some researchers have noticed that during play fighting some children might take advantage of the situation by ‘cheating’ to display dominance.
The child ‘cheats’ by intentionally hurting another peer, the other peer may be playing the bad person that sooner or later has to die and they
accept this lesser role and have consented to play it. After being caught and assuming that during the rough and tumble aspect of being caught,
another child takes advantage of his consent to actually cause harm to the ‘bad guy’ gaining himself the title of a ‘cheater’ because he took
advantage of the ‘bad guy’.
(Fein, 1981, Humphreys and Smith 1987, Pellengrini 1985 1988)
These researchers have suggested that rough and tumble playing between adolescent males is related to physical aggression and may be used as a way to
establish peer status in the form of dominance.
(Peer and sibling interaction)
Peer interaction in the school setting. (Learning)
Where children are taught in peer groups such as what happens in schools (small groups of five children work towards an assignment) this is teaching
the children social skills which are helping them develop because:
The ability to work on projects with peers is extremely important. “There is evidence that the resulting of conflicting perspectives and the joint
development of ideas is important in learning and intellectual development”. Littleton 2004
The view of peer collaboration and learning is echoed by Brownell and Carriger, that children as young as three years old can collaborate to solve
simple problems and in doing so able to establish goals.
In conclusion, I have mainly focused on playing to show how important peer to peer interaction is in the development of a child’s social and
personal skills. I have chosen this because it is when the child has the least interaction from a caregiver and to give me a sense of just how much
development goes on while playing.
The child during play can use all of his/her emotions; it can also teach them new emotions as well as enforce others. During peer to peer play it
also reinforces the child’s personality and how the world perceives him/her, this can be through body signals such as aggressive or withdrawing from
aggressive behaviour and becoming submissive.
Although during play most of ours skills in interaction are being used we have to remember that not all skills come from play. Most parents would
instil values in their children before allowing them to interact with others i.e. sharing, not to be aggressive and to care for our friends, (peers)
it could be said that children are only reinforcing their taught values during play.
Michael McClenaghan 2011
• Dunn, J. and Kendrick, C. (1982) siblings: love, envy and understanding, London Grant McIntyre Ltd.
• Fein, G.G. (1984) ‘The self-building potential of pretend play or “I got a fish, all by myself”’, in Yawkey, T. D. and Pellegrini, A. D.
(eds) Child’s play: development and applied, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
• Harris, J. R. (1988) The nature Assumption: why children turn out the way they do, New York, Free Press.
• Littleton, K., Miell, D and Faulkner, D. (2004) learning to collaborate, Collaborating to Learn, New York, NY, Nova Science.
• Pellegrini, A. D. (2003) ‘Perceptions and functions of play and real fighting in early adolescence’, Child Development, vol. 74, pp.
• Pinker, S. (2002) The Blank Slate: the modern denial of human nature, London, Allen Lane.
• Smith, P.K., Bowers, L., Binney , V. and Cowie, H. (1999) Relationships of children involved in bully/victim problems at school’, in Woodhead,
M., Faulkner D. and Littleton, K. (eds) Cultural Worlds of Early Childhood, London Routledge.
• Stalker, K. and Connors, C. (2004) Children’s perceptions of their disabled siblings: “’ She’s different but its normal for us”’,
Children and Society, vol. 18 pp. 218-30.
edit on 1-6-2011 by michaelmcclen because: grammar