Childhood Socialization: Characteristics and Development

Childhood socialization is how kids define their own identity and become a part of society. Find out how to help your kids socialize in this article.
Childhood Socialization: Characteristics and Development
Elena Sanz Martín

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Childhood socialization is an important process in the development of every human being. Your f riends and the environment shape your identity and behavior. Therefore, we want to tell you more about socialization in childhood.

What is childhood socialization?

Socialization refers to how you integrate sociocultural elements in the environment and adapt to society. Through socialization, you learn what’s right and wrong in your society.

Your learning starts in the first moment of life and it never stops. However, early childhood is a key stage of the socialization process, since it’s when you’re most ready to learn.

In fact, children are born with the ability to learn, and the need to have social stimuli. They’re called to develop attachments and friendships, which will play a major role in the first few years.

The influence of the environment on childhood socialization

We’re all born with lots of potential to make friends. However, we also have potential for aggression and violence. It’s the environment that determines which of the two will win. There are different ways for this to happen.

Childhood Socialization: Characteristics and Development

Learning by observation

In fact, kids mainly learn by watching others. That is, they watch behaviors and consequences of the people around them.

  • Family plays an important role because they’re the first socializers. They act as conscious or unconscious models, giving kids values constantly.
  • School is the next key socializer that’s very important. How teachers teach, how they treat kids, and their attitudes will affect how kids behave.
  • Media is becoming more and more important because it transmits social information. Through visuals and simple language, TV and other similar media give kids examples of good and bad behavior. It’s important to monitor the TV that your kids watch. Make sure it’s appropriate and has the values you want them to learn.


Playing is another way kids learn how to make friends. By playing, kids learn to get along with classmates and work as a team.


Stories, fairy tales and books are very important for childhood socialization. Kids love these activities. In fact, reading stories has a powerful influence on how they learn to get along with others.

Through these stories, children nourish their imagination. In addition, they also learn how the world works and how they should behave. In turn, they feel less scared because they identify with the characters.

You should always keep in mind that images and stories teach more than theoretical argumentsTherefore, you need to make sure that what you teach them and show them are the same thing. Otherwise, they’ll get confused.

Childhood Socialization: Characteristics and Development

How to develop childhood socialization?

Although this is a natural process for everyone, there are things you can do to help childhood socialization.

As they make friends, kids feel more comfortable being social. Therefore, it’s important not to overprotect them.

If you do, you’ll deprive them of the chance to experience their own abilities and personality. You actually deny them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and do better next time.

Through social relationships, kids can change how they act according to the natural consequences their actions cause.

Parents need to motivate their kids and encourage them to make good friends. It’s also important to offer them the chance to deal with problems on their own. This way they’ll also develop their self-confidence.

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The contents of You Are Mom is for educational and informational purposes only. At no time do they replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. If in doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.