Should children be “socialized”?

The eternal question for stay-at-home-parents and home/unschoolers. The question, I have never fully understood the meaning of – and therefore never really had an answer to. But still, it seems to be a concern for many parents that their child will not get “socialized” (enough?), if it doesn’t attend a daycareinstitution/school of some sort.

But should they – get “socialized”? And if so, what does it even mean?

My sister says that children are not dogs; they don’t need to be “socialized” – they ARE social creatures by nature.

And my dear friend says that it is not about the quantity of “socialization” but the quality. Meaning children do not need to be around a lot of other kids (their age) without their parents – they need stabile relationships with those they love and trust – and who love and trust them back. Family and friends.

I agree, but I still think we are talking about two very different concepts.

“Socialization” as social interaction with those we love and who love us back – family and friends. Isn’t that just life? Do we really need to make this up artificially in institutions for our kids?

In todays society, we do, because even if you are a stay-at-home-parent, you have to be active in finding friends, because… well, no one is home! Everybody is at work or in daycare.

But if we didn’t massively institutionalize our children, would we really still need to “make up” scenaries for them to be social in (- which is the other type of “socialization”-concept)? Don’t we all have those next-door-kids, that our children play with? Wouldn’t that just happen even more so, if we were to actually live our lives together at home as much as possible?

Where does the need for child-socialization actually belong?

I am not sure kids have a need for parents to help them get “socialized”. I am, on the other hand, sure that they need to be with their parents. And I am also thinking that the need for child-socialization does not in fact lie with the children themselves but rather with the culture, that insists on separating children from their parents. A culture, that mascarades this separation as concern, development and care, but actually serves one purpose: capitalism.

Children in institutions means parents at work. In total, it means more capital, activity and consumption (loosing my breath here…).

Feeling safe makes you want to socialize – all on your own

It is my experience that children handle “socialization” fine all on their own. That is, when “socialization” is seen as just a part of life. They are social creatures, and they develope as such. They don’t just sit in a corner one day, refusing to interact with anybody. Being social comes natural to them – they can’t NOT be social – if they feel safe, anyway.

Our daughter is 18 months, and she interacts with everybody at every age. With words, facial expressions, bodylanguage and even hugs and kisses (again, if she feels safe). Same goes for our son at almost 4 years. None of them have ever seen the inside of an institution.

What is the point of this forced sozialisation?

Why is it that we have completely lost faith in our childrens’ social intelligens? Why have we convinced ourselves that we have to force artificial social scenaries (such as daycareinstitutions and schools) upon our children, in order for them to develop socially?
What is the point of this forced “socialization”?

I think that the whole concept of “socialization” in this culture, that separates children and parents, contains the same cynicism as the concept of caring for children in this separationculture does. We are trying to influence our children to be “social” in a certain way in certain situations, in order for them to fit in, not be critical and carry on reproducing the dominating culture (of capitalism and separation). I am not saying that every parent thinks like this – of course they don’t. But it is the underlying purpose of the culture passed on to us – and that we pass on to our children.