What is the most important influence on a child’s development? Tom Weisner, professor of anthropology and psychiatry, ULCA, goes on to explain in a Ted Talk.
The most important thing you could do would be to decide or think about where in the world the child is growing up, he said. “It all depends on the context in which the child and the family are living, from neighbourhood to nation state. Kids are not exactly autonomous individuals. The only children who exist in the world are those who really live there and the importance of keeping the context in mind needs to be brought out strongly,” he added.
So, how does the society influence the child? Tom Weisner derived some traits in kids in other parts of the world as compared to those growing up in white societies. Firstly, it is the importance of social responsibility and intelligence, and collaborative learning. He goes on to draw examples from the children he studied in Kenya and other parts of the world.
Multiple caretaking of children, where care is socially distributed is the second quality in kids from places like Kenya. Children are attached to community care, including family and other members that helped take care of them.
Some children grow up in very harsh environments with oppression, uncertainty and deep poverty.
The other differences lie in the institutions that children are living in and grow into like families, inheritance, and so on. The objective is to rear a child to become the most morally approved individual in the society.