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Attempting To Pin Down A Definition Of Childhood

2080 words - 9 pages

The term ‘Childhood’ has always be hard to define as it will vary from each person, every person would have experienced a childhood but how they define theirs is a different story. ‘Childhood is the time for children to be in school and at play, to grow strong and confident with the love and encouragement of their family and an extended community of caring adults.’(UNICEF, 2005). From a psychological view childhood would be defined as the space between birth and attainment of adulthood; but it is far more than that, it a special time where the child children are safe from violence, free from fear, protected from exploitation and abuse and free to explore the treasures of life. In the UK there is no official age when you are no longer a child but considered an adult. But society sees it at the age 18 as many responsibilities are brought to light at this age.
‘A role model is a person whose serves as an example by influencing others. For many children, the most important role models are their parents and caregivers’ (AACAP,2011). Children tend to look up to a variety of different ‘role models’ whether there are parents, caregivers, teachers or peers and these models are those who help shape how they react to schooling, relationships or when making difficult decisions. Children may often try to imitate the appearance and behaviour of those in the media, such as entertainers, athletes, music artists, movies and videos games. Parents attempt to guide their child to choose a positive role more but it doesn’t always happen.
Aristotle’s idea of virtual ethics relies solely on the effect role models have on people. He believe that a huge part of role models is modelling the behaviour of someone moral. Through continuous modelling we become virtuous almost accidently. People can choose to learn both bad and good habits depending on the role model they admire Aristotle idea was for every citizen to act as a good role model. ‘This was especially true for people who were most likely to be in the public eye, since these people had so many eyes on them. Who are the role models in contemporary society? When asked, many celebrities (sports figures, actors, musicians) state that they don't want to be role models.’(Cohen, E 2005;384)Aristotle would potentially argue that is was not a choice a person can make. As celebrities they are so prominent in society they have no choice but to be a role model and take the responsibilities seriously.
Banduras work on social learning shown that much of learning that occurs during development is acquired through observation and imitation. ‘Behaviour is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning’ (1977), ‘Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways.’(1961). When this topic is brought to light many of us would agree that children learn best from role models and choose to imitate the behaviour they desire. In today society there are enough negative role models for children to...

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