The role of well-developed, purposeful, and reputable organizations is predominant in contemporary environment as these entities advocate for children, try to give every vulnerable child a healthy and spiritual start in life, ensure adequate protection from threats and harm, provide hope for brighter and more promising future, and permanently influence and shape the ways the modern world treats children. Moreover, though meaningful and consistent programs, these multiple organizations influence behavior of children, promote resilience, stimulate accountability and responsibility, foster participation in decision-making processes, and work on many other vitally important issues facing all children in different corners of the globe.
Environmental Factors Influencing Behavior
Environment plays a pivotal role in influencing people including their cognition, language and, finally, behavior. Researchers who investigate the impact of environment on behavior provide evidence that multiple environmental influences result in drastic differences in human behavior as well as personality and cognitive abilities (Oliveira-Broachdo, Oliveira-Brochado, & Brito, 2010). Although numerous adoption studies hypothesize that almost all behavioral qualities and characteristics expressed by people are heritable as genes play a predominant role in shaping behavior, many researchers in behavioral genetics assure that numerous behavioral processes shape behavior of people (Oliveira-Broachdo, Oliveira-Brochado, & Brito, 2010). Understanding and adequately assessing environmental factors and pressures that affect and alter behavior of people is critically important as it ensures an opportunity to explore positive and negative impacts of environment and improve the welfare of different categories of people, especially children. For instance, scholars provide strong and convincing reasons that families, especially their economic circumstances, affect and shape emotions, feelings, and behaviors of their children. Even insignificant and subtle changes in environment, including child-sized chairs in diverse early childhood settings, can have a positive as well as an adverse impact on the behavior of children (Oliveira-Broachdo, Oliveira-Brochado, & Brito, 2010).
Numerous recent studies indicate that poverty, ongoing parental conflicts, absence of healthy and cohesive family relationships, low and inconsistent expectations, exposure to violence, and unmet emotional and spiritual needs are the most crucial environmental factors that have adverse or even destructive impacts on the behavior of children (Oliveira-Broachdo, Oliveira-Brochado, & Brito, 2010). On the contrary, responsible parenting that encompasses nurturing and harmonious parenting that fosters clear and consistent influence are the most significant environmental factors that have a positive impact on the growth and development of children. Protective and enthusiastic parental monitoring and supervision enhance numerous effective prosocial behaviors, values, and qualities of children. On the other hand, extremely high levels of conflicts within families, absence of harmonious family relationships, and poor communication drastically reduce safety and security of children, prevent them from continuous socialization from peers, and drastically affect their emotional security promoting interpersonal hostility and extensive use of aggression (Oliveira-Broachdo, Oliveira-Brochado, & Brito, 2010). Moreover, researchers emphasize that absence of strong, collaborative, and friendly relationships has a destructive impact on behavior of children. It encourages them to involve with many other deviant peers, which considerably increases the risks of numerous problems and challenges, especially unplanned pregnancy and willingness to be independent for parents and caregivers very early. Schools and communities in which children and young individuals live and study are other critically important and influential environmental factors that may affect behavior of people, for good or ill. Thus, experience, development, and behavior of children is modified and complicated by multiple environmental pressures and influences that may have both positive and adverse effects (Oliveira-Broachdo, Oliveira-Brochado, & Brito, 2010).
Benefits of Community Programs for Child Resilience
The role of comprehensive and professional community programs and initiatives is predominant as these programs offer a valuable chance to families and children to connect with many other community members and establish invisible but strong bonds (Hofer, Eisenberg, & Reiser, 2011). Moreover, successful community programs not only enhance well-being and quality of life, but also contribute to socialization, adaptation to diverse and unstable environments, and resilience. Community-based programs offer numerous psychological and mental benefits to children of different age groups, including tight and cohesive connections with other people. Connections promoted by community programs are vitally important as they enable and encourage children to develop effective social skills and understand or subconsciously feel that the world is safe, secure, civilized, and peaceful. In addition, well-developed community programs focus on modeling behavior and regulation as it may assist children in modulating stress and emotional arousal in numerous complex and dangerous situations (Hofer, Eisenberg, & Reiser, 2011).
Community programs and initiatives directly contribute to self-regulation that drastically decreases the levels of impulsivity and antisocial behavior among children. Children in a negative and hostile emotional and social climate are usually less likely to regulate and manage their emotions competently and tend to have inappropriate and disturbing reactions (Hofer, Eisenberg, & Reiser, 2011). On the contrary, engagement of children in community programs enhances their willingness to socialize and leads to adequate and effective emotion regulation. Finally, comprehensive and consistent community programs are closely related to higher positive emotional expressivity, adequate social competence and, finally, timely regulation of negative emotions (Hofer, Eisenberg, & Reiser, 2011). All these positive behaviors promoted by meaningful community programs ensure a chance to build resilience in children and cope with numerous types and forms of stressors, especially abuse and neglect that have a devastating impact on the growth and development of children. Generally, effective and consistent community programs foster socialization and assist children in building resilience. In other words, they favor learning and acquiring effective learning skills that can enhance the ability of children to manage and control their negative feelings as well as response to unpleasant and stressful situations (Vandervort, Henry, & Sloane, 2012).
Preparing a Plan
Flexible and effective community programs are critically important are they create promising opportunities for children to meet, socialize, maintain healthy attachments, cope with challenging and traumatic events, and manage their emotions in the most effective manner (Banach & Gregory, 2011). A successful community program purposed to enhance resilience and contribute to socialization should be characterized by the following features and characteristics:
- clear and achievable goals and objectives;
- simple and accurate registration process;
- adequate assessment of emerging trends;
- functional assessment of demographics and possible barriers to participation;
- effective funding and budget development;
- professional organizational committee with competent, experienced, and committed individuals who know how to promote socialization in children and teach them to maintain resilience;
- accessibility and proximity to numerous recreation facilities;
- effective planning and promotion of the community program;
- detailed assessment of potential benefits of the community program in order to estimate how this program will meet the needs of children and contribute to their socialization and resilience;
- objective assessment and reduction of the existing threats that may put at risk the adoption and maintenance of this program (Banach & Gregory, 2011).
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In conclusion, successful community programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing socialization and resilience should focus on engagement of skilled and committed experts and professionals who will adequately determine and assess the needs of children and prescribe what strategies and tactics should be utilized in order to maintain resilience, foster positive behavior and management of negative emotions, and improve the quality of life. Although establishing, maintaining, and sustaining a community program that promotes socialization and resilience may take efforts and time, professionals who actively participate in developing these programs should consider and keep in mind the unique and individual needs of every child who will become an active member engaging in all activities.