- Sibling relationship within the family seems to affect the school adjustment of the child. The only child sometimes makes abrupt adjustment when s/he enters school. S/he has not had the competition of brothers and sisters in the home and must learn to give and take with peer groups outside the home. The only child may enter school with a more adult vocabulary and reaction to things because of primary association with adults in the home. This may sometimes cause a teacher to overestimate his/her real ability because of the tendency to judge children against adult standards and modes of behaviour.
- Children from large families usually lack the material advantages of those of smaller families. They may lack the feeling of being unique individuals because of the very fact of numbers. Disturbing or withdrawing behaviour in the classroom may be a pointer to this effect. On the other hand, they may have gained experiences in working with others; they may have learned to share and assume responsibility and they may have learned to take initiative.
- Variations in ability among members of the family may result in behavioural problems. The child who is compared with a sibling in intelligence, physical qualities, sports, etc., may consciously receive the partial treatment of the parents.
- Adults in home grand parents, aunts, etc., may be included in the adult population of the home. In a home including grandparents, the child may be constantly in contact with varying forms of direction. The grandparents representing a generation different from that of parents may have correspondingly different methods of child rearing. The child may suffer due to these differences.
- Parental relationship – physical and emotional distance. Parents may travel to earn their livelihood for shorter/extended periods depending upon the nature of their occupation. Children may thus not be able to see them everyday. Some parents are on their shifts and the family may get together as a unit only on holidays. Physical distance may come in the way of the parent-child relationship.
Emotional distance may vary with the family and with members of the family. But unlike physical distance, it may vary in a qualitative sense.
- Parent’s expectations of the child. Parental attitudes towards the child, explicitly or implicitly indicated, probably form the greatest single influencing factor in shaping the child’s behaviour pattern. Many things about the child may influence these attitudes of acceptance or rejection.
Children of very young parents or of parents well above the child bearing years face different environmental problems.
Parents with high intelligence, who have been able to achieve at a high level, usually expect their children to be successful. It is difficult for many parents to realize that their children may be less able than they are.
All children, in some respect, become a means of realizing unfulfilled family ambition or for maintaining and developing standards already achieved. Problems arise with children when the pressure of ambition becomes so strong that the child has little opportunity for exercising his/her own initiative.
The family is the most important factor in the development of children. The child who has secure family bonds is able to meet the requirements of schools and other agencies in the community.
Many factors like socio-economic level, siblings and adults within the home, parental attitude, ability of the child and parental expectations influence the child’s development.