Some people say that parents have the most important role in a child’s development. However, others argue that other things like television or friends have the most significant influence. Discuss both views and give your own opinion?
Human development is a complex interplay of many factors. Some individuals are of the opinion that parents have the most significant role in a child’s development whereas others opine that friends and other environmental factors such as TV have a more important role. It is necessary to look at both arguments before forming an opinion.
Parents have direct interactions with the children. They provide a sense of identification to the child. These have their greatest effect on intellectual development and character traits. They also play a very important role in the socializing process of the child. Right from the bed time stories to the behavioral habits parents play a very important role in making a child a responsible citizen. They know their child’s temperament better than anyone else. They can provide critical input better than anyone else. That is why it is believed by some that parents have the strongest role in a child’s development.
Friends, on the other hand, are important in order to help children grow emotionally and socially. Children find out who they are by comparing themselves to others. They learn about attitude, character and personality. Building good relationships boosts a child’s self esteem and they find comfort in those friendships when things get tough such as losing a pet or facing family problems. Therefore, friendships are essential to assure children develop a healthy psyche. When kids are surrounded by friends or have one close friend, they have better self esteem, feel a sense of well being and experience fewer social problems.
Television is also one of the most prevalent media influences in kids’ lives. How much impact TV has on children depends on many factors: how much they watch, their age and personality, whether they watch alone or with adults, and whether their parents talk with them about what they see on TV.
In my opinion, we cannot generalize as to what has more significance. In the early years family generally has more impact but in adolescence peers and TV may impact more. It appears that the power of the peer group becomes more important when the family relationships are not close or supportive. For example, if the parents work extra jobs and are largely unavailable, their children may turn to their peer group for emotional support.
In conclusion, I believe that, behavior is affected by a complex interaction of many different factors such as parents, peers and environment. All these are inextricably linked in the development of children. There is individual variation and therefore it is difficult to generalize which factor plays the most significant role.