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What is the strongest influence on children?

As a parent, you may often wonder what the strongest influence on your child is. Is it their peers, teachers, or their environment? Numerous studies have shown that the strongest influence on children is their parents. Children are constantly observing and learning from their parents, whether we realize it or not. In this article, we will explore the different ways in which parents influence their children and how this impacts their development.

Parenting Styles and Their Impact on Children

The way parents raise their children has a significant impact on their development. Psychologists have identified four parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved.

Authoritative parents set clear boundaries for their children, but also provide them with love, reasoning, and positive reinforcement. Children who grow up with authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem and social skills.

Authoritarian parents, on the other hand, tend to use strict discipline and punishment to enforce rules. Children with authoritarian parents may develop low self-esteem and lack social skills.

Permissive parents usually neglect the development of their children, allowing them to do whatever they want without setting any boundaries or consequences. Children with permissive parents may have difficulty with self-control and making decisions.

Uninvolved parents are those who are emotionally detached from their children and provide little to no guidance on their development. Children with uninvolved parents may have difficulty with building relationships and have low self-esteem.

Role Modeling and Imitation

Children learn by observing and imitating their parents’ behavior from a young age. Parents are the primary role models for their children and set the foundation for their values and beliefs. Children tend to adopt their parents’ behaviors, attitude, and values, shaping their personalities. Parents should be conscious of their behavior, as it has a powerful impact on their children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development.

Research has shown that children whose parents exhibit negative behaviors, such as aggression, tend to adopt these behaviors. Additionally, parents who exhibit positive behaviors, such as generosity and kindness, tend to produce children who exhibit the same behaviors.

Parental Involvement and Support

Parental involvement and support are crucial for a child’s growth and development. Children who grow up in a supportive and loving environment tend to have high self-esteem, develop positive relationships, and academic success. Parents should take an active role in their children’s lives, helping them with their homework, attending school activities, and engaging in conversation with them.

Research has shown that parental involvement has numerous benefits for children, such as higher academic achievement and social skills. Parental involvement also protects children from engaging in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse and delinquency.


In conclusion, parents are the primary influence on their children’s development and personality. The way parents raise their children, their role modeling and imitations, and their involvement and support in their children’s lives shape their development. Parenting is a challenging task that requires conscious effort and intentionality. Parents who are aware of their behavior and actively engage in their children’s lives produce children who are well-adjusted, confident, and successful. As parents, it’s our responsibility to provide our children with the best possible environment for them to grow, learn, and thrive.


Where do parents have the most influence over their children?

As a parent, you have a profound impact on the development of your child. You are their primary caregiver and role model, and your actions and values can shape their beliefs and behavior. Research has shown that parents have the most influence on their children’s basic values, such as religious values, and issues related to their future, such as educational choices.

Parents’ influence on their children’s values starts early in life. Infants and toddlers learn most of their behaviors and values from their primary caregivers, who are usually their parents. For example, a baby who is raised in a family where kindness and empathy are valued is more likely to develop those traits than a baby raised in an environment where aggression and conflict are predominant.

As children get older, their parents’ influence on their values continues to be strong. Parents who emphasize the importance of education and encourage their children to succeed in school tend to have children who excel academically. Parents who are actively involved in their children’s lives and who provide emotional support and guidance have children who are more successful in navigating social relationships and difficult situations.

In addition to values, parents have a significant influence on their children’s behavior. Children who grow up in homes where alcohol and drug use are prevalent are more likely to engage in these behaviors themselves. Conversely, children who are raised in homes where healthy habits and self-care are encouraged are more likely to adopt these practices as adults.

It’s important to note that the influence that parents have over their children is not absolute. Children are individuals with their own personalities, desires, and beliefs. As they grow and develop, they become more influenced by their peers, teachers, and the wider society. However, parents can still play a crucial role in shaping their children’s beliefs and behavior, especially through open and honest communication and by modeling positive behaviors themselves.

Parents have the most influence on their children’s basic values and future choices, but their influence continues to be strong throughout their children’s lives. By being positive role models, engaging in open and supportive communication, and fostering healthy habits and behaviors, parents can help their children become happy, successful, and well-adjusted adults.

What motivates children the most?

Motivating children can be a challenging task, but understanding what drives them can make a significant difference. Children are more motivated when they have some degree of self-determination, which means that they have some control over their choices and actions. When children have some choice over their activities, they are more likely to be engaged and invested. For example, if they get to choose from a list of potential projects, they will be more likely to get involved and remain interested.

Additionally, when children feel like they are making progress or are getting better at something, they tend to be more motivated. Praising children for their efforts rather than just the outcome can help them see the progress they are making, which can be very motivating. Additionally, setting achievable goals can help children see that they are making progress and can be an excellent incentive to keep moving forward.

Providing children with meaningful challenges is another way to motivate them. When children are presented with tasks that are slightly above their current abilities, they are more likely to be engaged and invested. These tasks should be challenging but also achievable if children receive scaffolding or support from adults. This approach, known as “scaffolding,” can help children avoid frustration and build confidence while learning something new.

Finally, providing opportunities for children to share their accomplishments with others can be highly motivating. This can include sharing their work with the class, putting on a show, or presenting their work to parents and family members. When children feel that their work is valued and appreciated by others, it can be a substantial boost to their motivation.

Children are more motivated when they have some degree of self-determination, can see progress in their work, are presented with meaningful challenges, receive support through scaffolding, and have opportunities to share their accomplishments. By using these strategies, adults can help children stay engaged and motivated in both academic and non-academic environments.