Essay on Children’s Predetermined Role: Small Adults in a Parent’s Narrative

Essay on Children’s Predetermined Role: Small Adults in a Parent’s Narrative

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Beyond genetics, parents have an extremely significant impact on the emotional, moral, and social development of their children. This is understandable, as many children interact solely with their parents until they reach school-age. Parents have the ability to determine a child’s temperament, their social abilities, how well-behaved or in control of their emotions they are, how mature and ambitious the child will be, and so forth. (Sharpe) Furthermore, parents have both ideals for their children as well as ideals for themselves, and how they raise their children is deeply influenced by this.
Generally, parents’ want their child will be happy and successful, and these hopes often coexist with their specific ideals and aspirations. According to the article, “On the Relations Between Parents’ Ideals and Children’s Autonomy”, “parents also hope that their children will adopt the ideals they have for them, because if children are to realize their parents have for them, they must pursue these ideals too.” (de Ruyter, and Schinkel 369). Consequently, their parenting style will be influenced by this desire for their child to share the same ideals. In my case, these ideals existed, but weren’t extremely prominent. A more traditional example is one of my best friends, who was a gymnast and cheerleader for almost a decade. I remember her dreading and loathing both activities daily, but her mother signed her up at age five and wouldn’t let her quit until high school because she so intensely wanted her daughter to love what she loved. She decided early on that her daughter would play that role, and did everything in her power to make her achieve the ideal.
This is evident in literature, too. In “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities”, David Seda...

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...rld, parents need to provide them with structure, discipline, and emotional support. The word, “child” shouldn’t be interchangeable with “small adult”. Treating them this way can leave someone insecure, lost, and unprepared for life, as I frequently feel. People are becoming more and more likely to write children into their narratives as these self-governing characters who know what’s best for themselves, but however convenient and valuable that may seem, that is never the role they were intended to play.

Works Cited

Sharpe, Kelsey. Parental Influence on the Development of Children. Diss. Creighton University, Print. .

de Ruyter, Doret Je, and Anders Schinkel. "On the Relations Between Parents' Ideals and Children's Autonomy." Educational Theory. 63.4 (2013): 369-388. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

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