A human’s personality is created on the basis of two main factors: what is inherited and what is experienced throughout one’s life. Family is the first environment where life propels us, it is where we spend most of our first years, and thus it plays a huge role in our development as individuals.
The impact that the familial framework has upon a child is incredibly important for the development of his or her personality. The family is the one to plant the first seeds of a child’s behaviour, way of thinking and values. In what follows, I will present 4 situations where familial influence plays a key role in shaping a child’s personality.
1. Family is the first behavioural model
It is a natural tendency for children to manifest themselves identically as the adults they get emotionally attached to. Parents, therefore, become the first role models that a child unconsciously follows. Children will imitate the behaviours and actions of the adults in their families. Good manners, interaction with other people, the way of behaving in a social group, showing affection – all of these behaviours are shaped during the first years of a child’s life and are borrowed from the family.
However, this is a two-edged sword. The familial context can also have a negative influence on a child personality. Thus, a child that has grown up in a dysfunctional family is prone to imitate their parents’ improper behaviours. For example, children who have faced abuses, violence of any kind, vices or unhealthy familial relationships are more likely to repeat these actions later in their lives. There are, undeniably, exceptions in both of these scenarios.
2. Family is the first learning environment
Family is what lays the foundation of the process of learning and it is the first medium of acquiring information. Parents are in charge of children’s basic education and of giving them knowledge about the world that surrounds them. This can be done not only by taking the time to discuss with children and addressing their questions and curiosities, but also by engaging them in all sorts of educational activities, like visits to museums, theatres, spending time in nature, reading them stories, etc.
Getting children in the habit of learning from an early age will make them more receptive to learning later in life, as they will already be used to receiving and absorbing new information. The first school is at home, so the family is responsible for paving the path of a child’s learning journey. Creative and interactive home education establishes successful and efficient learning in the future. Practising sports or playing instruments also helps with that, and it teaches them to be more organized, determined, perseverant and hard-working persons.
3. Family is where you learn to communicate
Not only do children learn how to speak a language from the members of their family, but they also learn how to communicate. Whether we speak about communicating feelings, ideas, or impressions, it is within the family where kids practise this ability. Having a healthy relationship with their family will enable a child to speak up their mind, to speak openly about their fears, joys and emotions. In this way, children can learn how to better express themselves and how to assert their points of view, and they learn empathy, patience and honesty as well.
All of these will be reflected in their personalities as teenagers and adults. They will become functional social individuals, it will be easier for them to integrate among others and adapt to different social situations. These people will have a voice, they will communicate their ideas and feelings very clearly, they will be listened to and will know how to listen, in their turn. Such people will find fewer difficulties in socializing and empathizing with others.
4. Family offers you a set of values
Just like in the case of imitating behaviours, children tend to follow the ways of thinking their families adopt. This goes hand in hand with a certain set of values according to which people lead their lives. Together with getting a sense of what’s good and what’s bad, children are instilled with morals and principles, such as acceptance, tolerance, kindness, understanding and so on.
Even if they can change with time or be altered, these values make the base of one’s life and will guide them in most of the decisions they will take, while helping them build healthy human interactions. Children’s personality is shaped in accordance with these values which will determine the future teenagers or adults to establish certain standards and improve the quality of their lives.