The Most Important Influence

Most of us are aware of how important the early years of childhood are. During this time children learn so much that will influence the rest of their lives. Habits and behaviors are often established during these early years including not only the obvious, like being polite and how to respond to strangers, but also how to express emotions like love, hurt, joy and happiness.

Cartoon showing the 4 emotions

Children have a natural tendency to be spontaneous and honest in their expression of emotions when they are growing up in a loving and caring family. They learn values and an understanding of right and wrong from their parents. To a child, family is the most important influence on the kind of adult they will grow up to be.

Of course there are other influences, these include:

In other words, what the child witnesses and experiences - what the child learns both from family, school and community - sets the stage for their future. Recent research into how the brain develops confirms this. The family, school and the community, in a sense, are like a womb that nurtures the child and determines the characteristics (or assets) that a child will have in their future as an adult.