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Instructor Kelly K Hecklinger

Qiao(Gabrielle) Hu

Title: Do Parents Have Any Effect on The Character or Intelligence of Their Children?

October 15, 2010

Dear Instructor Hecklinger,

   This essay demonstrates the issue that whether parents have an effect on the character or intelligence

of their children. The thesis of the essay is that an effect of the parents is not the only factor that

influence the development of character or intelligence of their children. However, as the children expose

themselves to the outside world, they would be influenced more by the society of schooling, mass media,

and fellow students surrounding them. Children could respond to the material world by their own desires

and perceptions. The latter influences which are from the outside world will be far outweighed the

former one which is from the parents.

   Argumentation essays is the most difficult one because writers of the essays need to make clear

statement and give logical and supportive points to demonstrate their opinions. When I wrote this essay,

I found logical part the most complicated because I need to get my viewpoints through to the person

who reads my essay. Also, I was struggling to convince that the parents are not the only one factor to

influence the character or intelligence of their children. The children could be influenced by the society,

like schools.

   Although argumentation essays are challenging. It will be clear and specific if outline is written

clearly. The solution to tackle the difficulty is that I outlined each topic of each paragraph, and gave

supportive ideas to strengthen my topic sentences in each paragraph. Also, I checked the logics of my

examples which support the main points of each statement. Last but not least, I checked that whether
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each topic sentence of each paragraph would coincide with the main thesis in the paragraph of

introduction. After repeatedly proofread, my essay, which used simplistic words could be clearly and

logically expressed.
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     There might be a stereotype existing in people’s minds deeply, which is that parents are children’s

first teachers. The character or intelligence of parents progressively influences that of their children.

However, the world is changing fairly frequently, the influence from parents declined dramatically.

There are other factors influenced children’s minds, like societies and the mass media. Also, children

will be changed by themselves when they response to the outside world. In the essay, not only the part

of parents does influence on the development of character and intelligence of children, but the parts of

the society, education, books, mass media, and children themselves do influence on the development of


     The family is the center and harbor for younger children. Parents profoundly influence their kids at

a very young age in the aspects of characters and intelligence. From the aspect of character, different

genders of parents would influence their young children of the same genders. Specifically speaking,

fathers could play more part in the character of boys through playing computer games, and playing

football together. As a result, the character of the young boy would be more sporty and outgoing. Under

the influence from his father, he might become more socialized via communicating more with his

teammates who play with him. However, mothers influenced more on their young daughters. For

example, when mothers care details about their physical appearance and apply cosmetics on their faces,

the daughters would imitate their mothers’ behaviors and forage the habits of caring about physical

appearance. So, their characters will be more glamorous. From the psychological aspect of parents, they

exert great influence to mold the character of their children. The famous psychologist Albert Bandura

put forward the idea that children could learn through observing the behavior from parents and make

changes of their own. Case in point, a boy, who sees his brother being scolded or beaten because of

making loud noises in a public place, will mold quiet character when he is in the public place. Therefore,

parents undoubtedly influence the characters of their children.
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       Parents have a big impact on the children’s development of their intelligence as well. Firstly, they

would have high expectation for their children. Parents have strong will to motivate potentials of their

children by cultivating the children’s interests. For example, parents inject a great deal of time, energy,

and money to cultivate the interests of their children. The expectation from the parents would force the

children to improve their abilities in their proficient fields. If a kid is skilled at swimming, the parent

would guide the kid how to motivate the potential of swimming. A good case is the world swimming

champion, Michael Phelps, who got eight golden medals in the 2008 Olympic Games. He practiced a lot

when he was young, and received a bulk of support from his family members, like his mother. With the

influence from his family, Phelps knows his potential in swimming and becomes more proficient and

sophisticated at swimming. So, Phelps is very intelligent about how to perform his body well when he

competes with other competitors. His mother also takes pride in him. Secondly, parents strictly regulate

their children when children are during the time of study. For example, some Asian parents restrict the

time of the children to watch TV. The reason why parents regulate their own children is that they want

their children to have higher academic success.           1   Thus, the children would concentrate their time and

energy on the specific areas, and finally enable their children to be more proficient on the things on

which children choose to concentrate. Hence, the children will be more smart under the cultivation of

their parents, in other words, parents have a great impact on the development of intelligence.

       As children become more exposed to society and the media, parents would not be the absolute

factor which influences children’s character. Society includes child’s education. For example, children

will go to the elementary school starting around age five. Teachers begin to influence the minds of

   1 This is the example where I read a news called Are Asian Children Smarter on the ABCNews published in 2005. I
   paraphrase the words which on the news. The link is
   when I read the news from Jane Kim’ s family, I was shocked by the news. Because the phenomenon resembles
   lots of examples of parents in China. Chinese parents spend a lot of energy to cultivate their children to be more
   successful academically, like sending children study overseas and highly regulate the spare time of their children.
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children through imparting knowledge, and molding behaviors. The idea of responsibility would be

imparted into every student’s mind. So, the character of children will be more hardworking and

responsible through accepting education at schools. Moreover, through social activities, like parties and

clubs, they would form extroverted characters, and know how to cooperate, communicate and negotiate

with the other children around them. These are the characters that the parents could not influence their

children at home.

     Furthermore, the media of books and television play great parts on the development of the

characters of children. For the part of reading books, children will obtain a plethora of samples which

mold their characters. For example, the popular reading books among children are the series of Harry

Potter written by J.K. Rowling. Those books depict different characters of young kids. When the

children read Harry Potter, they might dream somehow they will become a wizard who has wonderful

magic and studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. This encourages them to explore the outside world

to become more adventuresome. Also, some fables play a significant role in the development of

children’s characters from different characters in the fables. For example, the children will appreciate

the traits of the heroes or heroines after reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Those characters can give strong

impressions to the children. After reading Cinderella, girls might observe the trait of benevolence and

optimism from the heroine. Also, boys might realize the trait of courage and ambition after reading the

Little Prince. Television can also have powerful influence on the development of the characters of

children. For example, television gives a typical quality of visual sense to influence the characters of

children. Specifically speaking, if the children watch some series of comedies, they might observe the

characters of the comedians, who are humorous. Children will develop the characters of humor, and

make the atmosphere lively when they communicate with their peers. However, if children watch many
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movies about violence, some of them might develop the characters of violence and bully others, who are

the inferiors.

      From the respect of intelligence, there would be several perspectives influencing the intelligence

more, rather than the perspective from parents. Firstly, children could be influenced more by desires and

perceptions of themselves. They could make a concerted effort to fulfill their dreams or goals. Through

obtaining higher education, each child will begin to realize how the world would be, because obtaining

education is the fundamental step for the one who wants to set foot in the society. Then, the children will

extend the outlook of the material society. In the time of obtaining education, children would be more

intelligent to decide what they will do for their future careers in the society. For example, the children

who have interest in the numbers and figures, will focus on the areas of analyses, like finance and

economics. In their concentrations, they will be more intelligent in their careers. Secondly, the

intelligence of children is also influenced by the society. The material world will force everyone to meet

his or her expectation. Because the material resources are highly restricted, everyone would get it

through competing with each other. During the process of competition, children will learn how to meet

their expectations efficiently, and reveal their abilities of fulfillment. Thus, they will present the aspects

of intelligence in their strength. Thirdly, the children are also aroused by the achievement made by the

successful students at school. They consider the successful students heroes. The children will be

influenced by the attitudes of study which are from the successful children. Through learning the

methods of successful students, children would have the chance to get the higher score at school. The

advanced changes of the children who make from the outside will enhance the children’s intelligence,

and enable them to be smarter.

      Parents played significant roles on the growth of their children, through cultivation of decent

characters and high intelligence quotient. As the society develops, each child is injected the ideology of
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being independent from their family. The parts of changing from parents are not overt compared to the

past times and periods. There are other factors more than those of the parents influencing more to

children, like children themselves, the environment around them, and also the resources they received

through reading books and watching TV. These factors, besides those derived from the parents’ part

seem to be far more influential for children to develop their own characters and intelligence. That is the

reason why parents invest more time and energy for their children on the externality from the society

and internality from their own children to cultivate the most suitable and healthy growth of both

character and intelligence.

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