Parental Influence on the Personality Development of Their Children


ParentalInfluence on the Personality Development of Their Children

ParentalInfluence on the Personality Development of Their Children

Parentsplay an important role in influencing the development of theirchildren’s personalities. The way a child is brought up determinesthe kind of personality he or she will adopt. For instance,authoritative and neglectful parents raise children with low selfesteem. On the other hand, permissive parents raise children withhigh self esteem. Parents can influence the emotions and behaviors oftheir children through interactive teaching. This can be achievedthrough the act of rewarding good behavior and punishing badbehavior. In this paper, I am going to discuss the influence ofparents on the personality development of their children. I will lookat how various aspects of parenting determine the development ofpersonality among children.

HowParents Influence the Personality Development of Their Children

Thereare many ways in which parents can affect the development of theirchildren’s personality. To begin with, it has been established thatthose parents who are authoritarian are likely to raise children whohave low self-esteem (Rogosch &amp Cicchetti, 2003, p. 125). Forinstance, a parent who always wants his or her child to obey him orher all the time without question probably teaches the child theelement of conforming to rules. Such a child becomes obedient and maynot have serious problems in life. As a result, the child may performwell in school and college. However, being authoritative to a childmay also lead to loss of self-esteem. Such a child may feel that heor she has no ground to make personal decisions and do his or her ownthings.

Parentswho are neglectful are also likely to raise children with low selfesteem. A child needs to be taken care of by his or her parents.Children normally feel confident and protected when both parents arearound. However, when the children are neglected, they tend tobelieve that they are worthless and unwanted in the society (Hall &ampGeher, 2003, p. 146). They feel that there is something wrong intheir lives. It is also important to note that neglected childrenfail to learn important tasks in life. This is due to the fact thatthere is nobody around to teach them. As a result, many of them tendto perform badly in the tasks they are given.

Authoritativeparents also tend to raise children who are balanced. Mostauthoritative parents normally set strict and tough rules for theirchildren. They also tend to be diplomatic and unapproachable (Rogosch&amp Cicchetti, 2003, p. 141). A child brought up by such parents ismore likely to develop into a responsible adult who is able to copewith the pressures of life. In the future, the child may have noserious problems in terms of conforming to the set rules. It is alsoimportant to note that the child is likely to have confidence inhimself or herself. As a result, it may be easy for him or her tosucceed in life.

Parentswho are permissive tend to raise children who are rebels and havehigh self esteem. Children need some freedom from their parents. Mostof them never seem to be happy with the kind of control their parentshave on them. It is due to this factor that some parents choose to beless demanding (Hall &amp Geher, 2003, p. 157). Children make use ofsuch opportunities to become rebels. Since such children are not usedto rules, they tend to hate those who impose the rules on them. Whatmakes them behave in this manner is that the permissiveness of theirparents helps them to adopt high self esteem.

Itis also important to note that overprotective parents raise childrenwho are fearful. Some parents tend to excessively protect theirchildren. Children who are overprotected most of the time end upconcluding that everybody around is an enemy and this world is not asafe place (Brook, Brook &amp Whiteman, 2003, p. 78). They do nothave a chance and time to develop some important skills that canenable them to deal well with various issues of life and survive inthe midst of challenges. Many of such children end up remaining intheir particular comfort zones. They fear making risks andconfronting various problems they face in their lives.

Thereare three main mechanisms though which parents can influence thebehaviors of their children. The first mechanism involves interactingdirectly with the child. An example is a parent praising a three-yearold child for eating in a proper manner. Another example is theparent threatening the child that he or she will lose privilege forrefusing to sleep (Kagan, 1999, p. 164). The second mechanisminvolves the parent identifying himself or herself emotionally withthe child. For instance, a five-year old child should be made tobelieve that some of his or her attributes are inherited or copiedfrom parents. The third mechanism is through family stories. Familystories about successful uncles, cousins, grandparents and otherrelatives can help in the development of the personality of children.

Strengthsand Weaknesses of the Research


Thestrength of this research lies within the fact that it leads to thegeneration of important findings on how parenting can influence thedevelopment of personality among children. It gives importantinsights into how the way parents bring up their children determinestheir personality development. This information can be used tosensitize parents on the importance of proper parenting. It is alsoimportant to note that the findings of this research are alsoreliable. This is due to the fact that they are based on scholarlysources of information written by individuals who are knowledgeablein their areas of specialization.


Themain weakness of this research lies within the fact that it is notbased on an empirical research. It is rather based on a review ofvarious sources of information on how parents influence thedevelopment of the personality of their children. Another majorweakness of this research is that its findings may not be applicablein all situations. This makes it to be a kind of research which isbased on generalizations. This means that it cannot be used to givevalid information.


Thedevelopment of personality among children is determined by the waythey are brought up by their parents. Neglectful and authoritativeparenting leads to the development of the element of low self esteemamong children. Permissive parenting leads to the development of highself esteem and the behavior of rebelling. Therefore, it is importantfor parents to be careful in the way they bring up their children.Parents should be aware that what they teach their children and howthey interact with them helps to shape their personality.


Brook,J. S., Brook, D. W. &amp Whiteman, M. (2003). Maternal Correlates ofToddler Insecure and Dependent Behavior.The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 164(1), 72-87. DOI: 10.1080/00221320309597504

Hall,S. E. K. &amp Geher, G. (2003). Behavioral and personalitycharacteristics of children with reactive attachment disorder. TheJournal of Psychology, 137(2), 145-162. DOI: 10.1080/00223980309600605

Kagan,J. (1999). The Role of Parents in Children`s PsychologicalDevelopment. Pediatrics,104(1), 164. Retrieved on March 13, 2015 fromfile:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/hp/Desktop/Obino%2013th%201st%20job%20file%201.html

Rogosch,F. A. &amp Cicchetti, D. (2003). Child Maltreatment and EmergentPersonality Organization: Perspectives From the Five-Factor Model.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32(2), 123–145. DOI: 10.1023/B:JACP.0000019766.47625.40