I have included this Influence Paper under NAEYC Standard 1B. The assignment belongs under this standard because as an instructor, you must understand each childs personal and cultural differences and just how much it impacts the classroom. For this assignment, I examined nature vs nurture, culture & identity, and family involvement and how it can affect the academic success of students. To make students feel valued teachers need to be aware of how every child is developing differently. By working on eliminating the bias that every kid is the same, I can truly make a difference in the lives of students, making them feel safe, cared for, and welcome in the classroom.
Often, infants vary in shape, size, and most interestingly in their rate of development. Every child has a different manner of reacting to the world around them. Notably, there are particular influences bring about the difference in the children (Chilton, Mariana, Chyatte, Michelle; Breaux & Jennifer, 2007). In the paper, we are going to discuss a few influencing factors such as nature vs.
nurture, culture & gender, family involvement and their impacts on children’s development.
Lets tackle the controversial debate of nature vs. nurture. Before we leap into the ramifications, lets grasp the definition. Nurture is the belief that environment sways the way a child acts and nature focuses solely on hereditary factors. My quick spiel on this dispute is that its a combination of both. Whatever stance you choose, at the end of the day we need to make sure our kids are reaching an optimal level of development.
Therefore, we must be aware of how much of nature and nurture plays a role in children’s development.
Nature is easy to identify perhaps you got your mothers eyes and your fathers hair color. Nature has an immense impact on how we turn out because genes cannot be altered through conditioning. To illustrate, look at how certain people are predisposed of getting certain disorders and diseases. Particular illnesses seem to run in families which is unalterable. Nature further states that innately we possess abilities and proficiency in specific areas. For example, some people are naturally good at mathematics, and others have to spend hours of studying to gain competency. I fell into the category of being terrible at math; I guess you can say it was not my forte. An interesting study that authenticates the validity of nature is an exciting study on twins that were separated at infancy. Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were identical twins separated around the age of 4 weeks. When the twins reunited at the age of 39, they discovered they both coincidentally endured tension headaches, smoked the same brand of cigarettes, drove the same type of automobile, has the same bad habit of nail-biting, and even vacationed at the same beach in Florida (Lewis). The probable cause for these similarities is definitely genes.
Nurture is influential during developmental years. For instance, theres been a multitude of studies conducted, stating that the way you parent a child has an immense effect on their behavior and who they end up becoming. By the study, if you are an extremist on either side of the spectrum the effect on the kid can harm them as adults, causing substantial obstacles. Parenting style is an excellent example of nurture. There are a couple different types of parenting such as: authoritarian, authoritative, neglectful, and permissive. Authoritarian parenting is one of the worst parenting because they are very uncompromising; it’s either their way or the highway. These parents are high in expectations and are low in sympathy. To say the least, these parents arent open-minded. Children with authoritarian parents end up having low confidence and minimal self-worth because their opinions aren’t valued at home. Next, we have authoritative parents; more often than not raise their children to become self-sufficient and self-assured. Children of these parents are associated with the best development. Their disciplinary measures work by reinforcing good behavior. These parents teach their kids healthy boundaries such as rules without being so harsh taking a more warmer approach to parenthood. Children with neglectful parents are likely to struggle with self-esteem issues because at home there’s low responsiveness along with low demands. Neglectful parenting is linked to the worst development. Kids who grow up with permissive parents are more likely to struggle in school. They tend to exhibit more behavioral problems because at home there are no authority figures or rules set in place. Lucky for me, both my parents were permissive; at least I have nature to rely on both.
It could very well be a combination of both working together. Environmental components do play an active role in influencing how genetics are developed and expanded. Height is an excellent example. This trait is influenced by nature and nurture interaction. For instance, a child might come from a very tall family, and he may have inherited these genes for height. However, if he grows up in an environment where he is deprived in proper nourishment, the chances go up that he may never attain a tall height compared to if he grew up in a healthier environment.
Children pick up messages about gender from the day they are born. About the Ted Talk, most parents tell their kids what they should be versus what they can be. Notably, some say that gender is so fluid with so many possibilities, yet we mold our kid the way society wants them. It all starts at birth, if you have a girl youll dress her in pink and if you have a boy youll dress him in blue. Children tend to express their gender identity through things like the clothes they wear, hairstyles, their preferred name, social behaviors, and social relationship. Parents have a tremendous influence in this area.
The ways to fix this issue would be to present the children with choices as often as possible and pay attention to what they’re really into; rather than what you expect girls or boys are supposed to like. Be aware that gender stereotypes have the potential to affect and limit males just as much as females.
Culture plays a significant role in shaping a child’s identity. The emotional development of a child can be affected by their culture. Emotional development is how children acquire the ability to process their feelings. When children have a strong religious base to fall back on their spiritual and emotional support networks, help them develop emotionally. There are other children on the other side of the spectrum whose experience with religion is not as favorable, and they are emotionally inhibited. The family has an influential role in a child’s development. Well, known Psychologist, Urie Bronfenbrenner can conclude children are significantly affected by the world around them. Through countless studies, it is safe to say there are so many benefits of family engagement such as better outcomes in child development, attitudes, and behavior.
Cultural differences in interactions between adults and children also influence how a child behaves socially. For instance, in Chinese culture, where the parents assume much responsibility and authority over children, parents interact with children in a more authoritative manner and demand obedience from their children. Children growing up in such environments are more likely to comply with their parents requests, even when they are reluctant to do so.
During the crucial first five years of life the child takes in a lot of information, and that’s the best time to implement strong core values and attitudes. They are the years you lay the necessary foundation for them that they will take with themselves for the rest of their life.
A multiple of studies shows that children perform better in their schools if their parents are actively involved in helping them to do their schoolwork. The children whose parents have involved record high scores in tests compared to those children whose parents are not vigorously involved (Arija et al. 2006). Kids whose parents are engaged with their schoolwork attend school more regularly than kids whose parents are uninvolved. It probably occurs for some reasons. For one, parents who are involved typically value school highly and encourage consistent attendance. Secondly, kids who get help from parents tend to feel more academically competent, so they are less likely to want to avoid going to school.
Finally, children whose parents are actively involved in their school work are thought to have good mental health compared to children whose parents are not involved in their education. For instance, a child whose parent is vigorously involved tends to have higher self-esteem and self-worth compared to that of a child whose parents are not involved in their education. Notably, such children whose parents play an active role in their schoolwork can acquire skills such as emotional control and thus avoid negative thoughts. The parent involvement in a child’s education plays a significant role not only in academics but in their life generally.
Some family risk factors highly influence early child development. Notably, some of the risk factors that can significantly impact a child’s development are risk factors such as poverty, substance abuse and domestic violence experienced in their home which is linked to negative outcomes. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), domestic violence influences the behavioral patterns of children from the age of three(Chilton, Mariana, Chyatte, Michelle; Breaux & Jennifer, 2007).
However, some parents take their involvement too far. They avail themselves at the schools so often that they become a source of distraction for their child, or their child’s classmates and teachers. It’s important to remember that a school is a place of learning as well as a workplace. Usually, teachers do not want to encounter parents having a loud conversation by the faculty lounge about another teacher they don’t like or to be placed in the awkward position of reprimanding a student who is not following instructions because he wants to talk to his mom. Being overly involved can lead to stepping in too frequently to deal with issues the child should handle.
In conclusion, there are a plethora of influences that go into shaping the person a child will become. That is why we must be careful as to what we expose our child to in every sense. Everything we do big or small will impact the child in some way, their shape, or form. It is a slippery slope, but a manageable one.
Arija V, Espar? G, Fern?ndez-Ballard J, Murphy MM, Biarn?s E, Canals J; Espar?; Fern?ndez-Ballard; Murphy; Biarn?s; Canals (2006). “Nutritional status and performance in a test of verbal and non-verbal intelligence in 6-year-old children”.Intelligence. 34 (2): 141149.
Chilton, Mariana; Chyatte, Michelle; Breaux, Jennifer (2007).”The Negative Effects of Poverty & Food Insecurity on Child Development.”Indian Journal of Medical Research. 126 (4): 262272.
Lewis, T. (2014, August 11). Twins Separated at Birth Reveal Staggering Influence of Genetics. Retrieved from
Steinberg, L. (2019). Parenting – High-risk Neighborhoods, Influence Of Parents’ Level Of Education, Influence On Child’s Educational Aspirations And Attainment – OVERVIEW. [online] Education.stateuniversity.com. Available at: [Accessed 2 Feb. 2019].