When we born, we all are like a blank slate (Uzgalis). Then, why are we the way we are? The answer will lead us to consider the decades of debate, nature vs nurture. Nature vs nurture debate discusses the importance of an individual's innate traits compared to his personal experiences in shaping his behavior and personality. Nature is heredity or genes that we get from our parents and nurture is our environment. We cannot ignore; we share the DNA with our parents, but it is the environment that continuously filling the blank slate and shaping us. The environment is brighter in describing the shaping of a person because a person is a reflection of the environment of which they were brought up ...view middle of the document...
Such environment also influences children to develop their identity. As Jerome Kagan argued that when a boy sees his father is popular with friends and relatives, he will find it easier to believe that "he, too, has qualities that make him acceptable to others" (165). This way our parents help us to frame our ability and identity.
Moreover, a child's educational level, career, and his role as a future parent can be determined by what types of parental environment he brought up in. Based on four national data, three longitudinal surveys, and careful analysis, the book, "Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps " clearly demonstrates the relation between family structure and a child’s prospects for success. According to the authors, children who are growing up in single-parent families are more likely to drop out of high school, more likely to have a child before age twenty, and less likely to have a stable job in their late 20s (McLanahan and Sandefur 49). It is because our parents' relation with each other and with us forms our future success and relations. The negative attitude of our parents, especially those that caused us misery and frustration can affect our future. In the book, "The other Wes Moore" the author described a situation like this:
Wes' nonexistent relationship with his father probably contributed to his seeming indifference about becoming a father himself. All he knew was his mom. He had no idea what his role would be in this new situation- he wasn't even sure he had a role. (Moore 101)
So, how we will act in our committed relationships, is largely the result of how we have experienced relationships in our families. Our family keeps influencing our actions, and relations in such ways; as a result, we become the reflection of our family.
Our family and parents will continue to influence our personality, but at some point, our peers will emerge as a strong force for us. There is a saying, "Tell me who your friends are, I will tell you who you are." The concept of peer influence refers to how we are affected by our age mates. We share a lot of experiences with our peers that contribute to the development of our personality. Peer influence is different in every stage of our life. Such as, when we are preschoolers, we tend to eat something that we do not like, only because we see our peers eating that. William M. Bukowski, Ana Maria Velasquez, and Mara Brendgen argued that most of the time, children "acquire those characteristic of their peers in order to be accepted" (125). So, we follow what peers do, how they dress, how they talk, and how they act because we want to fit in. Again, as adolescence, we find this influence as a source of encouragement and strength. We develop our decision-making skills and leadership power.
On the contrary, peer influence can also destroy our identity and individuality. Sometimes, we just depend on their choices and decisions to be accepted. This kind of desire to "fit in" can...