Starting from initial days to grown up days, everybody has a role model in front of us, that we call people who influence developing kids personality, i.e. our personality. We grow by observing these role models, imitating them, and learning from them. These role models shape our personality. But these role models do get changed as we go through different age stages. What are the personalities that influence a child’s personality?
Before going into who influences children, let us try to understand what is it that children learn from these personalities? It is definitely a very long list. It starts from speaking style, politeness, rudeness, what to do when angry, helping others, laughing etc. to strength, convincing ability, perseverance, discipline, hardworking nature, goals, and much more. Basically, it can span across all attributes that are required for the personality frame of a person.
Personalities Influencing Developing Kids Personality:
Mother is the First Role Model
Before birth and immediately after birth, child is connected to only mother, and child has only mother to whom she can observe the most. Child learns so many things from mother during these days. Child may not show everything learned to us immediately, but the recording process is continuous. If the child is a girl child, after few years, you will find mother’s style being followed by the child. By style, I mean behavior, speaking, reactions, responses etc. It can even be external styles.
Father is the First Hero and Love of a Child
Unless there is an exception, father is the first hero of world in the eyes of a child. This continues till the parents introduce the child with any other hero by using different means such as stories, school, movies, cartoon shows etc. Till then children think that the only superman in this world stays in their house and also brings chocolate and gifts for them. They even share this with other children during their conversation. I have also seen children exaggerating father’s strengths in front of their friends.
Teachers are Second Parents
I read somewhere in a news that in Finland, the teachers are like second mother of children. It is also true at other places. Children spend second major portion of their time with teachers. In few education systems, you may have different teachers for different subjects, still they influence children. Just take an example; children tend to repeat behavior of an angry teacher. Even by mistake, if a teacher uses any in appropriate language, you may find children repeating it at home. These are the most important influencers in children’s life for a very long period.
Family People Also Influence Children
Those family members, other than parents, who meet children frequently, or stay with children’s family, also shape children’s behavior. This includes mainly grandparents and parent’s siblings. Each of them have different behavior trait. E.g. Child’s grandmother may be controlling entire family, she might be bit commanding, and this can introduce forceful talking into children. I am not saying it is wrong, but it is a channel of introduction of a personality attribute.
Story Heroes Shaping Children’s Personality
As children grow, they hear many stories from parents, grandparents, playgroup teachers etc. Most of the stories have characters which are good, and savior of group, locality and world. The story teller also paints characters as super hero. Children, listening to such stories, extract good qualities and heroic deeds and absorb in themselves. Someday in life, these qualities do come out. In India, now also, larger families have grandparents who tell mythological stories, freedom fighter stories, as well as local king’s stories which influence personality development.
Cartoon Character’s Influence
Mowgli, Ben, Choota Bheem etc. characters are being shown doing good things to save weaker people. Children keep on watching such cartoon shows every day. Slowly, children start imagining themselves at the hero’s place. They think that they are the hero, and they have the qualities to save people. It also creates deeper impact on children’s behavior then and in future.
Surrounding People Getting Recognition
Sometimes, when children are grown up to few years age, few people, also friends, who are in the same locality, achieve something. Example would be a boy staying few doors away, secures very good marks in his certain examination, and gets appreciation in local newspapers. Similarly, it can be recognition in sports achievement. It can even be as simple as a relative completing engineering graduation from a good institution and getting a good job. All such news keeps on hitting children, and for sure, these do not go waste. Children keep on setting own goals by looking at these recognitions. They decide what they want to do. How much effort they want to put. Such achiever’s achievements start influencing day to day activities of children. Many children start playing sports, instruments or learning any art by getting influenced by such local heroes.
National and International Personalities through Teachings
Credit goes to school teachers who highlight historical, national and international personalities and their achievements to children. These personalities can be freedom fighters, war heroes, sports personalities, social activists, women leaders, bravery award winners, and even Nobel Laureates. Education involves details of their work. It keeps on influencing children throughout their education. Example can be non-violence teaching by Mahatma Gandhi can be followed by many Indian students in their latter part of life. Humanity teachings by Mother Teresa not only inspire girls but also many boys and men to decide their path of life.
All these people keep on coming and going in children’s life through one or other mode. Children may or may not show immediate signs of influence of such personalities in their day to day activities. But slowly and steadily their personality is being shaped by them. The qualities are getting introduced into them and firmed in them. These qualities come out in the hour of test, during tough times and times of crisis. These qualities come out and make children’s personality shine and also make their future bright. Hence along with other factors, people and personalities flashing in children’s life do shape them.