Essay on Family Environment and Children Development

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1440 words
Middlebury College
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It is common that some parents do not see the impacts of the family environment on their children because they do not consider their children are old enough to understand what is going on around them. However, recent researches and experiments have led to an attention of the childrens development outcomes based on their family environment. They all indicate that a healthy and stable home environment has a positive impact on childs early stage education and development among literacy skill, social and emotional control, health, as well as childs behavior. The family environment is often the first encounter a child has with the world. Therefore, a lot of the aspects of the childs development are dependent on what he or she finds happening in the family. If it is safety, the child will need ti get it from the family first for him or her to develop the attitude that the world is a safe place. Even when a child transits to the rest of society or he or she interacts with other children will depend on what they see happening in their families. If there is any form of violence in the home environment, it will reflect in how the child interacts with others because he or she is likely to be violent towards other children. The family will determine important issues in the childs life especially if they turn out positive or negative.

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A healthy and stable family environment can impact childrens literacy skill. According to Van Voorhis, Maier, Epstein, Lloyd, and MDRC. (2013), a positive family environment is often paramount in a childs future success, and it is significant in the promotion of optimal brain development in the children. According to Clark (2007), there is evidence of immense benefit to the childs education because of their parents involvement in their literacy activities. The participation of the parents and family in general shows positive effects on the childs performance especially during their early education and high school. The familys involvement in a childs education activities will help the child to develop better problem-solving skills, reduce the childs problem behavior at school, increase the childs school attendance and makes the child enjoy school (Van Voorhis et al., 2013).

Parents reactions reflect childrens development ability on social and emotional control. Social and economic development is often visible in every area of a childs life. He or she will have the capacity to manage personal feelings, have positive interactions with others or understand other peoples feelings only if the child has a strong social and emotional foundation (Dowling, 2014). Despite the fact that children have essential factors which influence their emotional development their familys social and emotional reactions to various issues in life affect how the children develop emotionally and socially (Dowling, 2014). If family reactions are often negative, the child will develop a similar form of behavior towards emotional issues. When the child experiences negative social interactions among the family members, he or she will practice the same while interacting with the rest of society (Dowling, 2014). Therefore, a healthy family environment will ensure healthy social and emotional development in a child which later impacts positively on the childs emotional response and social interactions with the rest of society.

Familys eating habits lead to childrens health outcomes. According to Savage, Fisher, and Birch (2008), the eating behaviors of children will evolve during their first years of life as behavioral and biological processes. These processes are often aimed at fulfilling the childs needs of growth and health. During the first few years of growth and development growth and change is often rapid in children and will eventually determine the eating habits of the children in the future. Through the transmission of cultural, social and behavioral eating habits from parents and family members, children get a foundation on which the develop their diet (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2016). The habits will dictate how children view food, their diet, their weight and overall health. As children grow, parents will be the ones who determine what the children eat and what is good for their health. Therefore, the type of food parents keeps in their homes and the eating behavior they inculcate in their children will follow the children into adulthood (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2016). However, the current society of busy parents who are often at work and do not get enough time to feed their children affects the type of eating habits the children develop. It remains that parents are great determinants of their childrens eating habits and overall health even when they grow up.

A supportive and warm family environment gives children a real chance to develop their behavioral capabilities. According to Erik Eriksons psychosocial stages of development, the type of response a child gets towards his or her behavior from the family will determine how the child develops the behavioral capabilities (Newman, & Newman, 2014). As he explains during the autonomy vs. shame and doubt stage, a child becomes mobile starts to explore new things away from the mother. He or she will learn to play with toys or try to put on shoes. It is necessary that parents allow their children to explore without limiting them and in doing so, the child develops autonomy (Newman, & Newman, 2014). On the other hand, if the child is limited on what he or she can do there is a likelihood of the child developing shame and doubt. During the initiative vs. guilt, the child learns to interact with others while they develop their interpersonal skills (Newman, & Newman, 2014). Therefore, a positive family environment is essential for the stage. Behavioral capabilities also improve during the industry vs. inferiority stage where children learn and develop complex behavioral skills including solving sums, learning how to write and other skills. Therefore, if encouraged in their endeavors children will develop industry and if they are discouraged the child develops inferiority. It shows that parents and the family have a significant influence on how children grow and develop their behavioral capacities.


It is clear that the family environment has a significant influence on the development of the child but many parents will rarely recognize the impact. It is the first environment in which the child develops and thus impacts on the path the child takes as he or she develops. The literacy skills of the child will develop according to the how supportive the family is. The involvement of parents in the educational activities of their child will impact on the academic achievement of their children. The family environment will also influence the social and emotional development of their children in particular through the social and emotional reactions the children see in their parents. The childs eating habits and overall health are also dependent on what he or she learns from the parents. The child will have the ability to develop behavioral capabilities in a warm and supportive family environment. There would be a significant difference in the overall development of children if the family environment did not play any part.


Clark, C. (2007). Why families matter to literacy. National Literacy Trust. Retrieved last July, 19, 2015., M. (2014). Young children's personal, social and emotional development. Sage., B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2014). Development through life: A psychosocial approach. Cengage Learning. Early Child Care Research Network. (2016). Early child care and childrens development prior to school entry: Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. American Educational Research Journal., J. S., Fisher, J. O., & Birch, L. L. (2007). Parental Influence on Eating Behavior: Conception to Adolescence. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics : A Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 35(1), 2234. Voorhis, F. L., Maier, M. F., Epstein, J. L., Lloyd, C. M., & MDRC. (2013). The Impact of Family Involvement on the Education of Children Ages 3 to 8: A Focus on Literacy and Math Achievement Outcomes and Social-Emotional Skills.

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