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How does family influence values and expectations?

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alaseter | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 31, 2008 at 9:32 AM via web

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How does family influence values and expectations?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 31, 2008 at 10:55 AM (Answer #2)

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When we are born, we are not born with a set of values and expectations, so we learn them from our parents or adults who raise us, primarily.  We learn not only through these adults teaching us, we learn by example and by watching/observing.  As we grow up and get to an age that we can understand what "values" are (and "expectations"), we can begin to internalize them.  However, we also can reject or test those values and expectations as children and young adults for many reasons, from doing so simply to be difficult to doing so knowing that we have done wrong, but want to see what it is like anyway.  Since we spend the most time with our families, they are the primary adults who influence our values and expectations for ourselves.

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bgl5704 | Student , Undergraduate | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 22, 2008 at 11:01 PM (Answer #3)

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Nature vs. Nuture has been debated for as long as the question has been raised by researchers. Is it our environment our family that shapes and molds our behavior. Or is it our genes and our genetic make-up that determines the way we act. To answer your question it is almost impossible to tell you the exact amount that the environment has on you. Because when you think about it everybody has a different amount of interactions and experiences with the environment.But when you talk about family and how does family only influence values and expectations this also depends on how much time one spends with his/her family. If the parents are only home for 1 hour each day then the family would have less of an impact on the child compared to stay at home parents. 

It also depends on very much on the rearing of the child. What are the values of the family? Is it an authoritative family or is it liberal family? If it was a child in a family that spends at least 85% of the hours he's awake with his/her family then family influence values and expectations greatly because they have so much interaction with each other. Take for example animals. When animals are born they stay close to their kin to learn how to hunt and survive. Humans are the same way. They stick with their families and learn from them how they survived. 

In contrast, if the child spends 85% of the hours he's awake away from the family but instead with his friends then the families influence, values, and expectations on the child would be minimized. 

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alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 28, 2008 at 1:18 PM (Answer #4)

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We are heavily influences my our parents since from the formative years all of our time is spent with them.  We are impressionable in our youth and spending most if not all of our time with our parents can influnece us in many ways.  If our parents are religious, we might take on those beliefs.  If our parents drink, smoke, do drugs, that can become a habit for the child.  We cannot choose our parents and we might be influenced in negative ways, so its up to the individual to discover their own values and expectations for themselves.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:17 PM (Answer #5)

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The family is a child’s first role model. Not only do we set examples for them and guide them in how to make good choices, we must also give them the opportunity to make important choices while they still have the safety net of the family to catch them.

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treedreamer | eNoter

Posted April 22, 2010 at 12:27 AM (Answer #6)

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I know it's a harsh thing to say, but i learnt how not to behave from observing my parents' behaviour. I figured out early that their take on the world was, to say the least, somewhat skewed and not really how I wanted to be. Level of influence must be based on how positive the values and behaviours of the parents is. I think it is entirely possible to form one's own values and so forth, seperate to your family. It's a long life so the close parental/family phases flutuate in influence and other things/people/events are powerfully influential too.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2010 at 1:15 PM (Answer #7)

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I would actually disagree with #6 - I do feel that while it is possible to form some values in rejection of the values of our parents, we are formed far more than we are aware of by our parents and the way they bring us up. Having kids myself has really taught me this - I use some of the same phrases with my kids that my parents used with me and which I swore I would never use! Not that they are necessarily bad but it does make you think. This stage of "primary socialisation" is incredibly influential and shapes a lot of the rest of our lives, which clearly has capacity for good and for bad.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:31 AM (Answer #8)

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Family does have an influence on an individuals values and expectations. We learn from our parents or caregivers because they are our role models. This does not necessarily mean that we will carry these values throughout our entire lives though. As we grow, we have our own experiences that also shape our values and expectations.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2011 at 1:28 PM (Answer #9)

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Children do not grow up in a vacuum. There are two ways that families influence values and expectations of their children: directly and indirectly. Parents directly teach their children values. This includes teaching right and wrong, religious education, teaching about interacting with people, and rules and expectations. Indirectly, parents indoctrinate and socialize their children by example. Children watch their parents interact with others, make choices and determine right and wrong for themselves, and this impacts how they develop their moral self.
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megan-bright | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:59 AM (Answer #10)

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Family is the foundation of society. With the breakdown of the family in recent decades, has come the breakdown of family values.  The beliefs and ethics that were brought down from grandparents and great-grandparents has been all but forgotten in this fast-paced world we currently live in.  Most people are only in it for themselves, so they don't stop to think about what sort of lessons htey can pass on to those who are less fortunate or those who need guidance.

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