How does family influence values and expectations?

Expert Answers
kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
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.
alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

maria-vivanco | Student

Family has a major influence on values and expectation. Your parents hsve expectation of you and when you are born into a certain mindset that influence you for your entire life. For example, ever since I was a little kid i have gone to church and I was born into that Since my family was religious. That has influenced my values and  what morals I have.  

zumba96 | Student

A family that gives right upbringings and values can make the kid into a kind hearted person. If the family drinks and smokes everywhere not only is the child growing up in a terrible environment but also having a terrible influence while growing up. In the right family the child can have a better future and mindset. 

treedreamer | Student

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.

bgl5704 | Student

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.