By Stephen Walton
....Briefly outlined here, are 9 different avenues of influence that can possibly affect your child's overall development.
Positive or negative views and behaviour can materialize from a multitude of sources in your child's environment.
The negative influence of television is quite obvious to most parents, and the need for scrutiny is apparent.
Negative influence of media stem from many forms, some not as transparent and often more damaging.
Here are some of my "Views" and "Personal Opinions" on the avenues of influence that may affect your child's life.
Many child developmental studies conclude, up to 50% of your child's inherited genetics can play a part in their overall development. They claim personality traits are often hereditary, although many experts often dispute the actual percentages.
I truly believe certain characteristics of a child's personality can be inherently acquired; however, children are not born with negative attitudes. Their attitudes are only acquired through their perceptions of reality and how they are raised.
Fortunately, with proper guidance from the parents a child can learn to harness the "Power of a Positive Attitude", rise above negativity and develop a wonderful and charismatic personality. (More on this in upcoming articles)
This exerted pressure has a huge influence in adjusting your child's attitudes, values and behaviour in order to conform to the expectations of a friend or a particular fixed group. A very powerful influence to say the least.
Based on "The Law of Attraction" if your child's circle of friends and associates are always thinking and acting positive, the same attitude will manifest into your child, if their attitudes are negative...
Well!... "Misery Loves Misery."
Peer pressure will more than likely have the most negative influence on your child's demeanor and general attitude.
The understanding and loyalty of a sound principle and core value system will be your child's prime defense against poor judgment and persuasive temptations.
The educational system and its teachers are immense avenues of influence in your child's life.
I have enormous respect and high praise for good teachers that inspire and motivate students to reach their full potential, role model good character and treat all students with equal respect. This necessitates a need to be fully committed, positive, patient, supportive, confident, respectful, creative and inspiring.
"It is a tall order"
However, it needs to be said… as in all leadership professions, attributes and performance levels do not always meet such stringent expectations. If gone unchecked, the harmful and negative influence can be irreversible.
As a parent you need to be involved in your local educational system to support its efforts and ensure "Character Education" is alive and well and not merely "Smoke & Mirrors"…(More on this in upcoming articles)
My hat goes off to most people involved in coaching organized youth sports. The life lessons and valuable skills taught go well beyond the playing field.
Goal setting, perseverance and striving for excellence are exceptional skills to guide children through all life's endeavours.
Good sportsmanship, respect, courage, commitment, co-operation, responsibility, and integrity are a few of many character attributes acquired through "Good Coaching."
"Good"... is the operative word here. Unfortunately, for a multitude of reasons, there are people coaching children with less than adequate qualifications and demonstrate lack of integrity.
Some coaches forget they're in little league, or have personal agendas to win at any cost. Children are used as pawns, mistreated and furnished with negative feedback.
These avenues of influence can affect a child's self esteem, promote a negative attitude and rob them of all the positive advantages of playing youth sports.
If your child is too young to speak for themselves, you must represent them in a calm, rational and respectful manner.
It is imperative that you eventually teach your child to advocate for themselves in situations like this. (More on this in upcoming articles)
Cultural, educational programming, documentaries, and high quality family programs can prove to be positive avenues of influence for your children…
But! Much of today's media content is of a negative or violent nature that can potentially lead to aggressive behaviour and desensitization to real life violence.
Fabricated glamorization of TV personalities, super models, and a host of other glorified personalities, can send mixed, unhealthy and detrimental messages, leading to insecurities and low self esteem in your child.
In most cases this avenue of information is invaluable and indispensable in today's society….
The downside, is discerning the credibility of such vast information, erroneous or inaccurate knowledge can misinform your child and provide misguidance on influential issues.
Unscrupulous individuals providing easily accessible pornography, distort and poison the innocent minds of children having a toxic influence that can lead to profound psychological problems. (ways to protect your child in upcoming articles)
The very popular sites such as Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are most often used in a productive manner…
However, used unfavourably can have adverse effects and negative influence on your child, feeding personal insecurities and promoting cyber bullying; this sadly, is increasing child suicide rates to alarming numbers.
If games are selected appropriately, they can be constructive family entertainment…
However, the violent and sexist content in much of the games of today can provide a very negative influence. In addition, the addictive nature of many games can lead to a physically inactive lifestyle.
Daycare providers, nurseries, nannies, sitters and a host of other caregivers are huge avenues of influence over your child. Often children spend more time with a caregiver than they do with their parents.
It is important your child's caregiver is extremely positive, share the same values and use the same discipline strategies as you. Constant monitoring with a good communication system is crucial… (More on this in upcoming articles)
There are too many avenues of influence to present here; however your main defense against an adverse effect is…
Fostering a sound core value system, building character in your children and encouraging strong family relationships.
Click on the article below for details