How Adults Influence Children

Adult hand holding a child's hand

Adults play a large role in children’s lives. However, being an influence on how children live their lives isn’t exclusive to the parents – every adult who is around a child plays a significant role in how children live their lives. That’s why it’s important to know the importance of adult influence in children’s lives, and how greatly your actions can affect the children around you.

The Mind Is A Sponge

What many people do not take into account is the fact that the mind of a child is like a sponge – it is constantly absorbing. The saying ‘monkey see; monkey do’ is most applicable here. When a child sees an adult do something, they learn that behavior as well. This can be either beneficial or detrimental to their growth.

Often times, adults will not take this into account before they act. Many adults will see their behavior as harmless, all the while the child is picking up the habits as well. One example of this is swearing. Many adults will accidentally let a swear out without thinking anything of it. However, a child has now just learned a new word. This swear word is now a part of the child’s vocabulary and may get them into trouble in the future.

Adults Shape Children’s Personalities

Many people will see children acting like their parents and say things such as ‘You have your father’s blood in you!’ While in the case of mental and physical health this saying is applicable, the truth is blood doesn’t shape who you are. It’s the influences around you that shape your personality.

If a child isn’t raised by their parents, their personalities will shape based off of the adults who are in their lives. This means that Grandparents, family friends, and teachers all play a part in shaping a child’s personality as well as their habits. For example, if the adult influences in a child’s life drink heavily, the child will be more likely to drink heavily in their future as well. That’s why it’s incredibly important to be cautious of the behavior being shown in the presence of children.

Adults Can Help Children Through Tough Periods

The main reason the influence of adults is important in a child’s development, is they need an adult to trust. While parents usually can fill in this role, often times their needs to be a non-parental source of this trust. This is because children can often feel like there are things that can’t be talked about with parents, and need an adult to confide in.

This role can be taken by a teacher, counselor, family friend, etc. The benefit of having this adult to confide in is the fact that they can do it with confidence. They don’t worry as much about getting in trouble or judged. By having a trusted adult to turn to, a child has a source of guidance that can lead them to better lives.

The development and growth of a child is highly influenced by the adults they associate with. By having strong adult influences, a child can grow and develop to do great things. The next time you’re around a child, keep in mind how much of an influence your actions have!