Who Shaped Our Behavior? Peers or Parents?

A fierce controversy is raging these days over how much influence parents really have over their children.  Judy Rich Harris, author of  “The Nurture Assumption,” draws an unsettling conclusion from her analysis that parents have no lasting effect on the personality, intelligence or mental health of their offspring.  That’s quite a statement, huh?  According to the U.S.A. Today, Harris’ book has “launched the hottest debate over nature and nurture in years.”  Newsweek recently did a cover story on her work. 

According to Harris, children are most influenced by their peers.  They adopt many behaviors of their peers in social settings in order to be accepted by their peers.  She goes on to say that children’s interaction with their peers permanently modifies their inborn psychological characteristics.  Thus, what they learn outside the home remains steadfast with them thorough adulthood.  So, if there is a psychological characteristic or behavior that you don’t like about yourself, don’t blame your parents because you might have acquired it from your peers. 

From the days of Freud, the foundation of psychological work has been based on the theory that parents are a major influence on children and that they significantly contribute to the psychological characteristics that children acquire as adults.  Folk wisdom also supports the experts on this one.  
All of us, sometime or the other make such statements as, “As the father is, so is the son or, as the mother is, so is the daughter.”  
Thus, we have psychological theory and folk wisdom on one hand that emphasize the importance of nurturing, and Harris, on the other, who totally minimizes the importance of child raising methods and the family genes. This is confusing.  Who do we believe? 

We live in the world of sound bytes.   “Blame your peers and not your parents,” grabs everybody’s attention.  It induces people to make impassioned pleas for or against this position.  But, the truth often lies in the middle and often happens to be somewhat bland.  In this article, I will try to separate the hype from the facts.  Facts, I should warn, as they appear to me. 

We human beings are obviously social beings.  Babies are connected with their social world even before they are born.  Later, parents, relatives, teachers, and peers all influence a child’s behavior until he or she has a “mind of his (or her) own.”  When a person becomes independent minded he or she is capable of selecting and rejecting external influences.  Most people gain such independence and autonomy fairly early.  The fact is that we decide who we would let influence, inspire, or corrupt us.
 
It is true that children adopt or mimic certain behaviors in social settings in order to win acceptance of their peers.  How desperate children get for peer acceptance and approval depends on the sense of individuality (or lack of it) their families cultivate in them.  Children whose parents encourage them to think independently learn to question rather than to blindly follow.  Such children might be less influenced by their peers.
  
It can be argued that parents exercise significant influence on children’s choice of peers.  Children who are taught to be responsible are more likely to choose responsible peers.  In the negative instance, children join gangs because they don’t have a close knit family.  In a family in which siblings are close to each other, they may be more influenced by their siblings than by peers.

Parents influence at-home behavior and peers influence behavior outside the home, that is, the behavior in the social setting.  We learn how to make friends and influence others by first experimenting with our peers and then we transfer these skills to the adult world of coworkers and friends.  But, how we behave as partners and parents is more likely to be shaped by what we observe in our families as children.
 
Parents and other significant adults in our childhood may serve as negative or positive models in our adulthood.  For example, people spank their children because their parents spanked them and that “helped to straighten me out.”  An equal number of people say that they would not spank their children because they hated to be spanked during their childhood.  A similar family experience, but some people use it for positive modeling and some for negative modeling.
  
So, the truth that is bland and lies in the middle may be a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Peers influence our behavior but parents play a part in which peers we choose to associate with.  Our behavior in public and at work is largely determined by our childhood peers but our family behavior is determined by the early lessons we received at home.
 
Someone said, “Whatever I need to know, I learned in kindergarten.”  When it comes to our role learning as parents and partners, we learn it even before we go to kindergarten.  As adults, we either decide to follow it exactly as we experienced it or modify it according to our preferences.        
   
By: Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D 

Being rich is not about how much you have but about how much you can give

#WHATSAPP in Numbers

85% of YOUR Success & Happiness is Determined By The Quality of Relationships You Develop in Life

Fully 85% of your success and happiness in life is going to be determined by the quality of the relationships that you develop in your personal and your business activities. Similar to famous entrepreneurs, the more people you know and who know you in a positive way, the more successful you will be and the faster you will move ahead.



At virtually every turning point in your life, someone is standing there to either help you or hinder you. Famous entrepreneurs make a habit of building and maintaining a network of high-quality relationships throughout their lives, and as a result, they accomplish vastly more than the person who goes home and watches television each night.



More than 90% of your success will be determined by your “reference group.” Your reference group is defined as the people with whom you habitually identify and pass the time.

You are like a chameleon in that you take on the attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs of the people with whom you associate most of the time. If you want to be a successful person in business, if you want to become one of the famous entrepreneurs, associate with positive people.

Associate with people who are optimistic and happy and who have goals and who are moving forward in their lives. At the same time, get away from negative, critical, complaining people. If you want to fly with the eagles, you cannot scratch with the turkeys.



Whenever you meet new people, ask them to tell you about their businesses and, tell you what you would need to know to send clients or customers to them. Then, as soon as possible, see if you can send some business their way. Be a “go-giver” rather than a go-getter. Always look for ways to put in before you start thinking of ways to take out.

The very best way to network and build your relationships is to constantly look for ways to help other people achieve their own goals. This is the best secret for learning how to make money without expecting something in return.

Original Post By: Brian Tracy

Many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old while companies irrationally overvalue the new.

Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.
Albert Einstein (via nebarron)

(via nebarron-deactivated20140619)

Doing the touristy thing with @ameetaks  (at The White House)

Doing the touristy thing with @ameetaks (at The White House)

Here at The White House for a Century of Achievement for The American Sikh Community it’s in honor to be mentioned along side @thatsmrsingh @hartejsingh and many others  (at The White House)

Here at The White House for a Century of Achievement for The American Sikh Community it’s in honor to be mentioned along side @thatsmrsingh @hartejsingh and many others (at The White House)

Changing Education Paradigms By: Sir Ken Robinson

(Source: youtube.com)

How to make money on the internet.

How to make money on the internet.