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Do childhood experiences determine behavior in later life?
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The fundamental lessons you are taught as a child form the foundation of a person’s understanding of the world and relationships.

Research has shown that learning begins in infancy, and the lessons we learn and the relationships we have from childhood influence our view of the world for the rest of our lives.

The Argument

There are many examples to illustrate how childhood experiences heavily influence behavior as an adult. Early literacy activities and skills not only equip young children with the skills they need to be great readers, but studies have shown that children who do not develop solid literacy skills at a young age often display behavioral problems later.[1] Early interactions with parents and other young children teach social skills that a child takes with them throughout their lives. A child that is coddled and micromanaged will have difficulties asserting independence as an adult. Children in unstable households often develop unusually high expectations for romantic relationships as an adult. [2] These experiences, and the subsequent patterns they create, become so embedded into a person’s being that oftentimes therapy is needed to undo them. [3]

Counter arguments

The belief that childhood influences behavior completely undermines the human ability to experience growth and transformation. There are many incidents of a person never having learned to read, or not coming from a loving family, who take it upon themselves to face those issues and overcome them due to their own personal, conscious desire to do so despite their early experiences.[4]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 27 Sep 2020 at 18:51 UTC

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