Last Updated on April 20, 2020 by Kinacle.

How To Reinforce Positive Influence Among Our ChildrenA child’s knowledge, character, and behavior are shaped at home by his parents and family. As we all know, the family is the basic foundation of our society. The family has a great influence on the type of person we will become someday.

When we talk about influencing children, parents really matter as they are the primary source of a child’s learning experience. As parents, how can we ensure positive influence until they grow up?

Understanding the basic concepts about our child’s development would be a great way to start. These are some of the details we may need to help our children start with a good foundation and grow up with proper guidance.

What Is Positive Influence?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, “influence” is defined as the power or ability to have an effect on how others think, behave or develop. Positive influence focuses more on having an impact towards the “brighter side” of things such as good manners, optimism, confidence, and kindness. Positive influence also involves inspiring, motivating, challenging and encouraging children to become better individuals in the future.

At What Age Are Children Most Easily Influenced?

From infancy to early childhood, parents play a vital role in shaping a child’s personality and behavior.

Here are some of the most important psychological implications that suggest children are most easily influenced during this age:

  • “Tabula Tasa”

A long time ago, it was believed that infants are born with a mind similar to a blank slate, and in psychology, this was termed as “tabula rasa”. It meant “feeding” a child all information that he/she would remember while growing up.

  • Jean Piaget’s Theory Of Cognitive Development

The theory suggests that children’s cognitive development depends on their interaction with the environment from infancy through childhood. It explained that children are born with inherited “schemas” or the basic building blocks of learning which needs to be reinforced as the child matures.

  • Erik Erikson’s Theory Of Psychosocial Development

This theory emphasized the need for a “trusting relationship” from infancy as an essential developmental milestone for children. The theory also highlighted the crucial role that parent’s play towards assisting younger children to achieve various stages of their developmental tasks such as autonomy, initiative, industry, and identity.

How Can I Reinforce Positive Influence On My Child?

Reinforcing positive influence among our children may seem an easy task but in reality, it is one of the most challenging duties of parents. Below are some ways to help you begin:

1. Start Within

Spare a minute to reflect on how you behave as a parent. Are you the generous, caring and understanding type or more of a sensitive, short-tempered parent?

Due to some demanding circumstances, most of us might be guilty of “misbehaving” in one way or another. However, setting a good example in the eyes of our children is among the most effective ways to start. We could most probably promote positive influence by showing it to them, rather than instructing or imposing it.

2. Establish A Trusting Relationship

In Erikson’s theory, a child’s first developmental task is trust. Trust is achieved early in infancy when you establish a loving and caring connection with your baby such as being there when he/she cries, feeding him when he’s hungry, and making him feel comfortable. It can further be established when your child grows up by listening to his concerns, letting him share his thoughts on family matters, and keeping your promises.

If your child trusts you, it will be easy for him to act positively not only within your home but also when he interacts with other people.

3. Make Your Home A Happy Place

In a child’s point of view, a happy place is where he should be – a place where he could enjoy, relax and feel that he is important. Keep your home “the place where he will want to be”. Play with your kids, cook delicious meals for them, tell stories, laugh together, and let them feel that they are wanted. This will minimize thoughts of running to other people or other places to find the happiness they need.

4. Start Good Habits Early

Just like plants, it is easier to mold children to a positive direction by starting to teach them in their early years. Be it in healthy food choices, the way they speak, or the way they deal with certain situations, incorporating them would be best when the kids are still young.

5. Evaluate Other Sources That May Influence Your Child

Try to look and assess the other factors affecting your child. Are they giving positive or negative effects on your child’s development? These sources include the following:

  • School

By the time your child reaches the pre-school age, the school would be the next immediate environment that can greatly affect his overall attitude and learning. Teachers and schoolmates will greatly influence your child, so a keen selection of the school that he’ll be attending is necessary.

  • Peers

Peers include friends or certain groups your child belongs to. Peers are among the most influential people that can affect your child’s behavior especially by the time he reaches adolescence.

As per Erikson’s theory, these people must ideally help your child achieve a sense of identity and acceptance of what he really is rather than become a source of confusion.

You’ll play a critical role in evaluating your child’s peer group while still managing to maintain the trusting relationship with your child. Teenage years are also the time when curiosity peaks, so it is important that you are always open to listen to your child’s concerns during this period.

  • Media

Another powerful source of influence nowadays is media which includes what your child sees and learns from television, electronic gadgets, and the internet. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure to keep an eye on what your child is watching and be able to explain certain sensitive issues that may confuse him/her.
  2. Make reasonable limits to screen time.
  3. If you’re currently in the habit of resorting to giving your child a gadget to keep him/her silent and appeased, you might need to reconsider.

Media can be a good source of additional knowledge and entertainment but we need to be extra cautious and keep limits.


To sum it up, positive influence must always start at home. Starting it as early as possible is equally important if we want our children to grow up on the right track, and help them become responsible citizens of the community in the future.

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  1. There is a saying that charity begins at home, so it’s very important for every parent to try and install positive influence towards their kids behavior and attitude because it pays to have a child have good morals. A family that breeds love and oozes happiness would always install good behavior in such child.

    1. So very true, Martinsx. Good morals and good behavior are everything. These are things money can’t buy.

      No matter how rich, popular, or intelligent a person is, if he/she doesn’t have any manners, he/she is nothing. Bad manners always offend and turn off people.

      1. Exactly, money or wealth doesn’t buy good manner nor does it buy/command genuine respect. This is one thing any family should try as much as to cultivate in their kids when they are still little because it’s the most appropriate time to teach a child the way he or she should grow up with. Remember the religious saying – Teach a child the way to grow in and as he or she grows he/she wouldn’t depart from it.

          1. There are several other ways to get one’s child to behave well, and it’s a way of dishing out some form of punishment when they do something wrong or behave in an inappropriate manner. Remember the quote – “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. So, I try as much as I would to give some kind of punishment when it’s necessary, even if it’s something like taking the child’s toys away or grounding him/her.

          2. Yes, I agree with you on that. Children need some form of punishment if they become abusive in their ways. If they’re not corrected, do not expect them to grow up as responsible and caring adults.

          3. Yes, and it’s even very important to drill in good example in one’s first child to be good, responsible and respectful because the subsequent children would always look up to their elder and follow in his/her footstep, and as a parent, if we failed in bringing up the first child well, it’s going to be more difficult putting the other children in right way.

  2. I am a parent of 11 months baby and I can tell you children can be influenced once they begin to recognize people, react to people and situations. That’s somewhere around the age of 4-5 months. If you want to influence children in a positive way, you will have to depict a good nature in front of them. For example, if you want your child to be tolerant, you yourself have to be tolerant. If you don’t want your child to swear, you will have to avoid swearing in front of them.

    1. Yes, that is correct. As they say, parents should lead by example. Practice what you preach.

  3. Ensuring that we react positively to the children at home is one of the best ways to make everything work better as they grow up. I have been in some situations where my younger siblings behave in a good way all because I helped them with the way that I behave and act. Also, taking good of the child at an early stage teaches him the best way to be a better parent when he is old enough to have his own kids as well.

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