13 Oct 2012

TOEFL Essay 4: Topic 2: Are Parents Best Teachers?



Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?  Parents are the best teachers. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. 

Nowadays, some may hold the opinion that parents are the best teachers. But others have a negative attitude. As far as I am concerned, I agree with this statement because, obviously, the first teachers we have in our lives in most cases are our parents. They teach us how to walk, how to speak, and what are good manners and bad manners before we reach the real world. Therefore, parents are the people who influence their children most, and children will carry on qualities of their parents. More than even the professional teachers that we have at school, parents are generally the most involved in the development and education of children. The reasons are presented below. 

One of the primary reasons is that our parents are the teachers at the beginning of our lives, which actually corresponds to the parents' role in nature. First, parents are most committed and involved in teaching their children and have a kind of instinct to sacrifice a part of themselves for the betterment of their children. Second, they love their children and have great patience while passing down their knowledge to us. They wish us to become success and thus will not teach us bad things. Surely, children will unconsciously copy some of their parents' habits and styles of behavior. Besides, parents will become their first role models. 

There is also a more subtle point we must consider. During the second stage of child development, adolescence, parents can still be in the best position to offer advices even though the children might not accept it. In this case, perhaps the child's friends would be the best teachers. Adolescents are notoriously rebellious in many cultures and may automatically reject and advice from their parents. In such matters, parents should be much more flexible and rather be friends with their children. However, many parents simply are not able to meet the increased demands, being teachers of their growing children. 

What is more, I would say that parents are not professional teachers and they tend to be very biased by their love of their children. As a result, wishing good things and an easy life may prevent children from maturation. Frequently, parents usually present only one viewpoint of the world, while good teaching should be based on different attitudes. For this reason, children may learn probably more if they have a great diversity of teachers other than the parents. Furthermore, technology develops very quickly; and parents may not always be objective in regard to modern trends and give children proper advices. However, I believe that the care and love among family members still makes our parents very good teachers and advisers at any time. 

Taking into account of all these factors, we may reach the conclusion that parents are obviously the most committed of all teachers. Although well-rounded children will generally need a great diversity of teachers, parents can provide them the greatest emotional support in their lives without a substitute.

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