Have you been looking for good General Paper sample essays on the topic of Family & Youth? If you aiming to prepare this sub-topic of social issues, society, women, etc, imo, this is a very good topic choice to prepare for, as it is easily relatable, and examples are aplenty.
Q1: How important is the family in the nurturing of youth?
The family is very important in the nurturing of young people. It is the most basic unit of society from which, modern civilization – the organized society that we know and live in – evolved. In my opinion, it always will have a major influence on the actions, behaviour and character of young people. The structure of the family, earlier consisting of several branches of different generations living closely together, has been eroded, reducing the fam ily to a nuclear one. It remains, however, an intrinsic part of the character-building process of an individual.
Perhaps the most important role of the family is the process of socialisation – the bringing up of children in a certain way of behaviour and the inculcating of certain values in them. These values are the ones the family approve of and should, ideally, be those which society as a whole approves of. Be the parents strict disciplinarians who advocate harsh punishment or those who feel that a softer approach of coaxing and understanding obviates the use of the rod, they play the most basic role of teaching the child how to behave in the family, and then in society later on in her life. Normally parents do not try to inculcate the wrong, negative values unless they have been taught the wrong things by their own parents. It is usually a lack of effort in the teaching process which causes misdirected young people to adopt socially unaccepted behaviour. There may be disastrous consequences if the family does not instruct the young properly. Later on in her life, a young person will meet many different people – some providing positive influences and others undoubtedly bad and meet many challenges. If certain important values, such as, for instance, distinguishing between right and wrong things to do and having the strength of character not to submit to temptation, are not deeply entrenched within her code of principles, then the young person is apt to go on a roller-coaster ride through life, fraught with costly mistakes and distressing confusions.
The family is also very important in nurturing young people culturally and religiously. Usually, one’s culture and religion present a code of principles to guide the individual to a more fulfilling and rewarding life and religion, in particular, often lends strength to people in times of distress. The inculcating of cultural and religious values is also an intrinsic part of the socialisation process. If the parents and siblings are staunch believers in a particular faith, it is likely that the young person will be influenced and guided upon a more religious lifestyle. The celebration of cultural festivals held within the family helps the young person to develop a better understanding of her own culture and if these celebrations are enjoyable, it is possible that she will want to understand her culture more. This also means that this particular individual is more likely to help pass the tradition on to successive generations. Thus, it is largely up to the fam ily to make culture and religion a part of young people’s lives.
Another important part of the family’s role in nurturing youth is in the sort of influence the parents. and siblings present. I recall an incident when my uncle tried to convince my cousin to work harder in her studies. My indignant cousin retorted matter-of-factly that since her brother did not work hard then she had no obligation to do otherwise! Influence can be divided into two broad categories: good and bad. The bad influence can include anything from a lack of proper manners and using vulgar obscenities to committing crimes. Young children’s impressionable minds are easy victims of such negative influences, and teenagers are encouraged by their elders’ actions and use them to justify their own errors. Good influences, however, lend moral strength and help in moulding young people’s characters.
Lastly, the family’s role is important in nurturing young people through the social environment it presents. It is crucial that the environment the family presents is one of security, warmth and love. Such an environment is conducive to the building of good character, for the young person is not bothered by many other problems she would face in a turbulent environment. Insecurity, in the face of financial difficulties, divorces between bickering parents, and other problems the family faces, threaten the cohesion of the family as a unit and give young people more problems. Young children are confused and helpless in the face of so-called “adult problems” and these problems, especially divorce and poverty, leave scars on the child’s memories and may hinder the child’s ability to form strong and fruitful relation ships in the future. Teenagers already face the stress of their academic endeavour and the confusion of emotional problems, and need a more secure environment for a sense of peace. More often than not, the desire to belong in a larger group and to be popular is observed in a teenager. If she does not experience this sense of belonging even in the family, she is more apt to break down in the face of peer pressure. In more serious cases, teenagers join gangs and other small groups, and then indulge in activities not constructive in improving their lots in life. Thus, it is clear that the youths need a place where they can go back to feel warmth and security and to receive motivation and moral support. A few words of praise and a couple of pats on the back can help a person a lot, as it did me. Such is the power of moral support.
In conclusion, the family is a fundamental instrument in the nurturing of young people’s lives. It provides, ide ally, guidance, security, warmth and an environment conducive to good character-building. In addition, it prepares the young person for life in the world outside – society and the challenges it presents and arms her for life to face the trials of modern living.