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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the influence of families and other factors on the development of children.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Child Development

Although families have influence on a children’s development, factors outside the home play a bigger part in their lives nowadays.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Many today feel that the home no longer plays the largest role in child development. In my opinion, though outside factors have become increasingly invasive, family life is still more influential.

Those who believe children these days are largely shaped by the outside world often focus on the expanding importance of technology. Decades ago, it was more common for families to engage in conversation throughout the day, at dinner, and during holidays. Today, each family member might be more engaged with their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. For example, children now have constant access to streaming video sites like YouTube. Instead of watching cartoons for an hour a day on television, they can watch shows all day long, both in and outside the home. The result is that kids often find niche channels and parents have a difficult time monitoring and keeping up with the appropriacy of their interests and influences.

Nonetheless, family life remains the heart of early psychological development. Children are unlikely to have much access to new technology in their early years when researchers say the majority of personality formation occurs. If parents are strict, unforgiving and withhold their love then children begin to either turn inwards feeling rejected or strive compulsively for their parent’s esteem. These early, learned behaviours will manifest themselves in progressively more unhealthy behaviours and evolve as the child matures. Conversely, a child who is loved unconditionally but given honest feedback from their parents has a much greater chance of becoming a well-adjusted adult with strong role models to imitate.

In conclusion, despite the ubiquity of technology today, family is the key catalyst in early development. Regardless of changes in society, parents will continue to be the main influence for their children in the foreseeable future.

Analysis

1. Many today feel that the home no longer plays the largest role in child development. 2. In my opinion, though outside factors have become increasingly invasive, family life is still more influential.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write your opinion clearly. Read more about introductions on IELTS here.

1. Those who believe children these days are largely shaped by the outside world often focus on the expanding importance of technology. 2. Decades ago, it was more common for families to engage in conversation throughout the day, at dinner, and during holidays. 3. Today, each family member might be more engaged with their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. 4. For example, children now have constant access to streaming video sites like YouTube. 5. Instead of watching cartoons for an hour a day on television, they can watch shows all day long, both in and outside the home. 6. The result is that kids often find niche channels and parents have a difficult time monitoring and keeping up with the appropriacy of their interests and influences.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea or begin an example.
  3. Develop your idea – don’t switch to a new one.
  4. Give specific examples.
  5. Develop or state the results of the examples.
  6. Continue developing and relate it back to overall essay topic.

1. Nonetheless, family life remains the heart of early psychological development. 2. Children are unlikely to have much access to new technology in their early years when researchers say the majority of personality formation occurs. 3. If parents are strict, unforgiving and withhold their love then children begin to either turn inwards feeling rejected or strive compulsively for their parent’s esteem. 4. These early, learned behaviours will manifest themselves in progressively more unhealthy behaviours and evolve as the child matures. 5. Conversely, a child who is loved unconditionally but given honest feedback from their parents has a much greater chance of becoming a well-adjusted adult with strong role models to imitate.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a main idea for the other side.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Use a hypothetical example if you don’t know a real one.
  4. Develop the example.
  5. Continue developing it and stating the end results.

1. In conclusion, despite the ubiquity of technology today, family is the key catalyst in early development. 2. Regardless of changes in society, parents will continue to be the main influence for their children in the foreseeable future.

  1. Summarise your ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought/detail. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many today feel that the home no longer plays the largest role in child development. In my opinion, though outside factors have become increasingly invasive, family life is still more influential.

Those who believe children these days are largely shaped by the outside world often focus on the expanding importance of technology. Decades ago, it was more common for families to engage in conversation throughout the day, at dinner, and during holidays. Today, each family member might be more engaged with their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. For example, children now have constant access to streaming video sites like YouTube. Instead of watching cartoons for an hour a day on television, they can watch shows all day long, both in and outside the home. The result is that kids often find niche channels and parents have a difficult time monitoring and keeping up with the appropriacy of their interests and influences.

Nonetheless, family life remains the heart of early psychological development. Children are unlikely to have much access to new technology in their early years when researchers say the majority of personality formation occurs. If parents are strict, unforgiving and withhold their love then children begin to either turn inwards feeling rejected or strive compulsively for their parent’s esteem. These early, learned behaviours will manifest themselves in progressively more unhealthy behaviours and evolve as the child matures. Conversely, a child who is loved unconditionally but given honest feedback from their parents has a much greater chance of becoming a well-adjusted adult with strong role models to imitate.

In conclusion, despite the ubiquity of technology today, family is the key catalyst in early development. Regardless of changes in society, parents will continue to be the main influence for their children in the foreseeable future.

Answers

plays the largest role do the most

child development how a kid grows up

outside factors not limited to the home

increasingly invasive more and more influential

influential have an impact

largely shaped mostly molded by

the outside world not in the home

expanding importance more and more important

decades ago 20+ years ago

engage in take part in

family member a person in your family

engaged with interacting with

constant access can use any time

streaming video sites Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, etc.

all day long the whole day

niche channels not very popular, odd videos

monitoring supervising

keeping up with knowing about

appropriacy if they should/shouldn’t be watching them

remains the heart of still crucial

psychological development how their brain, emotions develop

unlikely probably won’t happen

access can get

early years when young

majority most of

personality formation how their temperament develops

occurs happens

strict harsh

unforgiving do not forgive, not lenient

withhold not give

turn inwards become introverted

rejected feel spurned

strive compulsively try very hard

parent’s esteem parent’s opinion of them

learned behaviours habits

manifest appear as

progressively more and more

evolve change over time

matures become older, more adult

conversely in contrast

unconditionally without strings attached

honest feedback honest opinion

greater chance more likely

well-adjusted adult normal person

strong role models someone to look up to

imitate copy

ubiquity everywhere

key catalyst chief cause

regardless of nonetheless

continue to be still remain

foreseeable future as far as we can see in the future

Pronunciation

pleɪz ðə ˈlɑːʤɪst rəʊl 
ʧaɪld dɪˈvɛləpmənt
ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ˈfæktəz 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ɪnˈveɪsɪv
ˌɪnflʊˈɛnʃəl
ˈlɑːʤli ʃeɪpt 
ði ˌaʊtˈsaɪd wɜːld 
ɪksˈpændɪŋ ɪmˈpɔːtəns 
ˈdɛkeɪdz əˈgəʊ
ɪnˈgeɪʤ ɪn 
ˈfæmɪli ˈmɛmbə 
ɪnˈgeɪʤd wɪð 
ˈkɒnstənt ˈæksɛs 
ˈstriːmɪŋ ˈvɪdɪəʊ saɪts 
ɔːl deɪ lɒŋ
niːʃ ˈʧænlz 
ˈmɒnɪtərɪŋ 
ˈkiːpɪŋ ʌp wɪð 
əˈprəʊprɪɪt siː
rɪˈmeɪnz ðə hɑːt ɒv 
ˌsaɪkəˈlɒʤɪkəl dɪˈvɛləpmənt
ʌnˈlaɪkli 
ˈæksɛs 
ˈɜːli jɪəz 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˌpɜːsəˈnælɪti fɔːˈmeɪʃən 
əˈkɜːz
strɪkt
ˌʌnfəˈgɪvɪŋ 
wɪðˈhəʊld 
tɜːn ˈɪnwədz 
rɪˈʤɛktɪd 
straɪv kəmˈpʌlsɪvli 
ˈpeərənts ɪsˈtiːm
lɜːnt bɪˈheɪvjəz 
ˈmænɪfɛst 
prəʊˈgrɛsɪvli 
ɪˈvɒlv 
məˈtjʊəz
ˈkɒnvɜːsli
ˌʌnkənˈdɪʃənli 
ˈɒnɪst ˈfiːdbæk 
ˈgreɪtə ʧɑːns 
wɛl-əˈʤʌstɪd ˈædʌlt 
strɒŋ rəʊl ˈmɒdlz 
ˈɪmɪteɪt
ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪti 
kiː ˈkætəlɪst 
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs ɒv 
kənˈtɪnju(ː) tuː biː 
fɔːˈsiːəbl ˈfjuːʧə

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many today feel that the home no longer p______________________e in c___________________________t. In my opinion, though o____________________s have become i_______________________e, family life is still more i__________________l.

Those who believe children these days are l_______________d by t_______________________d often focus on the e_________________________e of technology. D___________________o, it was more common for families to e______________n conversation throughout the day, at dinner, and during holidays. Today, each f___________________r might be more e________________h their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. For example, children now have c____________________s to s___________________s like YouTube. Instead of watching cartoons for an hour a day on television, they can watch shows a___________________________g, both in and outside the home. The result is that kids often find n__________________s and parents have a difficult time m_______________g and k_________________h the a__________________y of their interests and influences.

Nonetheless, family life r_________________________f early p_______________________t. Children are u______________y to have much a___________s to new technology in their e________________s when researchers say the m__________y of p______________________n o__________s. If parents are s____________t, u________________g and w__________d their love then children begin to either t_________________s feeling r____________d or s____________________y for their p_________________m. These early, l_____________________s will m____________t themselves in p___________________y more unhealthy behaviours and e_____________e as the child m________________s. C________________y, a child who is loved u__________________y but given h__________________k from their parents has a much g_________________e of becoming a w_____________________t with s_________________s to i_________e.

In conclusion, despite the u_____________y of technology today, family is the k_______________t in early development. R________________f changes in society, parents will c_________________e the main influence for their children in the f______________________e.

Listening Practice

Learn about attachment theory below:

Reading Practice

Read here about the influence of technology on children:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170902/

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the actual IELTS speaking exam:

Friends

Do you think you are a good friend?

Do you still have some friends from your childhood?

Has the types of friends you make changed a lot?

What makes a good friend?

IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic then check with my sample answer below:

Many parents encourage young people to leave home when they become older, while others think they should stay at home with the family.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

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