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What Determines a Child’s Behaviour: Personality, Parenting or Environment?

It is often said that a person’s character is determined at a young age.

It could be affected by a number of factors: the personality that we were born with, the parenting that we received, and the environment that we grew up in.

Each of these aspects can craft the type of person that we become. Of course, every child also has an innate personality that also affects their development and behaviour.

In this article, let’s explore the different factors that determine a child’s behaviour – is it the personality, parenting or environment?


Each child has their distinct personality set out the moment they are born.

Their character traits can be largely determined by genetics, which means that children can take after their parents, but not entirely, seeing how even identical twins can be vastly different too.

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These personality traits include them having their own unique interests and behaviour that are likely to stick to them throughout their adulthood.

They could be introverted, extroverted, hardworking or quiet.


If you’re a parent reading this article, you are probably very concerned about being a perfect parent so that your child possesses good behaviour and grows up to be a good person. 

Parenting does play an integral role in shaping a child, and that is why many parents put in so much effort to attend parents’ talks, read parenting books and articles, to know how to raise their child in the best way possible.

A child with nurturing parents often grow out to be confident and optimistic individuals, with knowledge of how to be mature and respectful to others.

On the other hand, children who grew up with neglective parents, ‘tiger parents’ or parents who shamed them, have a higher chance of becoming depressed, alienated or turning out to be bullies.


Outside of parental control, the environment that a child grows up in also plays a significant role in impacting their behaviour.

This is easily affected by the schools that the children attend. Their school experience encompasses many factors such as their teachers, friends, and the school culture.

The way that the teachers react to the child’s learning speed or actions can really affect the self-esteem and self-worth that a student feels for life.

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When a teacher is patient and considerate to the students’ different learning styles, it cultivates their love for learning. 

But if a teacher neglects the child’s learning needs or does not encourage them, the child will not be able to have the motivation to do well in life.

Similarly, the friends that they make in school are also important factors. Especially at a young age when children are impressionable, their friends can greatly influence them to make the right or wrong decisions that can affect their whole future, attitude towards learning etc.

Friends of positive influence would encourage study sessions and responsible fun, while the opposite might encourage vices or be careless about the right things to do.


Different aspects of a child’s life can surface in their behaviour and carry on to the person that they become in the future.

It is normal for parents and teachers to not be able to ensure that all aspects of a child’s life can go well and that they will have perfect behaviour. Children are bound to act up at some point.

But patience and support from parents, teachers and friends can definitely help a child to overcome the adversities and behavioural issues that they may face.

Which aspect do you think has the biggest influence on a child? Let us know in the comments section!

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.