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O Level Model Argumentative Composition – Parents have the Greatest Source of Influence on their Children

by | Sep 27, 2023 | 0 comments

This O Level model argumentative composition is adapted from our Sec 4 student, Jia Xuan. It provides a comprehensive exploration of the topic, incorporating clear and logical arguments supported with relevant examples. Counterarguments related to friends, schools, and the internet are also adeptly addressed, making a compelling case for parents as the primary influencers on children despite modern challenges.

The language used in this O Level argumentative composition features a diverse vocabulary, with clear and concise writing. The composition is also well structured with logical cohesion between sentences and paragraphs. The incorporation of quotations also enhances the arguments.

Note: This O level model argumentative composition is meant to inspire and guide students in their writing journey. Students should refrain from direct copying, as it limits opportunities for growth. Instead, we encourage students to use O Level model argumentative composition as learning tools to hone their writing skills.


‘Parents have the greatest source of influence on their children.’ Do you agree? | O Level Model Argumentative Composition


This model composition presents three primary arguments along with one counterargument, although it’s essential to note that this is merely a suggested composition structure. Students should align with the structure taught in their respective schools.

Introduction 1

In this day and age, where we see children, even young ones, glued to a screen giving them all manners of entertainment, we would think that the greatest source of influence in their lives would be the internet and social media. However, research has consistently shown that parents are the single biggest influence on their children. Even though modern-day parents are often working parents, and seem to be very busy, and likewise, their children seem to be engaged by other people or sources of information and entertainment, the role of parents are still of paramount importance, and hence, the interactions between parents and children likewise hugely significant. I personally agree that parents are the greatest source of influence on their children.

Introduction 2

Bob Keeshan, American producer and actor, once said, “Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, every movement and action affects. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than a parent.” These days, children are regularly exposed to social media and are using their mobile devices more frequently. Most parents are also working longer hours compared to parents in the past. Additionally, mothers of today tend also to be working mothers rather than stay-at-home mothers. Hence, it would seem that parents have less time to communicate with their children nowadays and would exert less influence on their children. Yet, Bob Keeshan’s words remain ever true. I personally agree that parents are the greatest source of influence on their children.


Firstly, children look up to their parents and see them as role models that they can emulate. Parents, after all, are responsible in bringing their children into the world and usually are their first and primary caregivers, who would mostly give them unconditional love and discipline them. For these reasons, parents fit naturally into the role of the first guides and mentors of their children. If parents set the right example to their children, such as showing basic respect for others, being well-mannered and conscientiously cultivating good habits, their children will eventually follow in their footsteps and be like their parents when they grow older. When children are the product of good upbringing, they will grow up with these positive habits and be seen as responsible people, which leaves a favourable impression on others. However, if parents model irresponsible and undesirable behaviour, their children might start to assume that it is the correct way to behave and eventually learn to be just like their parents. This is detrimental, and one consequence would be that when their children are in public spaces, they might leave a negative impression on others which makes others dislike them. Others might also look askance at the children’s parents, criticising them in their hearts for not teaching and guiding their children well. The more dire consequence of bad modelling by parents would be that children would be cast adrift in the turbulent sea of life without a sound moral compass and viable map to navigate the tumultuous sea. Hence, I feel that parents are their children’s greatest role model, and thus, for parents to set a good example for their children is very important.

Another reason why parents are the greatest source of influence on their children is that children, on the whole, spend the greater part of their time and lives with their parents. For many children, they have been with their parents since birth and thus, considering most of their childhood is spent with their parents, parents play the greatest role in influencing their children. Their children will have more than sufficient time to observe their parents’ behaviour and habits, and would be habitually observing their parents’ behaviour, eventually following these. This can either mean their children are following the right habits and growing up to be responsible people, or they could unfortunately become influenced into doing the wrong things, reflecting their poor upbringing. The way children grow up largely lies in the hands of their parents, since children spend a greater part of their life with their parents, and their upbringing, positive or wanting, will impact greatly how children develop and the type of adults they become.

Next, most parents belong to communities, whether religious, ethnic or cultural, and this often-natural occurrence of belonging to communities is significant for the family and the development of children. This is because, by being part of a community, parents have the capacity to pass on the sense of belonging, and cultural and religious practices and beliefs to their children. Through the transmission of cultural and religious beliefs, and the sense of community and belonging, their children will be anchored to a community, allowing them to feel more secure and develop a healthy sense of identity. However, if parents do not pass on to their children such knowledge, beliefs and attachment to their communities, their children will not be rooted to communities which they can comfortably turn to when they are in need of support. What is worse, they may not have a community they can turn to at all. Often, this causes them to feel alone and lost, making it easier for them to get influenced by nefarious and suspicious parties who do not care for their well-being. Such children will not be able to blossom into joyful, confident, able and caring adults who will lead fulfilling and purposeful lives. Hence, parents’ membership and participation in the natural communities that characterise how societies have been organised throughout the ages enable children to be embraced and assimilated in human communities, and give them a sense of security and identity. For this reason, parents exert the most influence on children with this vital role and duty to cocoon their children in such social groups.

Some might say that friends exert the greatest influences on children, compared to parents, but although friends do have a significant influence over their peers, most children do not live with their friends. Hence, parents still tend to have the greatest influence over them. Other than friends, some state that schools have the greatest impact on children. Students do spend a lot of time in school. However, I strongly believe that parents still have the greatest influence on their children. Schools, after all, support many students, which means that there would be fewer one-to-one interactions between students and adults, compared to home, making it difficult for teachers to exert the greatest influence on each child. Lastly, I do agree that social media and the internet are sources of great influence on children, especially for teenagers who use social media as a form of stress relief, entertainment, research, and even for learning academic subjects. However, many parents are able to control their children’s phone usage and exert authority over their children’s usage of electronic devices, helping to ensure that they do not overuse their mobile and electronic devices. Parents can, hence, ensure that students are not subject to undue influence from social media and internet sources. It remains for parents to act responsibly and monitor their children’s online exposure, and many parents do live up to the task and fulfil their parental responsibility. Moreover, parents can model how to navigate the complex and nebulous terrain of the world wide web wisely for children, and be there to help their children sieve through the mass of information they acquire online, to form sound judgements on whether particular pieces of information is reliable or faulty and false. Hence, it could be seen that parents are still able to exert the greatest influence over their children, because their role as influencers of their children become critical in the complex and modern world with so many avenues that provide information and expound values which clamour for their children’s attention.

Overall, I find that most children follow in their parent’s footsteps, demonstrating that parents exert the greatest influence on children. If parents model exemplary behaviour for their children to emulate, their children would learn from their parents’ actions. Parents are the ones who are able to show their children what is wrong and what is right, allowing them to grow up with admirable and desirable habits, and develop a strong, positive mindset, which will prepare them to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives as they grow up. Like Eileen Kennedy said, “By loving them for more than their abilities, we show our children that they are much more than the sum of their accomplishments.” This unconditional love of parents for their child ultimately is the reason why children will find that their parents are the greatest source of influence on them.

Written by: Oh Jia Xuan, Sec 4
Edited by: Ms Guwe

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