autumnsoliloquy90: (straight through the heart)
[personal profile] autumnsoliloquy90
TOEFL Official Practice Tests Writing Topic List

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

Parents are the best teachers.

Start: 19:15
End: 19:45

There is probably no other person in this world whom we know for a longer time and at a deeper level than our own parents. And for this reason alone, parents play the greatest influential role in a child's life. Hence, I do agree that parents are the best teachers when it comes to life lessons, second only to personal experience. Regardless of the quality of their parenting, I would argue that there is much to learn from both "good" and "bad" parents. What makes parents the best people to impart life lessons is not the fact that they are perfect people -- on the contrary, it is their imperfection, the life lessons they learnt because of mistakes, and their attempt at doing their best to provide for another human being without an instruction manual, that places them in the best position to give advice about navigating life in general.

It is often said that the moment when a child transforms into an adult, is when it comes to a realisation that its parents are not perfect people who know the answers to everything. Indeed, parents are not immune to making the wrong judgment calls, holding inappropriate opinions or even self-serving desires, just because they're superior in their level of maturity, life experiences, or because they managed to pop out a baby. Parents are infallible human beings who have seen their ups and downs in the cycle of life, experienced defeat, heartbreaks, losses, and made difficult decisions throughout their lives. The very flawed humanity of parents makes them the best source of advice for their children, especially combined with the fact that parents generally know their children the best, and have only their children's best interests at heart. In this way, parents are indeed the best teachers of life.

Moreover, a parent need not be a paragon of morality nor win the Parent of the Year award in order to be a good teacher to their children. In fact, even the most indifferent parent could impart life lessons to their children without even so much as an effort. For example, a son could learn through his own experience of having a deadbeat absent dad, and aspire to become a much more present father to his own children in the future. Of course, in many instances, parents could instead be the worst role models for their children, by bequeathing them with bad habits or by failing to prepare their children for active participation in society. Nevertheless, children who grew up in dysfunctional households do not necessarily end up repeating their parents' mistakes; on the contrary, many actually succeed in breaking out of the vicious cycle of familial patterns. Similarly, a child might have been brought up with the best parenting but it does not necessarily mean it would grow up to be an exemplary adult. Thus, it is clear that the quality of upbringing does not dictate the kind of adult the child would become, although it is undoubtedly a huge factor. In the end, it is up to the child to learn from his parents' mistakes and decide how to apply these lessons to life.

Lastly, the fact that most parents are able to eventually bring up their children successfully to become decent human beings who contribute to society, is no mean feat indeed. This is considering that like most things in life, there is no one single "best way" to parent a child. Their ability to improvise, learn on this lifelong job, and never give up on prioritising another human being over themselves, gives them the right skills to be the best teachers and advisors to their children's lives.

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