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Identity and How Its Developed


People spend a lot of time with their family as a kid; learning life skills and building
relationships. Family introduces new things to people to build their personality. People dont
realize how important family is to their life. Family raises, protects, and loves. People without a
family usually have a rough childhood and dont learn all of the skills they need to in order to
live. Some say that friends are the most important influence on their and their identity, and yes
they are pretty important, but people dont live with or learn from their friends. Family is who
people live with and they are the ones people look up to, people see friends as equals. Family is
the most important contributor to creating someone's identity.
Part of the Reason that family is the most important part of identity is because people do
a lot of things and have many traditions with their family. Traditions can impact the way people
do things later in life with their own family. For example, here is a short paragraph about Native
American family traditions from the book Growing as a Father: Faces of Fatherhood by J.
David Hertzler: For hundreds of years, September has been the month for wild rice around the
western end of Lake Superior. Wild rice is a tall, slender plant of the grass family, which grows
in shallow bays of inland lakes. The heads ripen in early-to-mid-September and are now
considered a gourmet food in North America. This quote is an example of a tradition, growing
rice, that has been passed down for hundreds of years. The people who farm the rices identities
are based around rice farming and Native American Culture. But it is not all about what people
do, identity can be developed by what their ancestors did. Here is another quote from the same
book about tradition and community: At the end of the harvest the people gathered for a great
feast. It was a time of rejoicing and dancing. Wild rice was considered a gift of the spirits, and

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the people wanted to give thanks for the bounty(Hertzler). People's ancestors could have built a
whole community around fishing on Sundays which could affect other people's families.
Identity means who people are. People grow up and spend most of childhood with their
parents. But identity is not only developed in childhood, people's identity evolves over time.
Sandra Tsang explains the fact that identity evolves: The development of identity is a lifelong
process, and people at different stages of life have different identities. Identity changes
depending on the rest of their life. Family introduces new things, then people build on them by
trying more new things themselves. People who grow up with a family tend to have a higher self
esteem, building a stronger identity. Here is a study: Surveys on Chinese families with
adolescents in Hong Kong involving samples of over 1,000 adolescent respondents have found
that fathers have a stronger influence on the development of their children's self-esteem than
mothers, especially in the case of daughters.
People may argue that friends and community are the best source of identity. I understand
why people think that. You grow up with your friends in your community. I agree that it is a big
contributing factor towards identity, but think about it, people spend way more time with their
family than their friends. People also look up to their parents and see them as role models.
Usually at a smaller age they want to be a lot like their parents. They do want to be like their
friends, but they see them as equals instead of role models. Despite what some say, family is the
main contributing factor to identity.
It is important that we recognize family as the main contributor to identity. Family is who
raised us, so we should give them respect. Family traditions are an important reason as to why
we have identity. But, what is the point? So what? Well, if people dont believe that family is the

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main contributing factor to identity, they will lose respect for your family and be a very boring
person with a simple, one dimensional identity.

Work Cited
Minor, Jim. "Building identity with Family Traditions." Indian Life May-June 2013: 17. General
OneFile. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.
Tsang, Sandra K.M., Eadaoin K.P. Hui, and Bella C.M. Law. "Positive identity as a positive
youth development construct: a conceptual review." The Scientific World Journal 12
(2012). General Science Collection. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.