IELTS Writing Task 2 [Agree/Disagree] Does Upbringing Affect Adulthood?

Jan 20, 2024 | IELTS Test

Parenting and success are two topics that crop up in the IELTS test from time to time.

Consider this question and how you would approach it before reading our model answer and rationale …

IELTS Task 2 Prompt

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that a person’s success in adulthood is due to how their parents raised them as children.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer Task 2 Answer 

image of a family in a park

The debate over whether adult success is primarily a result of parenting styles during childhood is a topic that many psychologists debate. This essay will explore some of the reasons I agree and introduce other developmental factors.

One argument in favour of this view is the undeniable influence of early life experiences on personality development. It is widely acknowledged that the formative years of a child, under the guidance of parents, lay the groundwork for their future behaviour and decision-making patterns. For instance, parents who encourage independence and problem-solving skills often raise children who are better equipped to handle challenges in adulthood.

However, attributing adult success solely to parenting overlooks other critical factors. The role of individual traits such as resilience, personal motivation, and talent cannot be understated. Additionally, external factors like educational opportunities, social networks, and even sheer luck play a significant role in shaping one’s success. The story of many self-made individuals, who despite adverse childhood conditions, have achieved remarkable success, stands testament to this.

Moreover, the definition of ‘success’ is subjective and varies greatly across cultures and individuals. While some might attribute professional achievements to effective parenting, others might consider emotional well-being or moral values as the true indicators of success, which are often influenced by a broader range of factors beyond just parenting.

In conclusion, while the role of parenting in shaping an individual’s future cannot be denied, it is not the sole determinant of adult success. A multitude of factors, including personal attributes and external influences, play a crucial role in an individual’s journey towards success.

How We Approached This Question

This kind of question does not require a balanced response that address both sides and so we have used a 5-paragraph model. 

The first paragraph acknowledges the partial truth of the statement in the question before building out the authors full opinion in the second and third paragraphs…

The first body paragraph discusses the significant impact of childhood experiences and parenting on personality development, illustrating this with an example of how certain parenting styles can foster independence and problem-solving in children.

The second body paragraph introduces a counterargument, acknowledging the role of individual traits, external factors, and the importance of acknowledging diverse definitions of success. It uses the example of self-made individuals to illustrate how success can be achieved regardless of childhood circumstances.

The final body paragraph expands on the idea that success is subjective and influenced by a variety of factors, not just parenting.

The conclusion then wraps up the essay by reaffirming that while parenting is influential, it is not the sole determinant of adult success.

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