2014年5月25日托福独立写作题目：Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Parents must have strict rules to help their children to be successful? Please use specific details and examples in your answer.
Parents always want what is best for their children. In order to ensure that their child enjoys a prosperous, happy and successful life, parents establish rules that will help shape the child’s identity and personality. I strongly advocate strict rules which will help parents guide their children on a path to success.
For young children, their energy seems boundless, yet their direction is unfocused. Take me for example. When I was young, I had trouble staying focused in school and my homework and test scored suffered as a result. My parents noticed this negative trend and looked for ways to help combat this inability to concentrate. My mother established strict study rules. Instead of long study periods after school, my mother made me study in small 25-minute segments followed by ten-minute breaks. She stringently forced me to stay focused for these 25 minutes and over a period of a few months slowly increased the study periods to one hour. Although I thought she was quite overbearing at the time, I realize now that she was training me and my brain to learn to stay focused for longer and longer periods of time. This led to success in the classroom and my teacher was impressed.
Parents establish strict rules to shape their child’s personality and identity. When I was young, my parents always gave my siblings and me many chores and housework. I was always in charge of washing dishes, folding laundry, taking out the garbage, cutting the grass, and shoveling the driveway after heavy snowfalls. I hated doing these chores and would often intentionally neglect doing them. My parents would scold me, ground me, or punish me by not letting watch TV or play the computer. I thought that my parents were very tyrannical and fully resented their strict rules. As time went on and I grew up, however, I realized that these rules and housework chores instilled in me a sense of responsibility and duty. These traits have helped me achieve success in the workplace and in society.
Without rules and parental oversight I might not have ever developed these valuable traits.
It is true that many parents have high expectations and strict rules. Children almost always interpret these as oppressive and freedom-denying. However, in the long run, these strict rules almost always help positively shape children into prosperous and successful adults.
As believed by many people, many Chinese parents hold that strict parenting is a decisive factor in helping their children succeed. However, I believe that children nowadays are burdened with too many rules and that strict rules don’t necessarily ensure a quick path to success.
Firstly, family rules and expectation imposed on children are often somewhat too pressing. Chinese education normally requires students to follow a standardized path to college graduation, suggesting drop-outs or occasional absence from classes are not to be tolerated. Parents, therefore, often demand students to follow the social conventions and not to violate any rules. Any deviation from the expectation is deemed to fail without question. However, the truth is that many successful people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs rose to fame and success without completing their college curriculum. Strict rules may help children be better disciplined and guided, but is not an indispensable key to open the door of success.
Secondly, strict rules may play a negative role if not properly practiced. Children, especially those in their adolescent years, often needs more freedom and given more space and their own choices. Guidance and advices from parents should be given, but mandatory and strict rules can easily invite resistance. Many family conflicts results from ineffective communication and strict parenting, even if the purpose of which are often well-intended and to help children to be successful. The negative effect may also include impaired creativity that children suffer from. Long have kids been told about what should they do and what they must not do, children raised with so many rules around them often turn out to be unimaginative and be deprived of innovative thinking. Therefore, strict rules on children may very likely to have the adverse influence on their future career and personal development.
I would like to say that in order to achieve success, rules are necessary to help children build a good sense of moral value and self-discipline, but strict rules may have the quite opposite effect.