Who am I? This is a question that many humans choose to ask and people may spend much of their lives unravelling an answer enabling them to understand their identity. Supposedly the people who find an answer that is satisfying and brings peace are in a good position to journey through life joyfully. People have a private self as well as public self that they show to the world. People are born with an innate sense of self, genetic inheritance and particular qualities that make up their character. Yet people’s identities are also shaped by their individual qualities, families and the culture that they are born into. The desire for or a need to belong or to feel connected to society is common to humans. Often it is affected by a person’s experiences and their sense of who they know themselves to be and the degree to which they recognise that they belong.
Parents and the family to which an individual belongs can shape an individual’s identity. Parents are in the position to help a young person to develop certain traits. Parents, for example, can raise their child develop a strong work ethic, a sense of family pride, to improve one’s status in life and to commit themselves to continuous self improvement and excellence. Alternatively if a child is born into a family situation where the parents are unstable or are ill a child may develop into an adult who copes poorly and is unable to meet the challenges of life without it being stressful and perhaps painful.
In the text Growing up Asian in Australia the story “Perfect Chinese Children” shows the reader the difficulties that both the Chinese mother and her daughters experience as a result of parental influences. The mother has high expectations for her daughter and nothing less than a perfect score is unacceptable. What also becomes confronting for the daughter is to ensure that she does not bring shame