Discussion: how parents' ambitions can influence a person

Your exam assignment asks you to discuss how parents’ ambitions can influence a person, using the extract “Family Matters” from Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian’s biography of Tiger Woods.

Parents have a significant influence over their children, especially during their early years. Sometimes, when children are pushed by their parents, they may become very successful in a particular field at an early age. In Tiger Woods’ case, his parents, and especially his father, pushed him to work very hard, and he became a child prodigy. But this can come at the cost of that child’s well-being

In the text, teachers are quick to notice Tiger’s isolation. However, Earl stubbornly refuses to accept that Tiger would benefit from being allowed more time for social activities: “While Decker tried explaining the benefits of letting Tiger make friends with kids his own age, Earl cut her off. He knew what was best for his son.” (ll. 38-40). This suggests that overambitious parents may not be as receptive to influence themselves. It also suggests that their expectations can sometimes harm the child.

Tiger Woods became extremely successful and wealthy, but he also had significant tr...

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