IELTS sample essay: Should children be allowed to follow their instincts?

IELTS writing task 2

The following question was asked on an IELTS writing test held in Australia in January 2012. This question is taken from

Some people believe that young children should be allowed to follow their instincts and act accordingly. Others disagree with this view. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Model answer

Following one’s instincts is definitely a good idea as long as one is capable of facing the consequences. The question is whether young children should be allowed to follow their instincts. Some people believe that young children should have the freedom to act according to their instincts. Others however disagree. Which view is right? Let’s examine.

Young children have highly impressionable minds. They learn by imitating. Do they really have the capacity to take wise decisions of their own? Most of the time, their actions and decisions are influenced by what they see and hear. If parents do not guide them and teach them to distinguish between the right and the wrong, they will invariably fall into big problems.

Of course, allowing children to follow their instincts has some advantages: it will help them nourish their innate capabilities. They learn to be independent and responsible. They also learn to face the consequences of their actions. It is a huge learning experience for them.

On the flip side, young children lack experience. They are also too naive to understand the consequences of their actions. So if they are allowed to do whatever they like, problems are bound to arise. Of course, they may learn from these experiences and make better decisions in the future. But this ‘learn from one’s own mistakes policy’ is not always practical in the case of small children.

What’s more, children are an integral part of the society and the society has certain norms. There are certain things that are considered appropriate and certain things that are considered inappropriate. The freedom to follow one’s own instincts must not clash with the values of the society. Children, on their own, are unlikely to have the knowledge to understand these sorts of things.

After analyzing the situation, it is felt that allowing young children to follow their instincts and act accordingly will do them more harm than good because they do not have the knowledge or capacity to take sound decisions of their own. They need the guidance of their parents and teachers to grow into responsible adults who can make valuable contributions to the society.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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