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Influence of Children's Friends Essay

In this IELTS essay you have to discuss how children's friends influence them and what parents can do to make sure they have a good influence.

This is the question:

The friends that children have are a very important part of their lives.

What kinds of influence may children’s friends have on them?

What can parents do to ensure that their children’s friends are a good influence on them?

Answering the Question

You should be able to see that there are two aspects that you need to discuss in your essay:

  1. The kinds of influence children’s friends may have on them
  2. The best way for parents to make sure that their children’s friends are a good influence on them

To answer this essay question you simply need to brainstorm some ideas that directly answer each question. 

Try to think of two or three ideas to support each of the questions, and make sure you have some further support to explain each idea fully. You can use examples to do this if you like. 

Organising your Answer

For an IELTS essay you wouldn’t normally have more than three body paragraphs.

So you could have one body paragraph about each aspect (2 body paragraphs). For example:

  • Influence of children's friends
  • Parents input
Children PlayingHow do friends influence behaviour?

Or perhaps if you are going to discuss both the negative and positive influence of children’s friends, you could have one body paragraph about each of these and then a final body paragraph explaining the way parents can make sure the influence is positive. 

  • Positive influence of children's friends
  • Negative influence of children's friends
  • Parents input

Now take a look at the model answer. Which organisation does it follow?

Influence of Children's Friends Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The friends that children have are a very important part of their lives.

What kinds of influence may children’s friends have on them?

What can parents do to ensure that their children’s friends are a good influence on them?

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

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer

An essential part of childhood is friendship and most children realise the need to have a friend or two to make life more fun, especially in school or their immediate community. However, the influence of friends can be both positive and negative, so parents should find ways to ensure their children’s friendships are not detrimental to them. 

On the positive side, a child’s friends can motivate them to try activities they might not do on their own because of fear or embarrassment. Thus, some children dabble in sports or the arts because their friends are doing the same. Friends are also a source of help and encouragement when things are tough in school or the family. By lending their expertise or providing sympathy, friends are a blessing in difficult times.

Despite this, on the negative side, some friends can steer a child in the wrong direction. Bullying is something many children copy from their friends until they become full-fledged bullies themselves. There are also many vices children pick up from the wrong crowd in school or their community, such as pornography, drinking, smoking, and even overindulging in video games.

Since children should have a good set of friends, parents must do their part to ensure that happens. One way is for parents to know who these friends are, by inquiring about them and learning what they do together. Having these friends over for a meal also allows parents to observe and determine the influence such friends have on their children. Another important task for parents is to educate their children on moral values. There will come a time when parents will no longer be able to dictate who their children choose as friends. But if their children understand right and wrong and are aware of the telltale signs that they are being misled, they will know who to keep and who to drop from their inner circle.

To sum up, friendship is an important part of a child’s formative years as good friends can help a child become better in the different aspects of life. However, parents must be actively involved in monitoring and teaching their children about selecting their friends well to ensure their kids do not fall into the wrong crowd.

(373 Words)


The essay is well-written and argued. It fully answers both parts of the question, with plenty of relevant support. It’s also logically organised, and so easy to read and understand. 

The good use of lexis (vocabulary) shows that this person has an excellent grasp of English. With your lexis, it’s important to get the word forms correct. These examples show how the writer is good at doing this:

  • detrimental
  • motivate
  • embarrassment
  • encouragement 

Collocations are also important to end up with correct sentences. If a word collocates with another word, that means it commonly goes together with it. For instance, a certain preposition may go with certain words (depending on the context). For example:

  • influence of
  • dabble in
  • in difficult times
  • copy from
  • involved in 

If a writer knows which words commonly collocate, then they are able to write accurate sentences. 

The essay is fairly long (373 words) so you'd need to be a very competent writer to achieve this. If you are a weaker writer, you can still follow the same essay format but you would want to reduce the amount of ideas you are placing in as support.

More 'Hybrid' Type IELTS Essays:

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