The idiom “Child is the Father of Man” implies that the actual nature of a man does not alter with age or time. However, it has been interpreted in various other ways as well. “Child is the Father of Man” basically means that a man is, in reality, the product of the behavior and habits he developed during his early years. Many other interpretations have also been made from this idiom.

Short and Long Essay on Child is Father of the Man

Essay 1 (300 words)

The proverb “Child is the Father of Man” has been interpreted in various ways. It mainly implies that the behavior and manners of a person during his childhood influences his personality as he grows up. Let us learn about the origin of this proverb and as to what exactly it meant originally.

Origin of the Proverb – Child is Father of the Man

The idiom was originally written by the famous poet William Wordsworth. It first appeared in Wordsworth’s poem, “My Heart Leaps Up” that was out in 1802. The term gives an important message and has been used on various occasions since then.

Explanation of the Proverb

By way of this phrase, Wordsworth stated that as a child he felt extremely joyful looking at the rainbow and as an adult, he still experiences the same pleasure as he looks at nature. This is to say that what delighted him during his childhood days delights him as an adult too.

As per him, childhood shows the adult what morning shows the day. It is but natural that what a person learns during his childhood days, it will reflect in his habits and words later in his life. For instance, if a person develops good habits during childhood, he is likely to lead a disciplined life throughout. Similarly, a child who forms bad habits is most likely to indulge in ill practices as he grows up.

The child is the Father of Man – Teachings

  • The role of parents and teachers is vital in building a person’s personality.
  • Children look up to their parents and like to imitate them. It is thus important for the parents to set good examples.
  • Ensuring the right conduct of the child is very important as that is what he imbibes for the rest of his life.


As per this proverb, deep inside an adult’s heart, there remains a small child who guides him on how to behave and react in different situations.


Essay – 2 (Words 500)


‘The Child is the father of the man’ is the famous quotation from one of the most popular poems ‘My Heart Leaps Up’ written by the legendary poet called William Wordsworth. The poem is still widely read today both by adults and children, mainly because of the deep meaning hidden in it.


According to the proverb ‘The Child is the father of the man’, the basic nature of a man doesn’t change with age or time. The behavior and nature of an adult get developed in one’s childhood itself and the conduct or behavior of a child signifies the kind of a person, the child is going to be. Ideally, an adult is the result of the manner, behavior or habit that he/she develops during childhood.

We all know that a child remains away from all the pressures and practicalities of life, so he/she can enjoy every single moment of life. Through the proverb ‘the child is the father of the man’, William Wordsworth wants to portray that as a child, he used to enjoy every little thing such as rainbow and even as a man he enjoyed rainbow with the same zeal and vigor. As a grown-up man, no life’s pressure or hard work could stop him from enjoying the nature and the little things which he used to enjoy as a child. Nature he displayed as an adult was adopted by him in his childhood itself.

The proverb signifies that childhood forms the foundation stage in a person’s life and whatever the person learns in his childhood remains with him till the time he lives. The knowledge, habits, attitude, nature and any behavior that a person exhibits as an adult is actually imbibed by him early in his childhood.

This also puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulder of the child’s parents as whatever upbringing they would give to their respective child in their early lives will last as the child’s personality forever. A happy child would become a confident and cheerful person and a child who undergoes sufferings and agonies may turn out to be a distressed person.

There is lots more interpretation of the famous proverb ‘The Child is Father of the Man’: the activities done in the childhood majorly influences the overall personality of a grown-up individual. A child knows no enemy, he/she is away from the miseries of life, remains innocent and loves everyone; he/she finds enjoyment in every small activity, is playful and full of life. Even though life’s pressure and some uncontrollable facts may change a person at the later stage of life; but he/she should always remain youthful at his/her heart as a child.


Thus, the parents and the teachers must always remain mindful of their behavior with their children and give them a happy upbringing. They must always try to educate and nurture the child in a manner that he becomes a positive and happy man who serves the society at large.


Essay – 3 (600 Words)


The famous proverb ‘The Child is the father of the Man’ is written by William Wordsworth through his famous poem ‘My Heart leaps up’. The poet through this line tries to say that the basic nature of a man gets developed in his/her childhood itself. When he was a child, he used to enjoy nature and even when he has grown up as an adult, he enjoys nature. Because enjoying nature or rainbow is his basic character which got developed when he was a small child.


The proverb became highly popular due to the deep meaning hidden inside the line. It means that the core personality of a person gets developed since one’s childhood and it majorly depends upon the upbringing one gets at home and the teachings one gets at the school. Thus, based on the kind of upbringing and teaching, the individual develops positive or negative personality traits at the later stage of one’s life. Also, by looking at the child’s behavior, one can identify what kind of person one is going to be.

Even from the learning perspective, whatever learning, education and knowledge one gains in childhood remains with the person forever. A child is considered to be the source of learning for the adult. A child is innocent and full of life, but when he grows up as a man, he tends to lose the charm and innocence due to various responsibilities and hardships. But the poet did not lose the childhood charm; he enjoyed the rainbow even as a grown-up man. Likewise, each individual must enjoy life without boundaries and pressures like a child do.

Like morning is the base of the day; childhood is the base of the overall personality and character of a man. Childhood activities influence the activities and performance of a man. If a child gets a healthy environment and grows up amongst the motivational and cheerful people; he is certainly going to become a happy and confident person and if a child is brought up in a chaotic atmosphere; he will grow up to be a rebel. That’s why it’s been said that the child is the father of the man. It’s the responsibility of the parents and teachers to control their actions and words and inspire the children to learn good habits right from the beginning; because children are fast learners and their knowledge remains with them for their lifetime. A person is not only responsible for his own conduct but his conducts and behavior reflect the society too; hence it is important that the child is taught good moral values and to perform good deeds so that the child can make the world a better place to live in when he grows up.


Some people, despite having healthy upbringing and delightful memories during childhood tend to become a serious and quiet person; there is no harm in enjoying the nature and every little thing like rainbow, butterfly, birds, etc; because they not only please you without costing anything, but they also maintain your innocence and childhood. A man must always remember that his personality must portray his childhood.

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