The phrase, ‘the child is the father of the man’, means that ‘the traits and qualities of a child during his childhood determines the character of the person when he grows up.’
If we closely pay attention to the childhood activities of a kid, we can guess the kind of adult a child will grow up in the future.
The qualities and strength of a big tree exists in the small pieces of seeds. Similarly, the traits and character of a grown-up adult rest deep-seated in his childhood.
It is true the surroundings have deep impact in the character of a man. However, surroundings cannot change the true nature and character of a person.