Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nature and Nurture

Over the years there has been much debate about what really influences children. Is it the environment that they grow up in? Or is it there genetic make-up? While for years people argued one side or the other it is becoming more apparent that nature and nurture must both play a role in raising a child. The traits that a child comes into this world with interacts with the environment that a child is in. For example, two children can be raised in the same home with the same parents but still respond differently to being punished or getting praise. In order for us as parents to adapt to the individual nature of each one of our children we must "study [our children's] dispositions and their temperaments, and deal with them accordingly" (Young, 1998). It is so important that we remember each child is a unique individual and must be treated as such. We must be careful to not fall into the trap of thinking that every parenting technique that worked with one child will work with the next. Consider the following quote by Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1996): "Of course our genes, circumstances, and environments matter very much, and they shape us significantly."

Have you found your children to have unique differences? How do you keep yourself from reacting to all of your children in the same way?
Reference: Dollahite, D.C., (2000) Strengthening our famillies: An in-depth look at the proclamation on the family. Bookcraft: Salt Lake City, Utah
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