Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nature or Nurture

I quite enjoyed this latest post from NotMolly entitled, Nature or Nurture?  Particularly:

People have debated the merits of nature versus nurture in the development of traits and characteristics for quite a long time. In this situation, I’d argue that the whole negative ball of wax is a cumulative effect of nurture: how we train ourselves, and how we train those around us. . . . Small cutting remarks grow into a habit of cruelty in thought and deed. . . .

When a child is “treated” to a decade and a half of a parent stating, right in front of that tiny personage, how Mum or Daddy “can’t WAIT til the kids are back in school,” or “how great it was before kids” or “we’re turning his room into a sewing room the weekend he graduates, so he’d better have something planned!”, how on earth is that supposed to do anything but alienate the affection that ought to exist between parent and child? Would we, as reasonable adults, ever deign to waste our emotions on people who treated us this way?

When interaction with a child, time with a child, is routinely passed over in favor of “mature” pursuits, “me” time, and other semi-selfish desires, what message does that give to a formative character? What worth must they assume they have, if they are never “worth” our time and effort?

None of this is to say that a parent ought to devote every single breath of every single day catering a child; quite the opposite! Children need not be catered to at all: they deserve nurturing and mentoring, not catering. Catering connotes “serving up on a platter, satisfying every whim”, which leads to an aggrandizement of self versus the control of self and channeling of passions in productive ways. . . .