Monday: 12.June.2006

Pre-Father's Day thoughts, nature vs nurture

Seems everywhere I went last week there were signs posted reminding us that Sunday is Father's day .. which made me reflect on my own parenting skills. Most of us, I think, feel we can do a better job than what our parents did.

Both my parents have long since passed (leaving me an orphan), but when I was a kid (growing up in southern Connecticut), I was intrigued by debate surrounding "nature vs nurture" .. as key factors determining our basic personality traits and behavior.

Back then, it occurred to me that *both* these factors (nurture and nature) come to us from our parents, who give us not only our genes (nature) ...

... but also our environment (nurture), in which development occurs, especially in our early years, which psychologists claim are responsible for so much of our basic personality (refer to entry for 16.May).

continued

Sooo .. when my parents would get on my case about something I did, I would protest that I was simply a product of their genetic code (nature) and parenting skills (nurture) .. and argue that they needed to take some responsibility for my actions .. and cut me some slack.

As you might imagine, my folks didn't much appreciate my line of reasoning. (It's always a sobering moment when you first realize your parents are less than perfect.)

Anyway, my thoughts today have been stirred by a new book I saw advertised: How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too! .. which seems to validate concepts I've argued for since childhood (and were rejected by my parents).

Now I know you can find a book for virtually *any* parenting style you subscribe to. Personally I feel there exists (as with most things in life) no one-size-fits-all solution, and we-parents need to do what comes natural, cuz nature knows best.

Consider that, when your body needs sustenance, nature triggers hunger. When you require rest, nature sees to it you feel tired. And the greater the need, the more intense the feeling. You get my point.

But think about it for a moment. When you see kids acting up at the mall, doesn't it seem like they just happen to be with parents who, uh, suk? Perhaps it's a case of the chicken and the egg (which came first?) .. but I argue that (not always, but more often than not) bad parents tend to turn a good kid into a bad one .. and not the other way around.

Well, I'm close to meddling here and probably oughta quit. Anyway, speaking of parenting, I took the little guy on his first ride on the Balboa Island Ferry last week. He thought that was a blast.

Anyone who has read Joseph Wambaugh's The Golden Orange knows the novel opens with that ferry ride (in Newport Beach). We also rode the merry-go-round at the fun zone there, but balked at the ferris wheel.





Posted by Rad at June 12, 2006 08:43 AM

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