Saturday, November 26, 2005
A child is a precious thing. A child vies for your attention, seeks your guidance and is blessed with the sweet innocence we all envy. Looking back in your childhood there are many occasions you recall; the first present you got, your mom hugging you for the tiniest things you did, your dad's heartfelt advice after a stern telling off! Do our parents shape our understanding of life and ultimately the character of self we portray to the world?
During one of my readings I came across an article that highlighted that genes might be behind the personalities we exhibit. Dr Weis and his colleagues discovered, in one of the longest and most thorough studies of child development ever attempted, was that parents appear to have relatively little effect on how children turn out, once genetic influences are accounted for. "The original objective was to look for environmental differences," says Reiss. "We didn't find many." Instead, it seems that genetic influences are largely responsible for how "adjusted" kids are: how well they do in school, how they get along with their peers, whether they engage in dangerous or delinquent behavior.
Apparently your DNA codes for a unique nervous system that responds to particular situations differently. As children we pick and choose the one that best suits our geriotype. Anyway long story short our genes provide the words and parenting provides the punctuation, inflection, tone and emphasis. Surrounding your child's environment with books when he seems predisposed to reading is a conversation between environment and genes. The parent then acts in the capacity of collaborator.
This is interesting to me because I think the youth have much impact in society and if we start them off on a good footing then we are better off as a society.