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Nature or Nurture

May 23, 2012

I always felt that the kind of kids you have is pretty similar to a coin toss.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have an angel.

If you’re not, I really do feel sorry for you.

To me, the way kids react and behave when they are very very young is pretty much “Nature”.

It’s a build in “system”.

You know how when you’re out at shopping centers or wherever, you’ll sometimes get to see parents dragging their kid away.

As if that is not embarrassing enough, the kid finds this the perfect timing to scream his/her head off like a freakin’ banshee.

When ever my mum sees such a scene going on, she’ll tell me that she’s really glad that I was never like that.

Yes, I was once an angel.

What I heard from my parents, they never had any problems with me.

I’m not the screaming kind, or the roll on the floor kind that refuses to get up and had to be carried away fireman style.

I guess they were really lucky.

I always felt that you either get the “unpleasant” one, or the other.

But a talk with a friend today got me thinking.

She was taught that children’s behaviours are “Nutured”.

For example, the very first time a kid throws a tantrum, the immediate reaction from the parents would very likely be to give what ever is “demanded”.

I do understand why giving in will be the immediate reaction.

It is only natural that when parents see their kids behaving in a manner that is not “appealing”, they do what ever they can to stop the behaviour.

And many a times, it comes in the form of giving the kid what he/she wants.

Giving in happens with the mind set that the child is too young to understand if the parents were to try talking sense to them.

So the next best thing to do, is to give in to what they want.

“Talking sense can come when they’re older. So for now, just give in”

With such a mind set, they are actually reinforcing the behaviour of the child.

It is sending the child the signal that 1)it is ok to throw a tantrum, and 2)this is the way to get what they want.

From what I can remember, my folks never gave me everything I wanted.

When I was young, I wanted to stay over at my cousin’s place but was not allowed.

And I cried all the way home, hoping that my folks would give in to me and let me stay.

It didn’t work.

So, for me that was “set in stone” that crying my eyes out wouldn’t get me what I want.



But a part of me still thinks that it might be a mixture of “Nature” and “Nurture” that makes up a child’s behaviour.

Apart from knowing that crying doesn’t get me far, I was probably pretty egoistic even when I was young.

I knew to never create a scene in public, hoping that my parents will give in to me.

Getting my image screwed over a toy is so not worth it.

What do you think?

“Nature” or “Nurture”?

Or a mixture of both?

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