Before having kids, I thought the “Nature vs. Nurture” was a joke. My son isn’t biologically my husband’s, but that doesn’t make him any less the father. This scenario is the only proof I need that while kids are born with a certain disposition, the environment they grow up with influences them more than we can understand. My son is every bit of my husband, the same mannerisms and likes and interests. It’s something completely interesting to witness, and last night this all came together for my inspiration for today’s blog.
This idea of what a child learns is all speculation. No one really knows how a child really learns, but one thing most people agree on is that a child learns from observing the people around them. This learning comes mostly from our parents. We see how they act and behave and a child learns from this. This can go from 2 extremes, the really silly and the really serious.
To start with, the serious. A daughter who witnesses her mother being mistreated by her father might grow up thinking that this behavior is something acceptable, and allows herself to be treated the same way by her future partners. A son who sees his mom beaten might grow up thinking that is the way to treat women and become abusive towards his partners as well. Nothing is guaranteed, but statistically it happens more often than not. Children are sponges for information, and without being shown what’s appropriate or not, can lead down a path making us wonder what we did wrong not realizing it may be too late to fix it. With this idea, in raising my first son I led by an example I hoped that he would grow up and be proud of. My husband’s parenting style is the same, and it worked out well the first time around and I hope it continues the next time.
Now, the silly way this can be proven true with a funny story of my household. My husband is a very overprotective person, one feature I find both lovable and annoying. Next to our bed, he has a wooden stick that he jokingly refers to his “just in case beating stick that can be used from anything from robbers or a zombie apocalypse”. One day, my son was sitting on the bed watching streaming videos and dropped his favorite stuffed animal. When he picked it up, he noticed the wooden stick and asked about it and of course I told him and he smiled that smile he gets when I tell him something about his father that makes him want to be more like him. And last night I found out he was.
I went downstairs before I went to bed like I usually do to check in on my son and nephew while they were sleeping. I went into my son’s room to retuck him in and I noticed next to his bed was one of those plastic bats ready to be grabbed for “just in case”. I couldn’t help but to let out a loud laugh which made him turn in his sleep. I called upstairs for my husband to see what I can only blame him for, and we sat laughing together.
This just makes me wonder if I’m right about children learning from what we do and how we behave. While no one really knows the answer, I’d like to think that you should set an example for your kids. Then you can look on with pride when they explain to you in the morning why they had a plastic bat next to their bed or why they picked up someone’s money and returned it to them instead of keeping it. We do a lot by raising our kids to high standards of behavior and giving them knowledge to be good people in society.