Charity Begins At Home
This is a very familiar adage which conveys that the home is the place where behaviour, character, attitude and best practices are instilled. We are not talking about the Nature part of the Nature Vs Nurture debate.
Life begins with Nature
The Nature part of the above debate talks about the DNA makeup that is already embedded in an individual. This DNA and the attendant behavioural aspects (as witnessed in parents/ancestors) cannot be changed much unless there be a mutation. Thus the nature part of the influence on a child is very strong.
But Nuture can define our Living
The Nurture part of the debate contends that irrespective of Nature, an individual could be changed /modified to an extent due to the environment and the attendant elements. For eg: a child adopted from an orphanage may not be similar to foster parents. But he or she gets used to certain patterns of behaviour which help mould the child’s wiring accordingly.
Nature’s Latent Potential could always surface but can be channelized
The Child would still be carrying a wayward/abusive/aggressive father’s and a shrewish/submissive mother’s genes. There is always a possibility that certain situations could trigger the expression of the above genes involuntarily. ( A recent article also indicates that as one ages, the latent gentic material increasingly expresses itself.) But proper nurturing would help an individual manage his or her natural ‘instincts’ in a better manner! A simple example is the way a huge majority of the human population has learnt to channelize/ sublimate/ give flavour to reproductive urges vis a vis other animals..
Nuturing begins at home, but do we realize ‘Home’ is not what it used to be
Increasingly in cities and towns, especially amongst the middle class, we see infants and children spending more time away from home than a genration or two ago. An average such child also increasingly starts being put in a nursery or ‘toddler’s club’ earlier than even a decade ago.
The breakdown of the joint family system, single parenting, both parents working, inavailability of grand parents are some of the factors. Another factor is the growth, segmentation and ambitious positioning of the foster care/ educational care ‘Industry’. This industry promises the moon for very young parents. The drawing/representation by three 7-year-olds of ‘My Home’ could be striking if those three 7-year-olds belong to different decades. Imagine a kid from the 1900s, another from 1970s and the third one of today.
Abdication of Responsibility; The Home could also Harm
Thanks to the fostor care/ educational care Industry, parents have also got conditioned. They have ‘learnt’ to transfer the responsibility of the upbringing of their child on the various elements of this industry. This responsibility also gets transferred to the school and college in due course.
Parents are thus slowly moving away from the realization that they are the first teachers/ role models for their kids. They little realize the following. Their behaviour while driving, while disposing trash, while talking to their maids and drivers, while spending spending money, are all slowly but surely, instilling a pattern of behaviour in their kids.
Forget Office, Parents need to work on Learning to Parent
Increasing use/ abuse of social media and gadgets getting primacy over facetime interactions, realtime, are only compunding the above issue. Kids’ ‘gadget/social media’ behaviour gets reinforced when they see their parents occupied on similar ‘pursuits’.
One half suspects, with the above trends that there is an industry slowly rearing its head on how to rear children. All, complete from the planning stage (before conception, during the course, post conception ) on to working with other service providers like maternity homes, doctors, psychologists, etc.