Saturday, 24 December 2011

If your child is an Asshat, it might not be your fault.

I don't get how some parents can plan out their child's upbringing and their life in advance.  I often find myself thinking that I want to do things in this way or that way, but I then pause and tell myself that although I might wish to do so, Creature's character will determine whether that will be possible or not.

Perhaps, my not knowing Creature's gender yet helps me take a step back and come to the aforementioned realisation.  I don't know about you, but I believe that a person's character is built up of qualities that the person is born with, as well as qualities acquired through life and the environment that the person grows up in.  There is a whole philosophical debate about this, I happily found out.  It made me accept that my personal view about the matter is not something that is merely personal scrambled thoughts, but a valid point.  If you wish to read about it, here's a link to the Wikipedia Nature vs Nurture article.

I think that the most clear example of Nature vs Nurture can be seen in identical twin babies.  If you ask the parents, they will be able to describe the two babies' characters as being quite different.  And yet, they share the same exact genetics, and the same exact upbringing.  They are exposed to the same things, day after day.  So there must be some validity to the whole argument that a person is not born completely tabula rasa.

This whole concept is one thing to keep in mind when the metaphorical shit hits the metaphorical fan.  It is a very common thing to hear people judge a person's parenting skills without knowing them when their child screws up.  Parenting  skills, or the lack of, are not entirely to blame.  Parents can only do so much.  We can equip the child with all the skills and moral values possible - but at the end of the day, their innate characteristics will also play a part in how they behave. 

What I'm saying is this - you can do your best, but if your child is born with the characteristics of being a "little shit", and lets those characteristics cloud his judgement, then there isn't much you can do about it.  [Which is why I tend to maintain that a person's age has got nothing to do with the amount of stupidity or asshattery they display.  I will not excuse their behaviour "just because they are still young" and will still hold them responsible for their words/actions when it is clear that they should know better.]

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