DISCLAIMER this is not based any scientific/theoretical evidence but purely my own thoughts and observations!
Recently the battle of Nature vs Nurture has come up numerous times and in numerous places, so, understandably it has been on my mind and here are my thoughts!
I am definitely on the Nurture side of the argument!
As numerous people have pointed out to me that there is no shadows of a doubt that I am my mothers daughter! We are similar physically – although I get my hair from my dads side of the family – we are/were both teachers, have similar interests, the same eye condition, and similar frustrations! I will also never forget the occasion when I was a TA at my mums school she was covering a lesson that I was supporting, and we both went to tell off the same child at the same time saying exactly the same words!!!!
However… I am the person I am today because of the way I was brought up.
It would take too long to go through everything that has led to this but I will list some of the more important ones – or ones I feel have had most impact
- Freedom! When I was a teenager i didn’t have a curfew, but as long as I told them where I was going and who I was going with then all was good – I took this to a ridiculous level (phoning every time I moved pub) but I was aware I was responsible for it!
- Extra-curricular! My parents met through scouting and we were encouraged to do and try other activities. For me, this included musical instruments, guiding, swimming, life-saving, and judo for two weeks!
- Faith! This was an important part of my parents life, I was brought up going to Church, I then chose to make faith a part of my life. This also linked in to the extra-curricular, as with Sunday school, youth groups, holiday clubs etc… church was just embedded. One of the first things I did when I went to uni was find a church, and when we got married and lived on the other side of Birmingham it was one of the first things we did. I know that Church and Faith are different things, but if they are fully entwined well… they strengthen each other, and the strength it gives me – indescribable!
- Encouragement! It must have been so difficult for my folks when their 11 year old daughter found herself on the bathroom floor and she was diagnosed with epilepsy! And yet… there was never any suggestion that I should stop doing things. There was no wrapping in cotton wool, but helping me to understand how I could live the life I wanted to with the diagnosis. When I was in year 11 I had nearly a term off because my brain was being so awful, I was homeschooled and spent most of the time on the sofa, but my mum insisted and arranged that I met with school friends – so that I still kept up my relationships and didn’t fall into a deeper depression. This was especially odd as I had grown up knowing that “if you’re off school you can’t go out”! I was encouraged to go to university – although Canterbury wasn’t top of the parents list they never said anything!
- Fantastic example! I see the work ethic, the love, and the care… and I try to replicate it!
Yes, I am physically like my mum, and have elements from my dad – mainly hair and sarcasm! BUT to me Nurture wins the battle, and I am so grateful for it!