Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Thoughts: Genetics and Traits

October 12, 2016

Disclaimer: The opinions and thoughts that I’m about to post are my own; these are just some of the things that cross my mind as I go through life watching people and situations. I’m by no means an expert, I am not claiming to know it all; and am not by any means telling people how to act/react in a situation or how to live or think.

Lately, I’ve been around babies/toddlers or have been hearing second-hand about them and their behaviour. I’m not a mother myself, haven’t ever wanted to be, and still don’t want to be (I know this might seem very shocking to people since I am a 28 year old woman, and believe it or not I am, by choice, single, and also heterosexual). So I am not an expert in this area either, but I do have very specific ideals about what it takes to raise a child (especially in today’s world), and what sort of an environment a child should be in. I’m also by no means saying that it is easy to raise a child, which brings me to my next point:

Why do people take the responsibility of raising a child and bringing a child into this world so lightly? Do they ever think about what traits or character they want their child to have; and if they do, do they keep this in mind when picking a partner? Do they ever think about how their child could turn out if brought up in the wrong environment or if their partner doesn’t have the best traits or character?

What defines how a child turns out? Genetics, environment, what the parents emulate? Is it a equal combination of everything, or do one of those things have a slightly higher say in how a child turns out?

Sometimes I think people stick their heads in the sand about their partner’s faults, which is fine, until a child is involved. What happens when things go wrong and the child starts taking on/mirroring the not-so-great character and traits? Do the parents continue to ignore what’s been staring at them in the face for quite awhile, or do they suddenly realize that their choice of partner wasn’t such a great one, or that the environment that they’ve been exposing their child to hasn’t actually been that good after all? Think about it this way: What will Murphy’s Law dictate? Will the child end up with more not-so-great traits and character than with good ones?

Take note, I’m not talking about worst-case-scenario parents here, I’m talking about relatively basic things, some examples being: parents that constantly need attention (whatever that attention may be), parents that constantly need validation, parents that are insecure (I’m taking about huge crater-size insecurities, ones that can affect character and behaviour, not minor ones that a person can brush off), parents that can’t actually afford to be parents but still are, people that became parents at a young age (about 50 years ago this scenario was still fine, this is most certainly not the case today), and when I say young age, I’m talking about anywhere from 16 until about 22; parents that are emotionally needy, parents that are impatient, parents that don’t actually want to be parents but still are, parents that make the wrong choices because they look in the wrong place for their value, parents that are irresponsible (this can present itself in various ways), etc. I think you get my point.

At the back of my mind, I wonder how these kids will turn out, what (possibly bad) coping strategies will they develop, along with not-so-great character and traits, that will also pass onto their kids when that stage comes to pass. There’s unfortunately a lot of things that have become acceptable, that weren’t acceptable 50 years back, and I wonder how much of it is due to a changing society, to lack of parenting, bad coping strategies or a not-so-great environment.

Take note: I am an aunt – to a nephew. Here are the things I plan on teaching him; if these particular traits happen to be absent at a later age: respect for other people (especially women); to have patience (I most certainly do not believe in instant gratification); to not throw temper tantrums; where to look to for his security and value (to God); to not be defined by his circumstances and upbringing; I will most certainly teach him morals, values and standards (something I don’t think today’s society has any idea about); how to have a good attitude, how to wisely choose a partner and to make good choices.

I do realize that a lot of parents try to make the best of circumstances and trying to juggle everything, but I also think that parents also sometimes focus on the wrong things, or ignore things that they shouldn’t; things that can later have consequences.

Last Disclaimer: I know that I have probably stepped on quite a few landmines broaching this sensitive topic, but I hope that when people read it, that they either have an eureka moment, or realize where I’m coming from. If you’re not a parent yet, and are in the dating world (I’m using ‘dating’ in a very broad sense here), please think ten times before you put yourself in a position where you bring a child into the world and can’t look after it for whatever reason (be it financial, emotional, circumstantial, etc), simply because at the end of the day, it’s the child that suffers for your choice.

Until next time,

Carmen.

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