Friday, January 20, 2006

Nature vs. Nurture

I took only three psychology courses while in college so I am no where near an expert on the whole "nature vs. nurture" thing. It has been interesting, however, to watch Sydney develop skills and habits and then delight (or despair) in the realization that her actions mirror our own. Now whether she is genetically predisposed to these behaviors (nature) or she is picking up on our modeling of them (nurture), we can't really tell. But it sure is fun scrutinizing every new thing she does.

"Nature" Examples:
1. Her looks (eyes, eyebrows and face shape from me, nose and mouth from Ryan)
2. Sleep position (on tummy with one leg hiked up - from me)
3. Facial expressions (most from me, sticking lip out when concentrating from Ryan)
4. Bathroom habits (going two dozen times a day - from Ryan)
5. Great teeth (straight, no problems - from Ryan)

"Nurture" Examples:
1. Loves reading (from both of us)
2. Verbal expressions ("Hush, Daddy" or "GO!" when she hears a car horn honk - most from me)
3. Insistence on being barefoot, even at school (from me)
4. Insistence on not wearing pants around the house (from Ryan)
5. Food choices (YES to dessert, NO to green vegetables - from both on dessert, from me on vegetables)

Unknowns (could be nature or nurture)
1. Her temper (definitely from me)
2. Her love of exercise/the outdoors (definitely from Ryan)

I'm sure there are more, I just can't think of them. Regardless of the number, we really have to watch what we do and say because she repeats everything ("Shut up, Daddy) and does everything we do (lies on the couch to watch TV). It's amazing how having kids makes you want to be a better person, not just because you want them to grow up to be fine, upstanding people, but because you don't want them to embarrass you by showing the world what you're like behind closed doors.

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