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You reap what you sow. Agreed? You take all the moral values, stuff them down your child’s throat and voila! You have just created a walking-talking, a humanoid ethical masterpiece! Dramatic pause. Or have you?
There’s this very interesting philosophical-cum-psychological debate- Nature vs. Nurture.
This debate attempts to figure out what gives more definition to one’s personality – one’s genetic make-up (Nature) or one’s environment and lifestyle (Nurture). Great thinkers and philosophers have argued over this subject for centuries.
Even though there still exist people with differing opinions regarding the issue, the most widely accepted school of thought is that it is the conflux of both Nature and Nurture that defines one’s personality.
Here’s an example. Consider a cute little baby girl (awwwww) born in a family having all tall people. Even though she has acquired the “tallness” trait in her genes, if she is not given proper nourishment, she will have a stunted height.
Did you know that you were more influential than you thought? No no, stop smirking to yourself like that. I meant it in a very different way. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Like father, like son” and/or “Like mother, like daughter.” Well, let’s just not be very sexist and word it as “Like parents, like children.” What this means is that your nature is mirrored in that of your children’s.
A child’s mind, as you would know, is very susceptible to conditioning. It picks up most of what it sees and what it hears. Major sources of influence, apart from parents, include friends, teachers, movies, video games and the ambience in general.
Therefore in this respect Nurture plays first fiddle. And I guess that’s a good thing too because you can use that to your advantage and ‘nurture’ your daughter to be a good person.
Anecdotes and fables work really well at that. And of course, there are the holy books and the verses therein. It will do good to keep her away from violent and visually disturbing cinema. However, the thing of paramount importance is that you should teach your daughter how to make the right choices, such as choosing the right friends. This is arguably that virtue which has the maximum consequence in both the short and the long run and will make her an inspiring woman.
But at this point, allow me to emphasise the following – even if you ‘nurture’ your daughter impeccably, your hypocrisy and your shortcomings will eventually get the better of you. Allow me to iterate once again the fact that your nature WILL be reflected in that of your child’s. Ah! Only if the laws of Physics were subject to human whim! But no, a distorted object will always have a distorted reflection. Your shortcomings will mar your daughter’s personality irremediably.
Dear parent, I implore you earnestly, realise that you cannot raise an ethical being unless you YOURSELF try to be one.
And try successfully, at that. It is YOUR onus to become ‘the inspiring mom’ so that your daughter looks up to you. Also, practice what you preach. Unless your daughter herself sees you live up to your teachings, all the holy verses will be rendered meaningless, and all fables reduced to hollow (but fancy) stories.
It is ABSOLUTELY imperative that you raise your daughter in a generally happy environment. This is extremely important because it has the maximum influence in conditioning her mind. Also, happiness must be treated as a lifestyle issue. It must be ingrained in her daily routine. If you do your bit as a parent properly, then your daughter is sure to become an inspiring woman achiever. And who knows maybe one day we at Feministaa might be so privileged as to be able to fill some of our space in the “Inspiring Women Interviews” category with her interview!
Let us now once again bow our heads in humble resignation to Physics. Equilibrium is built into the physics of the universe. It is a fundamental law that the tables must turn, the role reversals must happen. Nurture has for too long had the upper hand, and Nature has too long played the underdog. The Yin and Yan command me now to swap their positions. Quite a fancy wording, if I may say so myself.
Anyway. There’s this ongoing research on a particular class of genes called “behavioural genes”. It is believed that the “behavioural traits” of parents are passed on to the progeny via these genes.
What this means is that your behaviour roots itself in your daughter’s genetic wiring, and eventually manifests itself in her behaviour too. No escape from that, ha! So you see the uncouthness in your “behavioural genes “can, or rather will have a very bad impact on your daughter and prevent her for becoming a top inspiring woman. Therefore, you must try (and you can only try there!) to be more pleasant in your behaviour, and more likeable in your demeanour. This will help both you and your daughter, and that too in ways more than one. Looks, like “nurture” can come to the rescue; let’s cross our fingers!
So finally, in conclusion, allow me to use the following metaphor since I’ve used the “reflection” one too many times by now.
Be such that your autobiography is all good and naught bad, so that when your daughter takes a leaf out of your ‘book’, she is all virtue and naught vice.
Yeah, I know it’s crude, but you get the point.
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