Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Nature vs Nurture, who knows?
Nature vs Nurture, who knows...
I have 5 kids. Each one of my children is very different. I find this baffling. I like things to make sense, I need explanations. I'm not sure why it is that I spend so much time on this conundrum, but I do (maybe they make a medication for that).
I have one sister. She is three years younger than me. She is naturally blonde and has always run to being thin (much to my chagrin). I have dark hair and have gained weight just from smelling other people's food (that's my theory and I'm sticking to it). I am quite a bit taller than her. We share a lot of the same facial characteristics, but no one ever takes us for sisters. We are also very different in our personalities, but we share some of the same core values. I always found this so perplexing. How could two people who had the same parents be so different? I thought I had it all figured out. It made sense to me. Although we both shared the same parents in terms of DNA, we did not have shared experiences. I am the oldest. Because I am the first, I was treated differently. Mom and Dad were new at this whole parenting thing when I came along. Mandy is their last, their baby, they had learned from me. I always thought that she got away with murder (they will tell you different), but she was their baby, I paved the way for her. The things that seemed so important for me, in experience no longer seemed so important. So although we had the same parents, we did not have the same experience. This explained it, I had my answer, wasn't I so smart? Not really.
When I had my own children this theory held water, at least at first. Gabe was my first, he was my guinea pig, poor kid. I thought I had it mapped out, and then came Grace. With Grace, none of the same rules applied. The same discipline was not as effective, so we had to change it to fit her. I still held on to my theory, we were different parents with her, we were 6 and a half years older, we had a lot more life experience under our belts. When Riley and Rowan came along they annihilated my theory. Here you have two children who are exactly the same age, they had the "same" parents at the same stage in our lives. They were and are night and day different. You would not even take them for siblings. Rowan looks like Christopher with red hair and Riley looks just like me. I was brought back to the drawing board!
So here is what I have determined, there is no answer. For us there is no nature vs nurture. They simply are different. None of them seem to like the same things at the same time. Perhaps instead of rolling my eyes, and shaking my head, I should make myself a cheat sheet and actually chart who hates what. I should just take them shopping with me when I buy them clothes, so that I can avoid returns. Maybe I need to just calm my type A personality down and embrace their differences. All I can hope for is that they will share the same core values, the ones that we as their parents most value. As long as they are healthy and happy, it should be enough (maybe if I keep telling myself this I will actually believe it).