I read some figures recently, which suggested that 50% of how a person turns out as an adult, is genetic (nature), and the other 50% interacting with others (nurture), but the latter 50% was almost entirely due, to out of the home influences. In other words, how we turn out, has very little to do with how we’re parented. The person, we can attribute this astonishing claim to, is a Scientist named Steven Pinker. At this point I feel it’s worth telling you, during my time working as an Analyst, I’ve never found this to be the case, in fact, quite the opposite.
Many of us are aware of the principle, that the observer influences the outcome of whatever they’re observing – in my world we can most certainly attribute this to the filters of beliefs. For example, if you believe bears are beautiful, you may have a room full of teddy bears, yet if you’ve ever been attacked by one, and as such hold negative beliefs, (bears are men killers) you’ll potentially see teddy bears as a contradiction. As are many things in life, Steven Pinker, included.
Now, we must also be cautious in terms of my experiences: have the issues surrounding my own upbringing affected: A, the Analysis of my clients and: B, the type of clients I’ve attracted into my consulting room.
When we look at A, it is entirely possible that my beliefs and expectations have influenced the analysis of my clients, however, as an analyst with an awareness of this danger – trained in very specific techniques that eliminate leading the client – this possibility is sufficiently guarded against. In addition, it’s been my experience, that the responses given during analysis, have often surprised me to such an extent, I’ve nearly fallen out of my chair.
Looking at B, we’re almost certainly entering the world of woo-woo to suggest the majority of clients entering my consulting room, have issues with their parents, simply because I had a traumatic childhood. Perhaps if I’d advertised my services as being specific to parent/child issues, this would be the case; I didn’t.
Perhaps to some extent, all of this is a little irrelevant when I tell you Steven Pinker, was also of the opinion, that parents shouldn’t work hard at how they raise our kids, if they wanted children to like them.
“Curious, but I though parenting was about raising balanced, respectful and responsible adults, not about being liked by children.”
If you want to be liked by our children just give them what they want, however, as we should all know, giving children what they want, is not, by any means, what’s good for them.
One thing is for sure, if you want your children to respect you, once they’ve become adults, give them what they need for the future (love) not what they want in their present moment of wanting. If they don’t like it, then we need to better develop our negotiation skills, and how to train our children to think about cause and effect. Something lacking in some of today’s young.
“Sustained shortfalls in emotional intelligence are, sadly, no minor matter. There are few catastrophes, in our own lives or in those of nations, that do not ultimately have their origins in emotional ignorance.” – Alain de Botton
In this respect, one of the greatest gifts we can award our children, is the skill of Emotional Intelligence. For this to happen, we must firstly seek this for ourselves through becoming increasingly, self-aware.