Over the years we must have heard about the debate of Nature versus Nurture. While Nature is a more biological and genetic understanding of human psychology, nurture on the other hand stands for the more situational and environmental constructs. A variety of studies have shown that both constructs are helpful individually, however, they are interrelated in their effects most of the time. This blog talks about the role of nature versus nurture on the development of a child albeit physically, mentally, and emotionally. It also talks about how we as parents can nurture our children more so that they are able to survive and deal with environmental situations effectively.
Nature stands for the biological and physiological makeup of the individual which gives us an outlook of their ancestral heritage through biomapping and the working of neurotransmitters. Nurture, on the other hand, stands for environmental and social cues that impact the growth and development of the child at large. There are several belief systems which provide both an empirical or a rational approach to understanding the debate of which of these above mentioned processes is actually more beneficial for the child in the future years. A variety of twin studies suggested the importance of nature as a construct in the development of the child, wherein if one twin tends to showcase a higher IQ the other one will also have a higher chance of developing a high IQ due to their genetic makeup and other biochemical factors. Nurture too has its own firm believers who have cited several adoptions based researches, wherein a child who is adopted, often becomes a part of the environment they are part even if they were not particularly a part of that society earlier. Other studies have suggested the role of a more supportive education system in the development of higher IQ among adopted children.
Nurture as a process considers all the social environmental cues which are present in the child’s immediate surroundings and is the most visible factor of a parent's understanding of helping and raising a child. There have been several studies which have shown how nurturance helps the child in becoming more mindful and hence developing a higher and more effective IQ. To cite an example, when a child is entering school for the first time, if the child has always been raised in a way where he has to do everything on his or her own, the child may not be able to form meaningful bonds with people as he or she has developed the thought process where he or she feels that they must go through everything alone and that they will not receive any support from others. A more nurtured and looked after child will be able to form meaningful interpersonal relationships with his peers and will also be able to extend his help to others and encourage them to help others as well, which is a core value that a future-fit leader must have. This goes to show that nurturing a child in his early years is very important if we as parents want to raise a 21st century leader with the most effective skills.
How then can we ensure that our child is indeed being nurtured to the most effective value?
Here are some steps that we can keep in mind:
A child starts gravitating towards particular talents or areas which interest them the most in their early years. This makes it very important, hence, that we as parents recognise these areas of interests and try to encourage them to engage in these areas as this will play a key role in nurturing their creative mind, and encourage them to work on their skills of imagination, innovation and critical thinking.
The child will feel most nurtured in an environment where he or she feels the availability of an open space to explore, create, play, think, and grow. As a parent, it is very important that we provide them with this space and that we encourage them to utilise this space to their fullest potential. This will work significantly on their communication skills and will also encourage them to collaborate with us on situations or tasks where otherwise they would feel trapped. Providing support and open space has a very positive effect on them.
Every child is extremely imaginative and curious, they would tend to look for answers to things and may even ask questions which we may have never thought about. Hence, it is very important that we keep encouraging them and ask them open-ended questions such as “How did we come up with this idea?” so that the child feels uplifted and motivated to go back to the dream or vision he or she has and to look for more answers and solutions. This form of nurturance will work on their skills of curiosity and critical thinking, which are a very important part of the future skills that every leader must have.
Along with encouraging the child to follow his or her dream or vision it is very important that we reinforce them verbally by using appreciations or affirmations when they come up with solutions to situations, whether it is a mathematics problem or something more complex. In order to nurture the child it is extremely imperative that we look for positive ways of reinforcing our children’s behaviour and vary its frequency so that there is something for the child to look forward to when they do something novel and creative.
Nurturing and caring for children is at the forefront of development and a child would never be able to develop the leaderships skills to their fullest potential without their parents help and care. Hence, it is very important for us to find our effective ways to nurture our children in a positive and effective manner if we have a wish to make them future-fit leaders.