This is a great blog post. I sometimes think back to when my family wanted me to relinquish my parental rights to my first son Jaren. As a child, Jaren was affectionate and big hearted. But he was also a spirited child growing up, very strong willed, opinionated, witty and challenging at times. He would fight me to put on his own pants when he was less than ONE year old, kicking and getting angry because his legs weren’t going into the pant hole. When I tried to assist him, he responded, “NO, I do it!” He loved to debate everything and wanted to do things his way and on his terms. He literally was born that way. I don’t know if he got that from my side or his father’s side but what I do know is that as a single mother, it was difficult at times. I also know I didn’t make perfect parenting decisions all the time, but I did understand that that was the way Jaren was. Guiding him and allowing him opportunities to shine and express his creative self helped a great deal. I made good friends with his teachers and provided insight about his unique personality. One of his teachers figured out if she gave him opportunities to lead and assist, it made him feel as if he was contributing which helped his overall class behavior. Some people didn’t understand Jaren and would unfairly assess him. Knowing this and looking back, I’ve wondered over the years if I had allowed my family to convince or coerce me that relinquishing my parental rights to Jaren was the “right thing to do”, if the family who would have adopted him would have understood his temperament and his very natural personality. And if they would have loved him as much as me or would have been able to appreciate his unique soul. It’s frightening to think about. My life has been such a great adventure through my son’s eyes and his mind.
Nature versus nurture. The age-old question. You’ll hear sound arguments for both sides.
My official stance is both. However, the foundation lies in nature, in one’s DNA. Everything else will be built upon this foundation. We mold and shape our kids, throughout the years, and teach them to channel their talents and personalities to be as successful as possible in their lives. Traits in our children that can be used for good things in their lives, can also lead to detriment if proper parenting has not taught them how to assert (or wrangle in) these traits. Nature and nurture work together to shape who we will become.
Melanie is a stubborn child, like her biological mother. She is also prone to being hyper and erratic. Melanie likes to challenge authority and question everything. She gets these traits from her biological father. Melanie has two sisters who are just like this as…
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