De Su Mama

Legacy of Multiracial Motherhood

Personal Identity Project: Nature vs. Nurture {Focus On Nurture}

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I was struggling with how to approach this topic. It seems very subjective. So, to draw some focus, I reread my last Personal Identity Project post on how one’s nature effects their life. I noted an article I read years ago and its huge impact on my perception of how people become who they are. The article was about resiliency, why you need it and how to nurture it in young children.

I started to think that maybe not everyone had a light bulb moment when reading this article. 

For some perspective, let me explain: I can be a bit sensitive. Overtly so. I am opinionated and principled. And while those characteristics are meaningful and positive in many ways, throw in teenage hormones and life’s inevitable tangles, and you get a whole lotta drama. During situations when life got rough, I was really affected. Even depressed. Not clinically, but still… life really janked me up for a second and that jankiness had consequences on my life. For those sensitive people that were perhaps more thoroughly shielded from life’s dirty diapers, maybe resiliency isn’t a high valued characteristic you purposefully nurture onto your child. 

For me, it is. Especially because Alina exhibits many of my same sensitive and inquisitive characteristics. More than anything, I want Alina to deal with life’s trashy part and keep it moving. Who says that those bad moments get to define you, or a particular part of your life? Nurturing Alina to have a strong inner locus of control and an ability to sustain trauma {characteristics noted in the article mentioned above} are high priorities to me. But if they are not to you, that’s totally cool!

I think, no matter the caliber of parenting, everyone is nurtured with something. As parents, we are constantly nurturing our children by our behaviors, where we focus our attention, how we interact with others. Even the drug addicted mom that abandons her kids, albeit negatively, nurtures into the child the feelings of abandonment and loss or drug abuse. It is up to that child’s nature {and age and subsequent nurturing and so many other things that make this debate impossible to end} that decides how those incidents influence their life.

Ultimately, what I’m saying is that nurture is constant. And yes, it is subjective too. What is important to me as a parent, may not be as important to you. What we nurture our children is a huge part of who they will become. One family may nurture religion and a knowledge of God into their children, while another may not. One family may nurture the studies of musical instruments, while another nurtures a love of sports. And, to get heavy with it, one family can nurture racist or prejudice sentiments into a child, while an another speaks of acceptance, fairness and kindness. We are constantly nurturing our values and beliefs to the young people in our lives.

I challenge you, as parents, to think about what values you are intentionally nurturing {or depositing} into your child. We can’t 100% control how our kids turn out, but are you raising them according to what matters most to you? Are you deliberately nurturing the characteristics that you want to strengthen in your child? The Hubby and I talked about this last night, and it was really interesting to hear his perspective and where his focus lies for his children.

Alina,
Raising you is so super cool. I love waking up everyday to the challege of raising the best You possible. Every day isn’t always great, but I have high expectations of both us and we are constantly striving for progress.
Love you always, Momma

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