Friday, March 16, 2012

Nature or Nurture?

I've often pondered the Nature vs Nurture debate - are we a product of our genes or our up-bringing?  Having raised two daughters my conclusion is that it's a bit of both, but overall I'd say that the bulk of who we become comes down to our genes. 

I mean seriously, if it were only a matter of up-bringing, how did a woman like me raise a girl like Rox?  Huh?  I wouldn't begin to know how to raise someone so laid-back, confident and bubbly!  And clearly she got most of Grant's easy-going genes, with a sprinkling of my feisty grand-mother and my loopy mother thrown into the mix too, but it's blindingly obvious that not a lot of my genetic material turned up in Rox at all!

Now Paula on the other hand..... I see a lot of myself in Paula and Grant would be the first to agree.  A couple of nights ago Paula and I had a really serious fight.  It was ugly.  Very ugly.  Shortly afterwards Grant was sitting, staring into the middle-distance, looking for all the world like a returned soldier, who had witnessed too much horror in some war-torn land.  I asked him what was wrong and with his gaze still fixed, as though on something horrendous, he said, "You two are so alike it's frightening" (I got the feeling that this was not meant as a compliment, giggle)

Apart from the arbitary stuff, like the fact that we have the exact same sense of humour, we love to read and like the same books, we are both bunny-huggers of note and hate racism and homophobia;  Paula has inherited much of my personality including the more prickly and let's be honest difficult, sides to it.  She has my stubborn streak (stubborn doesn't even come close to describing it though, what we have is an incredibly concentrated form of stubborness), she shares my determination, except she has bucket-loads more of it, she is even more argumentative than I am and she can be just as scathing (Paula and I know how to do scathing really well!) and we are both very decisive and single-minded.  Most of these character traits are not as negative as they may seem, provided they are channeled in the right direction (personally I think this girl would make a cracker of a lawyer!) 

Unfortunately Paula has also inherited the rogue negative streak that I have going and that's the thing that has us clashing a bit lately.  Negativity on it's own is controllable - negativity combined with fierce determination and donkey-like stubborness, now that's a whole different beast altogether!  I am determined to equip Paula with the means to kick negativity in the BUTT, because if I had to single out a single thing that has held me back from reaching my full potential it's that self-same negativity that I see reflected in Paulz.  So I have declared war on Paula's negativity, which is causing something of a war between Paula and me at the moment and poor Grant is the innocent victim caught in the cross-fire, so when you see him stumbling around looking rather shell-shocked, take pity on the poor dude okay!


Lynette said...

Your post is precious...and made me giggle. I had a post on nature vs nurture on my private blog shortly after my daughter ran away from home. I was convinced that all the nurturing we did after we adopted her at age 14 months was killed by her nature (which is very similar to her birth mother's nature). Thank God, eventually love won out.

Angel said...

I had the perfect opportunity to see this in action when my knucklehead met his father for the first time when he was 19!
They are so very alike its incredible!

Kirsty said...

Eish....I see a lot of myself in my daughter too....and she's only 5! I am dreading the teen years cos I can see that we are going to lock heads :(
Sterkte - and hope u having fun on holiday x