Child Development – Nature Vs. Nurture


Originally posted on November 4, 2011

As parents, we are concerned about our child’s interests, abilities and well-being; from the moment our children are born we wonder how they will ultimately develop. Will they be creative, have adequate social skills, and problem solving abilities? What types of character traits have they inherited?…but mainly, we might wonder how they will develop, educationally. Will their reading comprehension be sufficient? How about mathematical skills (geometry, and calculous)?

There is one thing that we may or may not have considered:

We as parents are the key to our child’s developmental energy and their intellectual development. Even if our children have learning disabilities, it is up to us as parents to cultivate and nourish that development to its fullest potential.

How can we cultivate our child’s learning ability?

One way is to be very active in their education, as there is a direct link between our involvement, and our child’s development.  Research has shown that by the age of two, a good portion of our children’s intellectual foundation has already been established to support a life time of learning.

I stated in my book, “What I want my Child to Know…” that I began reading to my son at birth, and by the time he became two-years old, he could recite his books from memory (without knowing how to fully read them yet).

Did you know that there is no learning program which concentrates on any one single aspect of development, that has proved to have lasting benefits?

It is true. A child’s intellect is actually developed through his or her experiences over time, and it starts when they are very young.

While working at a child development center when my child was just four years old, I learned that children learn through their play, which is the reason that so many of our children’s toys are geared toward learning and development.

Nurturing a child will have a huge effect on their intelligence. We have all heard the widely publicized and critically acclaimed debate regarding Nature Vs. Nurture.  In my opinion, both play a significant role in child development. Biology remains a factor in child development; however, nurturing our children is equally as important; as their intelligence is either developed and shaped negatively or positively, based on their everyday experiences, associated with those around them, to include objects (T.V., radio, internet etc).

It is up the responsible parent to monitor, curtail and or adjust the foundation our child is will develop.  To put it simply, Nature is a given (something we can’t readily control), but exposing our kids to “good things” (nurturing) will yield “good” results, this we can control.

~ D. Linn Whorley

I would love to know your thoughts.

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