EPISODE XXVII - WILL YOU WAIT FOR ME, MOMMY, DADDY?
I sat in another session of the group entitled, "Being A Father," the other day and once again, became overwhelmed by the passion and love demonstrated by these Dads. The animator, Ms. Neerehs made a fascinating scientific description of how the young child, the infant, from day one, becomes aware of the "colors" of his/her environment.
One need only to stop and think about the "copy cat" the little radar staring, glaring, listening, mimicking, and being "affected/nurtured" by the colors and sound around them. The recording never stops, the child's brain is soaking it up, every detail, and every sound becomes the mortar, upon which building blocks of personality are built. There is no button to press to stop the recorder; there is no sponge to erase the slate, once it is written upon!
In my earlier episode, EPISODE XVIII - YOUR IDENTITY AND THE SHADOWS OF THE CAVE, I spoke about coming out into the light and seeing the world for what it is. Young children whose lives have been dramatically altered, "in the caves of disturbing images" of parental conflict, when they do come out into "The Light," immediately, become blinded by this reality. Instead of wonder in their eyes, awed by the colorful reality of life, such children feel victimized by the real world. They seek only to return into the darkness of the caves. Fear, anxiety, loneliness, all the negatives of personality, are seeping in and overwhelming the goodness in their soles. These children now only know the comfort of darkness.
When young adults without much wisdom and care, who are childlike in their reality, procreate other children, it is a formula for disappointment. I don't feel comfortable generalizing, I am sure there are exceptions, but as a society, we cannot chance such care. The "Butterfly Effect," requires that as a collective community, we care for these children, both their naive parents and their offspring.
As a society, we have moved a long way from the early concept of “the child” and its definition, “we are evolving.” It is essential to keep in mind that when we criticize young adults, new parents, we are making judgments on their upbringing and their parents. Included in this historical criticism, must be the collective responsibility we have as a society to the past. When we are involved in wars when we deny primary human care and rights, we collectively pay the price; there is no escape.
Childrearing and childcare is a vast subject, and much is available for those who seek such information, so I will not dwell much more on this subject. As a human race, we must be doing something right, there is more than 7 billion of us in existence. There is what is called “nature and nurture,” two concepts of anthropology/psychology that go in tandem. Usually, researchers identify “nature vs. nurture,” but I don’t think one “versus” the other; one cannot exist without the other.
Personally, I think nature is paramount because it is based on survival and existence. It is instinctive for us to procreate ourselves, make sure we protect our offspring, to preserve our own species. Nurture is part of the “survival skill-set”; we give our children to be able to compete with others in our species. For instance, generally speaking, children of well to do, well-educated parents, will themselves be more successful in the “rat race,” compared to those less fortunate by birth status. But this is not always the case. In many instances, “nature” bestows intelligence upon some young individuals, by which they can overcome many obstacles of family status. In fact, as we evolve over time, I am confident that birthright and family status, will be a thing of the past. “Nature,” along with thoughtful and constructive "nurturing," will bring about more highly evolved human beings.
In 1982, I wrote an article in which I tried to pacify the concerns of people, about the fear that “the machine” will overcome us and eventually dominate us. In that article, I explain that our “nature” is not static. In other words, our biology may be slow at adapting to the knowledge-based technological environment, but it is not hardwired in our genetic makeup. More recent scientific evidence shows that our very genes are affected (programmed) by the most current environment. Such genetic coding changes, and adapts to future situations, over time. I am allowing my scientific training to get the best of me and I am getting somewhat technical, I apologize.
I want to impress on my young parents, that your behavior around children, no matter how young these children may be, impacts them significantly in their development. They cannot wait until you gain the experience to do better; their personalities and who they will turn out to be is shaped from the time of inception. Earlier in my discussion of “nature and nurture,” I noted, that such “molding,” of a child, begins much earlier than inception, and may, in fact, be a "transmission" of psychological traits from the grandparent's life experiences. Just like we claim that a child has obtained such physical characteristics as eye color, height, etc., from their grandparents, recent findings indicate that the psychological/emotional behavior, may also, “in part,” be transmitted. Grandparents who have gone through significant trauma of war and other traumatic experiences may have recorded this in their very genes, transmitting such agony to their children. The "healing" may not be limited to one generation but maybe inter-generational.
As a society, we are duty-bound by our own survival, to make sure we provide whatever resources are necessary, to young parents; courses such as “Being a Father,” are a good start. In the end, we cannot afford that a child asks, “WILL YOU WAIT FOR ME, MOMMY, and DADDY?”