For my first Assignment in Child Psychology this semester the Professor asked us the following:
Describe the major traits you share with each of your siblings. What major traits are very different for you and your siblings? Which ones do you believe are biologically based, and which ones do you think are the result of your environment? How do you explain the differences, given you have the same parents and grew up in the same family?
Once I started typing, it flowed and I knew it would become a blog post... I'm so blessed to be surrounded by a family that is Amazing.
I have one brother who is 3 years younger than me. We are very similar in appearance, people who knew him would recognize me as Charlie’s sister on the street. It has taken me aback more than once. We share the same facial features and shape though mine are more feminine and his are more masculine. Obviously, these physical similarities would be biologically based.
Though we were similar in looks and close as siblings go, we both excelled in different areas. I am an avid reader, fascinated by the written word and devoured books as if I was starving. My brother was extremely agile and had a superior athletic ability. Anything he picked up, he could do. Once when we went ice skating I fell for about 10 minutes straight, he took off like he’d been doing it for years. He is also an excellent artist, which runs in our family.
These differences are a mix of nature and nurture. We were very close to my mother’s side of the family and when we all got together, you could clearly see the love of music, reading, art, athletics weaved throughout our family… Charlie and I seemed to gravitate to our own specialties, if you will. I was always green with envy by his natural ability to do anything, but perhaps he was envious of my talkability and love of books and music.
I would frequently wonder what “ability” I got from my family. My brother seemed to get them all. My grandmother is an amazing woman… she paints, draws, cooks, plays guitar and piano, crochets, knits and in general is one of the most inspirational women I have been blessed to have in my life.
My mother also has “mad skills,” in which she paints, cooks, draws, plays instruments, sings beautifully and shares my love of reading… or perhaps gave me my love of reading.
I grew up surrounded by a talented family, one in which the world was a blank canvas with endless possibilities.
When it comes to the nature vs. nurture debate, I believe you cannot truly have one without the other. We may be inborn with certain qualities but unless it is nurtured, how could we ever reach our true potential?