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How often do you use your manners?
(polls)

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COBBBBBBB

 

The nature versus nurture debate is about the relative influence of an individual’s innate attributes as opposed to the experiences from the environment one is brought up in, in determining individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. The philosophy that humans acquire all or most of their behavioral traits from “nurture” is known as tabula rasa (“blank slate”).

In recent years, both types of factors have come to be recognized as playing interacting roles in development. So several modern psychologists consider the question naive and representing an outdated state of knowledge. The famous psychologist Donald Hebb is said to have once answered a journalist’s question of “which, nature or nurture, contributes more to personality?” by asking in response, “which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or its width?”.

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Nature

Nurture

What is it? In the “nature vs nurture” debate, nature refers to an individual’s innate qualities (nativism). In the “nature vs nurture” debate, nurture refers to personal experiences (i.e. empiricism or behaviorism).
Example Nature is your genes. The physical and personality traits determined by your genes stay the same irrespective of where you were born and raised. Nurture refers to your childhood, or how you were brought up. Someone could be born with genes to give them a normal height, but be malnourished in childhood, resulting in stunted growth and a failure to develop as expected.
 

Factors

 

Biological and family factors Social and environmental factors

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Setting healthy expectations for children can set them up for success.

Setting healthy expectations for children can set them up for success.

Parental expectations can have a strong effect on kids’ motivation and self- expectations. While healthy and realistic expectations can encourage kids’ success, unrealistically high expectations can set children up for failure. Such unrealistic expectations can also lead to anxiety and discouragement when a child cannot live up to her parents’ goals. Likewise, low expectations can make it difficult for kids to see and achieve their full potential.

Perpetuating Family Patterns

Unrealistic parental expectations often stem from parents’ own upbringings. Mimi Hudson, M.A., R.C.C. of North Shore Family Services, explains that parents often try to compensate for their own unmet childhood needs by setting expectations for their children, based on their own experiences rather than on their child’s needs. For example, parents who were disappointed with their own academic performance might emphasize high academic achievement in their own children. Overall, parents must be aware of their children’s unique needs and strengths, as well as to exercise self-awareness when establishing expectations.

Self-Concept

Parents’ expectations for their children can affect the way that kids perceive their own abilities and potential. For instance, if parents have different expectations for how girls and boys behave, children will often internalize these behavioral expectations. While these parental beliefs can be positive in some cases, they also have the potential to negatively influence a child’s perception of herself, particularly if the parents’ wishes are not congruent with the child’s.

Self-Discipline

Parental expectations are a cornerstone of discipline in kids. When paired with loving, supportive attitudes, setting clear behavioral and academic expectations for children can help them learn manners, social skills, study skills and other tools they will need to succeed in school and in society. However, for expectations to lead to positive behaviors, parental rules and ideas about proper behavior must be age-appropriate and consider the child’s maturity level and skills. If rules are expectations far exceed a child’s abilities, this may create anxiety or insubordinate behaviors. Thus, parents should consider each child’s unique skills and limitations when establishing expectations.

Academic Success

Parental expectations can have a strong, positive effect on children’s academic success. In a study conducted published by the Harvard Family Research project, Professor William H. Jeynes of California State University at Long Beach found that parental expectations affected children’s academic outcomes more than other types of parental involvement, including attendance of school events and clear rules. Thus, establishing healthy academic expectations and communicating these expectations to kids can be an important key to fostering success in school.

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