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Nature and Nurture
October 2017, Always Learning discussion:
Sandra Dodd:
Last night I needed a Just Add Light and Stir, and I wanted to go to sleep. I found a newish photo I had taken, and let it move me to write. I came up with something, and then I’ll “pan out” and show you the rest of it:

"What you do shines on, and sometimes through, your children. You affect them, and others can see the effect."

Effects and causes

I liked the shadow this basket was making on the wall and floor of my bathroom. You can see inside the basket which part the light shone on to make the pattern. Every bit of the shadow corresponds to part of the basetweave, and to the angle of the light.

What you do shines on, and sometimes through, your children. You affect them, and others can see the effect.

SandraDodd.com/peace/becoming
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sandra Dodd:
I’m reading Behave, by Robert Sapolsky, about what is natural for humans, biochemically, genetically, evolutionarily and psychologically. :-) I’m listening to it, and and going to the paper copy to mark some good parts. Someday I might make a report, for this group, because I was asking months back for people to help me think about what is instinctive, and this book has lots of answers to that, and interesting studies.

So parents DO affect their children, lots of ways, clearly. And some parents aren’t doing their biological duty, sometimes, and sometimes when they ARE, the kids balk, or their friends criticize them and say not to listen to their instincts.

It’s not so simple and straightforward as any one educational or parenting or political theory would like people to believe. But still, no matter what else the parents believe or deny, the tone and mood they set make a difference, for good or ill.

It’s harder, I think, living in high-tech surroundings. Flush toilets are great, but the house isn’t as likely to break if there’s an outhouse.

And that can be a representative sample of info to think about. :-)

Thanks again for reading here, and though it seems off topic sometimes, it will come back to peace, joy, learning, and parenting as directly and as sweetly as possible. :-)

Sandra


Deb Lewis:

***It’s not so simple and straightforward as any one educational or parenting or political theory would like people to believe. But still, no matter what else the parents believe or deny, the tone and mood they set make a difference, for good or ill.***
The chapter on adolescence especially stuck with me. I found hope in the idea that the slow development of the prefrontal cortex in young people waspossibly a way to not saddle us primarily with our genetics. I wanted to be able to feel slightly less guilt for having passed on faulty genes. If development of the prefrontal cortex is shaped by environment and experience, then what parents do, or don't do, makes a difference. How you talk to, and about your child. How you talk to, and about others. The choices you make to be honest, calm, rational, reliable. All of that matters to the brain development of your child, and how that child will live in the world.
***It’s harder, I think, living in high-tech surroundings. Flush toilets are great, but the house isn’t as likely to break if there’s an outhouse.***
When my son was born we were living in a cabin with no plumbing. When the power went out for other people around us, as it often did in winter, nothing about our lives changed. We still brought our water in from elsewhere, we still had wood heat, we still had an outhouse. We were used to life that way. Our biggest challenge during a heavy snow wasn't the power outages, but moose on the path to the outhouse. They were sometimes not that enthusiastic about stepping out of our shoveled trail, back into the deep snow. I could easily live that way again. If our son was *exactly* like me he might not have hated that life if we had stayed. But, we left when he was a baby, and it turned out that he's not exactly like me.

There are problems when things go wrong, whether your flush toilet breaks, or your outhouse roof gives way under the weight of snow. :) One hardship might be in the expectation that everything will work the way it should, and being caught off guard when it doesn't. Your TV probably will quit working one day. A water pipe might break. Your computer could crash. The more you're aware of how good things are when they are good, the easier it will be to wade through the times when things are less good. If you're aware of how lucky you are, everyday problems by comparison can seem smaller, and more manageable. And being that kind of parent who can cope well in a crisis, is good for your kids, too.

Deb Lewis



"An apple seed will never grow into an oak tree. An acorn will never grow into a tree that bears fruit. Knowing that, the best thing we can do as parents is to do our very best to nurture the seed we have at every stage of growth it sees."

—Karen James, apple tree



"Each tree grows from a single seed, and when a tree is growing in your yard what is the best thing you can do for it? You can nurture it and protect it, but measuring it doesn’t make it grow faster. Pulling it up to see how the roots are doing has never helped a tree a bit. What helps is keeping animals from eating it or scratching its bark, making sure it has water, good soil, shade when it needs it and sun when it needs it, and letting its own growth unfold peacefully. It takes years, and you can’t rush it.

"So it is with children. They need to be protected from physical and emotional harm. They need to have positive regard, food, shade and sun, things to see, hear, smell, taste and touch. They need someone to answer their questions and show them the world, which is as new to them as it was to us. Their growth can’t be rushed, but it can be enriched."

—Sandra Dodd, thought



Gratitude Abundance Light (and the avoidance of dark holes)