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    Nature and nurture are equally responsible for child behavior, but the brain is pre-wired. Will my child's innate behavior be a cause for conflict? How can I control that?

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle


    Dear Parent,

    It does seem like so much is determined by our genes! Today, science informs us that it’s not either-or,  but it is the interaction of nature and nurture that influences behavior and development. Yes, children are born with a certain personality – they may be born an introvert or an extrovert, they may be born more sensitive, be more into music and art, or sports, or academics.

    The child may be born with certain genes and a certain brain. But, the child’s brain is still developing after birth and it reaches a maximum size by the time the child is around age five. So, it is the experiences of the child that shape the brain after birth. After all, it is the brain that controls one’s emotions, behavior, learning, thoughts, and attitude.

    Research today shows that the brain is neuro-plastic – that means it continues to adapt and be shaped based on one’s experiences, all through one’s life. So, if the child is born with a certain trait – like being more sensitive, then with the right kind of environment and experiences, he can build neural pathways that will help him overcome or bypass his inborn trait. Similarly, if the child does not receive the right kind of stimulation, parts of the brain begin to die. For example, if a child is born deaf, even if he is given a hearing aid later in life, he will have difficulty with speech, as the part of the brain responsible for hearing has been taken over for some other use, such as visual processing.

    Research also shows that when a child does not have a secure attachment with anyone, then the brain is affected. So, as a parent, ensure that you provide a secure environment for your child to thrive and grow. You can definitely make a difference!

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