PJ Media

The Nurture Assumption

In her 1998 book,a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0684857073tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″emThe Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do/em,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0684857073″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / author a href=”http://home.att.net/~xchar/tna/”Judith Rich Harris/a discussed how parents played a smaller role than originally thought in how their children turn out. She postulates that genes and peers are the most important influences on kid’s lives and as a psychologist, I have to say that from what I have seen, this can sometimes be true. Have you ever wondered how you can have one kid who is so calm and good-natured and another who is hell on wheels? Well, you’re not alone. br /br /Many of the parents of my young patients spend years wondering what went wrong with the child they loved and nurtured who later turned out to be a vandal, cheat, scoundrel, or worse. They rack their brains trying to find the lack of love or nurturance on their part that led to their little darling ending up in legal trouble. I sometimes have to just say, “You know, it’s not your fault.” I think that if parents would read the emNurture Assumption/em, they might understand more about how heredity and the peers one picks play a heavy role in how the kids turn out and quit blaming themselves so much. It would be time better spent trying to surround a child with peers who are good role models. br /br /Now Ms. Harris has another book that comes out next week, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2path=ASIN/0393059480tag=wwwviolentkicomcamp=1789creative=9325″emNo Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality/em,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0393059480″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / in which she tackles the question, “Why do twins who grow up together have different personalities?” They have the same genes, same parents, so what makes them different? Thea href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/product-description/0393059480/ref=dp_proddesc_0/104-5197000-3067125?%5Fencoding=UTF8n=283155″ book description /aat Amazon sounds fascinating: br /br /blockquoteHer solution is a startlingly original one: the first completely new theory of personality since Freud’s. Based on a principle of evolutionary psychology—the idea that the human mind is a toolbox of special-purpose devices—Harris’s theory explains how attributes we all have in common can make us different. br /br /This is the story of a scientific quest, but it is also the personal story of a courageous and innovative woman who refused to be satisfied with “what everyone knows is true.” /blockquotebr /br /Here is a question and answer session with Ms. Harris at a href=”http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/01/10-questions-for-judith-rich-harris.php”Gene Expression/a. I can’t wait to read her book and find out more.