Why do some children grow up to be doctors, lawyers, designers, or athletes?
Whether children choose a profession because of genes or because of the nurture they get from their parents is still debated about to this day.
Psychologist George W. Holden at Southern Methodist University states his theory that "the way a child turns out can be determined in large part by the day-to-day decisions made by the parents who guide that child's growth." Holden also describes parents as being the "architect" of their children's maturation. Ultimately, parents have the potential to harm or help their children's growth.
Researchers just recently started to study the part that parents play in aiding or harming their child's growth in a specific path of development. Research on this specific topic is difficult because many other factors can come into play.
Holden has stated four vital ways that parents influence their children's development. First is that parents initiate trajectories, meaning they steer their children down a specific pathway. Second, parents endorse their child's progression through "encouragement and praise". This may include providing the access to certain activities, study materials, etc. Third, parents mediate trajectories by assisting their children in staying away from "negative trajectories". Lastly, parents "react to child-initiated trajectories". Besides these factors other possible influences on a child's developing path may be their "family's culture, their income and family resources, and the quality of the parent-child relationship".
It is interesting how much parents can influence their children in a positive or negative way and how they can influence their child's development over time. The article mainly discusses the aspects of nurture on children and it does not really go into detail about nature or genetic factors.
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