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Wednesday
Dec152010

Nature? Nurture? Neither? More? 

After writing my last post, I had a lot of interesting side discussions about the old nature versus nurture debate. Some of those discussions happened in the comments on my last post. Some of them happened on twitter. Some of them happened in person. While I think I have made it fairly clear that I do not believe that everything about a child is a product of good or bad parenting, people have been wondering where I do stand on this issue. After all, if I don't think that parenting is important, why would I write about it? If I don't think that parenting choices are important, why would I write in support of certain parenting practices or speak out against others?

Where did I come from?

I don't believe that any one factor is paramount in determining how our lives will turn out. I think that the person I am, the person you are, the people our children will be, is determined by many different things. I think, however, that those things can be broadly put into three categories.

Genes - Environment - Individual Choices


It is important to recognize that depending on what each of these circles contains, they may or may not be equally shaped. Someone with significant privilege stemming from their genes and environment, for example, may have much more opportunity to influence their life through individual choice than a non-white, disabled person growing up in an environment characterized by poverty, violence and abuse. The contents of the circle, as such, influence its size relative to the other two circles.

Genes

When I talk about the influence of our genes on who we are, I mean the things that we are born with that we have no influence over. This can include:

  • Physical abilities/disabilities

  • Mental abilities/disabilities

  • Gender

  • Sexual orientation

  • Race

  • Physical attributes

  • Some elements of personality

The extent to which these things influence our lives, positively or negatively, does depend to some extent on our environment and our personal choices, which is why the circles are overlapping.  However, the genetic material that we are born with can and does create both barriers and opportunities.

Environment

The second circle refers to the environment that surrounds you. It can be supportive or it can present hardships. The environment includes factors such as:

  • Peers

  • Socioeconomic factors

  • -isms

  • Media

  • Religion and culture

  • Environmental factors (e.g. exposure to chemicals, smog, pollution)

  • Access to necessities, such as food and water, health care, housing, and so on

  • Events or circumstances (e.g. accidents, incidents, natural disasters, wars)

  • Home life

These are not listed in order of importance, however I did place peers at the top and home life at the bottom for a reason. I did so based on reading and research that I have done that indicates the extent to which each of them influences who we will become. Some authors put a positive spin on that (society or "peers"  can undo any harm done in the home) and others put a negative spin on it (that peer orientation is a threat and we need to combat it by fostering a stronger attachment to our children).  Whether they look at it positively or negatively, those who have done research on this topic (versus just spouting opinions like "your kids are your fault"), do point out that peers do have a stronger influence than parents.

Individual choices

The individual choices we all make can influence the direction our lives take. Whether we take advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges has a lot to do with the choices that we make. The factors included in individual choice include:

  • Education (formal and informal)

  • Exercise

  • Nutrition

  • Outlook on life (half full, half empty)

  • Relationships

  • ....and more (there are many more factors here and I couldn't begin to list them all)

Our genes and our environment may limit the choices that are available to us or may make it easier or more difficult to make certain choices. They may also impact our ability to decipher between good choices and bad choices or our interest in making good choices and avoiding bad choices.

Where does parenting fit in?

There are parents and authors who seem to feel that their influence on their child is paramount. Personally, I think that point of view puts too much pressure on parents and also devalues the child as an individual.  When I look at these three circles, I see a place for parenting to influence them. However, I also recognize that parenting plays only a limited role compared to all of the other factors that will impact who an individual becomes.

So where do parents fit in?

  • Genes: This one is fairly obvious. Children get their genes from their biological parents. While parents obviously influence this, they do so indirectly through their choice of a partner and decision to procreate, rather than influencing it directly through their parenting choices. That said, it is still a lottery. You do not know which elements of your vast gene pool will get passed down.

  • Environment: Parents do have some influence over environment and parents with privilege have more influence over environment than others.  For example, some parents can choose to live in a country or neighbourhood that will provide their children with many environmental advantages, but others may not be able to do so. That is where environment starts to overlap with individual choice.  Parents certainly choose the home life that they provide for their children. However, there may also be factors there that are not entirely under their control (e.g. abusive spouse, disintegrating marriage, the parent's own abilities).
  • Individual choice: When children are small, parents make most of the choices for them. As they grow up, they will make fewer choices for them. So while the parent may determine exactly what goes into the mouth of a 3 month old baby, they will not be able to exert the same level of influence or control over a teenager (or even a toddler). I think that is a good thing. As humans grow up, they are given more and more opportunity to make their own choices and they are able to learn how to make good choices along the way. If parents make too many of choices for their children, they will not learn to make good decisions themselves.

I see parents in the role of a facilitator across all three of these areas. Parents can help their children to deal with the genetic cards they have been dealt, they can help their children to navigate the environment that they live in, and they can help guide their children to make good decisions. But, they also need to realize that they are only one of the facilitators in their child's life. Others will be facilitating too, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively.

My perspective

I am not parenting with the aim of achieving a specific set of results. My goals do not focus on having a child who behaves, excels in school and sports, is popular and talented. My goals focus on having a close relationship with my children and providing a supportive and healthy environment for them to grow up.  If that contributes to their success in life, then great. If it doesn't, I'm okay with that too because the relationship is my goal.

I think that making their future success my parenting goal is not only unrealistic, but also stupid.  For better and for worse, there are many other things that will influence who they become and tying my own sense of self-worth to their success wouldn't be much smarter than depending on a lottery win to meet my financial goals.

Parenting is important to me. Parenting choices are important to me. But I am realistic about how much influence I have, which I think gives my children room to develop on their own and also keeps me from beating myself up over my parenting mistakes or my children's faults.

In my next post, I talk about some of the books that have influenced my thoughts on this topic and introduce you to the research and opinions of some of the authors who have influenced me as a parent and as a parenting writer.

« Ready for Christmas? | Main | The Bible of Parent Blame: "Your Kids Are Your Own Fault" by Larry Winget »

Reader Comments (33)

I remember reading somewhere that children have value in and of themselves, as children. Their potential as contributing members of society is not the sum of their worth. This really resonated with me. You do things with and for your children not only because it is good for them in the long run, but also because it is good for them right here and now.
I liked this one, Annie.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Keenan

Absolutely. There are so many factors that make up who we become, putting it all on our parents is like blaming a flat tire on your mechanic while ignoring the potholes and your own driving.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSummer

"If that contributes to their success in life, then great. If it doesn’t, I’m okay with that too because the relationship is my goal."

That really does help put things into perspective - Thank you! I don't think I've ever parented with their future success as a big goal... but, I do feel a lot of pressure to somehow prove myself to others who are constantly questioning and openly defying my parenting choices. But what you said really helps to take the pressure off.

Either way, to be honest, I really believe that parents always get blamed for something regardless of our parenting style. At least if we maintain a relationship, my kids will (hopefully) be able to openly discuss with me just how I screwed things up ;)

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNadia

I think you've summed it up well. But what's most interesting to me (and most scary as a parent) is the impact of peers. I've seen it over and over again with siblings (raised in the same home, by the same parents, in consistent circumstances) where one sibling is "successful", stays out of trouble etc and one sibling who starts skipping school, abusing drugs/alcohol etc. It almost always can be attributed to the difference in their friends.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkrin

I thank you for acknowledging each of my children as individuals.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTrexxd

When I look at my siblings and me I see many differences, but I also see some things we all have in common, such as:
*very high self-confidence
*ability to form and maintain healthy friendships and romantic relationships
*positive outlook on life
*desire to contribute to society (albeit in very different ways)
I do think we got those things from the way our parents raised us. And I hope to raise children who have those qualities too.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChanna

"...tying my own sense of self-worth to their success wouldn’t be much smarter ..."

This is what resonates with me. I am an autonomous individual and my child(red) will be as well. My self-worth is no more tied to the successes or failures of my child then there's is to mine. For instance, no body would say that a successful (whatever that means) person who had parents universally what is considered bad (abusive, neglectful, etc) somehow makes those parents good thru his/her own successes.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

I agree that our kids are their own people, and they'll make their own decisions and choose their own paths. But I do think that parenting is more than just having a good relationship. I see our job as teaching them some fundamental lessons and a value structure. Making a framework for them to take the best possible path to get to wherever they choose to go.

I also don't see parents and peers as necessarily competing for influence. Your parents teach you the things your peers never can. And more importantly - we get to teach BEFORE the peers. When I'm with my friends I might act the way they act. But when I go to a job interview or a business lunch, or if I ever have dinner with, say, the Queen, I'll act the way my parents taught me. Because ultimately the lessons from my parents are the ones I learned first, so (for better or worse) they're my default blueprint of behaviour. Sometimes I choose to do things differently, but in those moments when I'm not thinking, or in new situations, I start out with that blueprint and go from there.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

Krista:

I agree that parents teach you things that your peers don't. For example, research has shown that things like politics, musical interest (in playing instrument), religion and so on are things that people generally get from their parents and not from their peers. This is because those are things they generally wouldn't talk to their peers about and that their peers wouldn't really be interested in.

However, when it comes to things like job interviews, business lunches, and so on, I would say that I got my cues on how to act in those situations from my mentors, peers and teachers. I never got to observe my parents in a job interview situation and rarely in a business lunch, however I did learn by observing as I was put into those situations in my studies and early in my career.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Excellent points.
A little over a year ago I met a younger half-sister I never knew I had. It's been fascinating to see how similar we are.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSally

Why aren't you taking responsibility for the genes you passed on? ;o)

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRashel

I've never understood parents with goals focused upon having a child who excels in school or sports or business, or who is popular and talented. Your goal to have a close relationship providing a supportive, healthy environment makes sense. My goal, is to do my best to create an environment in which my child can learn to be happy more often than not, and hopefully healthy (as I see that connected). If winning a race or becoming a doctor makes her happy, fine, but she's the one who'll need to figure that out... given the freedom by her parents to do so. Good blog.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterA Daddy Blog

Isn't it something that we need to remind ourselves of the LACK of control we have over our children? Why do I still feel as though a mistake by my son equals a mistake of my mothering? In my head, I know that's ridiculous, but in my vulnerable, trembling heart.....sigh.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Drury

I agree with you and disagree with you at the same time based on what I have read and seen- you are absolutely right in your choice to focus on your relationship with your children instead of focusing on certain results (behavior, good grades, etc). But I think that has far more impact on how a child grows up than you imply. I do think that parents play a huge role in how children turn out in very meaningful areas like confidence, morality, ability to make and maintain meaningful connections with other people later in life, etc. I don't think that little things that parents do make a huge difference (is that what you're saying?). But choosing to have a close relationship with your children will strongly affect how your children turn out, as it would if you chose to raise them in an authoritarian manner.

But I get what you're getting at. Parents shouldn't obsess over every little aspect of their parenting or think that if they don't buy the right kind of toy or sign them up for the right program they're screwing up their whole life. I agree with that 100%. One (one other than me) could argue that blogs like yours and mine simply contribute to the guilt problem. I, of course, disagree, because I like information and it doesn't tend to make me feel guilty.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandis

"I think that making their future success my parenting goal is not only unrealistic, but also stupid. "

Indeed. As our children's ideas of success may vary vastly from our own idea of success.

Because, truly, what IS success? Owning a business that operates in the black? And is it a business the size of Zappos.com or a business the size of Joe's Shoes on Main Street in Anytown? Is success getting good grades so you can get into college or perhaps ignoring your grades in favor of focusing on your artistic talent such that you are accepted as an intern with a famous sculptor who teaches you his trade & doesn't care one whit how you did in High School Algebra?

My goal as a parent is to encourage independent thought in my children, such that when they leave our short time living with us, I know they'll be ready to take on life on their own.

I allow them the opportunities to safely explore their environment, to choose the things which interest them & give them the ability to persue those things as much as they would like. I try to teach what I'd like to see mostly through the example of my own behavior, though I don't expect mirror images... more like charcoal sketches. And I'd like to take credit for my genes, where we are/what we do, and the choices we make for my children as a mother, but I don't fool myself into believing I'm that all-important either. Why? Because I myself had a less-than-stellar upbringing, and I turned out pretty-darned-well-if-I-may-say-so. I have to take some personal credit for that.

I believe my children will make of their lives what they need and want to... I'm just providing a the best basis I can.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelly @kellynaturally

LOVE your points. I agree with you. I think our jobs as parents is to facilitate our children growing up and discovering who they are. It is not our job to mold them, shape them or train them.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah C

I think that I have a similar perspective.

I actually find it very freeing to think that it's not 'all on me' as a parent. Of course, I strive to do the best I can with what I have. I try to give my children tools to help them in life. But I realize that, as a parent, I can only go so far.

I choose to parent the way I do partly because I want to foster a good relationship with my children. But also because I want to create a pleasant home life for everyone, including myself. I have found that by following my instincts and learning what I can about child development, I can make things easier on myself, and smooth my days as much as possible. I guess you could say I'm trying to work WITH my children, instead of AGAINST them, as much as possible.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

The only way in which I disagree with this post at all is I that I think it's even more complex than you've (very neatly) laid out. That is, not only are there genes and environment and individual will (or choices), but that each of these things are in part created by the other. Not only do our genes affect our environment and our choices, but our choices and environment affect our genetics and the way genes are expressed. Repeat that commingling of cause and effect around the trinity, and we see why saying "it's nature!" or "it's nurture!" are equally ridiculous.

And blaming parents exclusively is beyond ridiculous, it is obscene and offensive and morally reprehensible. But that belongs on another post -- and I am choosing to avoid exposing my hypertension-prone genetics to that environment.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArwyn

Yes, independent thought is a great goal and one that I think is critical to having a good relationship with your children, but that can also challenge that relationship every step of the way.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Real life is never neat. ;)

My intent with the overlapping circles was to show that three areas do overlap and influence each other. So yes, I agree. :)

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Oh its a sure double-edged sword isn't it? It's the biggest challenge of parenting.

Saying to my children: No one can tell you what to do; you own you. (because that's what I want them to believe; because it's true) Then having them say to me: You can't tell me what to do; you don't own me. (because they believe me; because it's true.)

Then calmly being able to accept what I've created in the present, because I see the benefit of it in the future.

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelly @kellynaturally

Very interesting. This reminds me of Thomas Friedman's article in the NYtimes about "toxic children" who are born to good parents and all of the controversy it created. http://ow.ly/3qFZN and his follow up interview. http://ow.ly/3qG18 Did you catch these?

I also read something (but can't find it) but it was something about how good children create good parents. The argument being that a good child will cause a parent to believe that they are good parents when in fact, the child just exhibits traits valued in a society.

Obviously, the notion that children come into the world as malleable blank slates has been debunked. And as you noted, there are many factors which influence children. There was even a (slightly) contradictory study out recently that stated that siblings are different BECAUSE they are from the same family.
http://ow.ly/3qG9x

Compare that with identical twin studies which show that when raised separately, identical twins tended to be the same!

Anyways, where am I going with all of this? The likely truth is that children whose parents are healthy, wealthy and wise will have healthier, wealthier and wiser children. This is not because of the parenting skills used during their upbringing, but because they share genes. The current research from behavioral genetics suggests the home environment as it is influenced by parents accounts for ~10% of the variance in the wellness outcomes of children! Heredity accounts for about 50% and the child's peer group accounts for the remainder (40-50%).

Of course, the real beauty of science is that it can always change... :) Interesting topic and great article. Hope I am making sense...am a bit sleep deprived here!

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYelli

I am the sibling of a drug addict. By society's standards, I come from a 'good' family. There was a lot of permissiveness in the way we were raised. A lot of love and supervision, too. And quite a bit of pressure to succeed. Now both my sibling and I are 'successful' (again, by society's standards) profesionnally and socially (me, more consistently than my sibling, as can be imagined). But I am mostly functional and my sibling is not.

Through my siblling's attempts at recovery I have met many addicts and their families. All these recovering addicts had problems with their parents, without exception (though some more than others). All were suffering immensely. The parents represented all parenting styles from authoritarian to permissive, from overinvolved to neglectful, and everything in between. Oh, and all degrees of privileges were represented as well.

My parents did many things wrong. But so do you, and so do I as a parent. They also did many great things. And so do you, and so do I.
My point here is not to say that parenting doesn't count or that all parenting styles are equal.
My point is that it is presumptuous to believe we can protect our children. (Or that it's thanks to us if they turn out ok.)

Thanks, PhD, for the great post.

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter'Away from your crazy mom'

I fully agree with you and I like your Venn diagram, the overlapping circles in Venn diagrams show where things overlap.

As a parent of identical twins, who has done a fair bit of research, I have to agree with the PP who said that twins raised apart tend to be the same. No two people are the same. Here is a comment I posted on UrbanMoms, Mom's The Word, http://www.urbanmoms.ca/moms_the_word/2010/11/it-gets-better-canada-modeling-tolerance-to-our-kids.html, in response to a discussion about It Gets Better Canada, and commentors who thought homosexualilty is a lifestyle choice. Although much of the comment applies the science to that topic, I think that you can see that it is a combination (like the circles above).

Well I'm here to weigh in on the twin argument. Monozygotic (MZ-identical) twins share the same nuclear DNA. However, their mitochondrial DNA is heavily influenced by the environment which is different for the twins, even in the womb (similar but not identical environment). Mitochondrial DNA is only identical at the moment that little zygote splits. I really have no idea if this is relevant to homosexuality but it does demonstrate that MZ twins are not, in fact, identical (thus the preferred term, monozygotic).

MZ twins have the same genotype, but not the same phenotype.
Phenotype = genotype + environment + random expression.

I have done a little research tonight and from what I can gather (I'm not a geneticist by any means) is that, as Karen (a fellow twin mom), has said, homosexuality within identical twins runs about 50% depending on which study you look at. That means that if one twin is gay, the other is 50% of the time. If it were entirely genetic, then it would be 100%, but not all of our traits are entirely genetic, environment almost always plays a role.

Interestingly, in fraternal twins (Dizygotic, DZ), they were both gay 22% of the time. There is a much stronger correlation for MZ.

So, like many, many traits in humans, it would appear that genes & the environment play a role. The environment does not merely mean how we are raised. It includes many factors that influence how the brain is hardwired early on: Nutrients received inutero (not often equal in MZ twins), other factors inutero such as exposure to hormones, position in the womb, etc. The twins would have different birth experience (sometimes even one vaginal one C-section), and be exposed to different (and similar) environmental factors for the rest of their lives, think appetite, viruses, toxins, illnesses, accidents, etc. There is also random gene expression to account for, random, not identical.

I write more about the science of twinning here:

http://www.urbanmoms.ca/multiple_musings/2010/10/twinendipity.html

December 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Here is a link to a review of a book about studies on twins. It has an interesting summary.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/02/08/reviews/980208.08angiert.html

December 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Super blog, PhD. And this is a great post.

December 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertherapydoc

A great post--and I think what a lot of the "new" commentors were missing in the other post is that you explicitly said you *do* take responsibility for your parenting...just not full responsibility for the adults your children ultimately become.

I haven't read the books you referenced in the more recent post...so these ideas may be covered.

However, I think that the role of parents in how children eventually "turn out" is downplayed too much here, perhaps as a corrective measure to it being over-emphasized in other literature.

Genetics no doubt plays a part, as do environment and privilege...all three of which are intertwined, of course.

At the same time, there is a lot a parent can do to accentuate the positive and mitigate the negative.

And, although peer groups do have a lot of influence over children, across many eras and cultures, I think it is important to consider that:

1. We have allowed those peer groups to have become more important in our current culture--and parents can make decisions to minimize that.

2. Although you cannot choose your child's friends for him, and in fact that would backfire horribly, your early parenting can influence who your child chooses as peers.

3. Although well-raised kids may still engage in "risky" behaviors as pre-teens or teenagers due to their peer group, I suspect the ones who survive the teenage rebellion (something which may hinge to some extent on parental response) will often return as adults to the values their parents taught them in early childhood. Just like breastfed babies may still go through a picky eater stage but they are more likely to have more well-rounded palettes in the long run than their non-breastfed peers.

4. Based on genetic factors, most likely, some kids are more "immune" and others are more "susceptible" to good and bad parenting. For some of our kids, parenting matters very much. For others, it matters less. There is a study that backs up this idea and it is something I have seen played out with my students and with my own children.

None of this means I agree with the culture of mother-shaming parent-blame. There are a whole host of factors either beyond a parent's control or effectively beyond a parent's control that go into influencing a child.

I often tell my husband that I am scared about my children going through a teenage phase like the one I did--because I don't think my parents did anything *wrong*, I have no idea how I could do any *better*. Still, in the end, the adult I became is largely due to the work my parents put in at the beginning...even though I'd hesitate to put any "fault" for how I acted as a teenager at their door.

And I also believe that I parent the way I parent because it is what is right for my family--not because I expect to produce specific results.

Hey. I ran into this npr article about how parenting affects the choices of teens. Basically in terms of alcohol use, parent's can't prevent a child from trying alcohol, but they way they parent affects if it is abused and used to hurt oneself. http://www.npr.org/2010/12/27/132288846/parenting-style-plays-key-role-in-teen-drinking&sc=fb&cc=fp

I thought of this post so I came to share it.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTopHat

I think as parents we have a unique opportunity to help our children develop valuable tools for dealing with life. We can help them develop their confidence, learn conflict resolution, show them the beauty of kindness, give them affection, give them a safe place where they can receive unconditional love, help them learn how to care for their bodies, their minds, and their spirits. We cannot force them to accept any of what we present to them, but I think we have it in our power to give them a healthy base from which they can branch out into the world. If we choose to abuse or neglect our children, that will have a deep impact on them as well. Of course, whether they have a strong base or a weak one, it is their individual choice that matters most. And others in their life will certainly influence them, perhaps a great deal. Peers versus parents? I definitely believe that where good parenting is lacking, children will definitely go to their peers, and I believe that the older a child gets, the more they are naturally influenced by their peers. I believe in really developing your relationship with your child when they are little, and then keeping it strong, so they can come to you when they want guidance later. Or just a pair of loving arms to encircle them. I think you are right about focusing on the relationship. No matter what happens in your child's life, whether they are highly successful (which has a subjective definition, anyhow), or they end up in a miserable life, the thing they will need most from a parent is their unconditional love and acceptance of them. However, I would not underestimate our unique position of influence over them, and the opportunity we have to give them some great life tools.

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C

[...] Ah, yes.  Evil as a horrible, unexplainable thing that we can express shock and outrage and horror at versus evil as something that is scientifically explainable and at the nexus of nature versus nurture. [...]

I suppose you could say that about parents who are, mostly, nurturing, attentive, loving, etc., but in the case of abuse, neglect and parents who create a toxic environment, the neurological, physically measurable changes in brain chemistry that occur because of that toxicity overwhelmingly influence that child's future. Sure, with therapy and interventions the child can overcome a lot, but that is only IF the interventions occur. There is no guarantee that anyone/any agency will intervene and once they reach adulthood, it is a huge gamble whether or not that child will have the self-awareness, knowledge, education, resources to seek out help on their own. Assuming everything falls into place in such a way that there is an intervention when this person is a child, or they are able to get help as an adult, they will still have an uphill battle for years to overcome the many terrible effects of abuse and neglect. Sadly, their ability to relate to people, including any children they may have, will be a struggle for the rest of their lives. Complex PTSD is a terrible thing that we are only really starting to understand.

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchristina

[...] fault. The responsibility for the intelligence, health, and behaviour of children isn’t understood within a complex sphere of different influencing factors (as it should be). Instead, it is viewed through a lens of what the mother did or didn’t [...]

There are times when I need to remind myself why I became a parent. It wasn't to raise the next president, but to have joy in creating a loving family. As my oldest daughter gets ready to attend her first school, I constantly hear about all the pros and cons of each school and their level of success and values as a school system. I often hear parents speak about their children in the same way: the pros and cons of behavior issues and how their scholastic skills compare to others of the same age. Would you change your child?

https://parentarizona.com/tips-for-successful-foster-parenting/

November 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTina

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