Welcome to the second BlogFlash event! The first (#BlogFlash2012) was so well received that we decided to run it twice yearly. It’s a great opportunity to get creative, meet other bloggers and get a new audience. Whether you join us for the full month or just a few days, the main aim is to have fun and be inspired. Anything else is a bonus. Worried about word count? Don’t be! It’s a guideline so the month doesn’t feel overwhelming but if you feel inspired to write more, feel free. Good luck!

#BlogFlash2013: Day Seven – Nature

#BlogFlash2013 (March): Day 7 - NatureAs we learn about the human genome, it’s becoming increasingly clear that genetic predisposition-or nature-plays a central role in influencing human behavior. This is great news for parents. First, as disorders are identified and therapies made available, parents will have more tools to help their children overcome problems that might have held them back in the past. It may also-I hope-alleviate guilt.

Empirical theories popularized in the twentieth century set all the blame for a child’s behavior squarely on the shoulders of parents. Today, scientists know that all human behavior, including aggression, has heritable components. Neither nature nor nurture alone determines behavior. While parenting can affect outcomes, largely by shaping genetically predisposed traits, parents are not solely responsible.

Recognizing that even the best parents will be challenged by a child who is genetically predisposed toward aggression might encourage compassion-not only in society but within the parental unit. No, this doesn’t mean we can abdicate our parental responsibilities. We can, however, be a kinder toward ourselves. We can recognize that no matter how hard we try or how much we give to our children, they may stumble and fall. It’s natural! We can recognize that every failure of our child is not a failure of ours.

And once we forgive our own shortcomings, maybe we’ll extend that generosity to the parent next door.

Next prompt: Chocolate (12th March)

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