16 Jan Nature vs Nurture – is it luck?
Estimated reading time 4.2 mins including watching a short video
Ariel is doing really well and meeting most milestones in the range of a typical child. I often get congratulated and praised for my parenting but a while ago someone said to me that Ariels development was a matter of luck. Now, I would like to think it was more to do with my parenting as I have put a lot of thought and work into it, but of course sometimes I wonder if my choices are the right ones and am I doing the best I can blah blah blah
“Nature versus nurture” is a psychology term related to whether heredity or the environment most impacts human psychological development (behavior, habits, intelligence, personality, sexuality, aggressive tendencies, and so on).
Nature is that which is inherited / genetic.
Nurture which refers to all environmental influences after conception, i.e. experience.
So we know the nature of Ariel is that she has Down Syndrome. She has mental and physical disabilities. Her development will be delayed and her IQ low.
I am going to great lengths to nurture Ariel. I have a carefully planned out diet and have continued to breastfeed. I started early intervention straight away and have an Occupational Therapist come to our house once per fortnight. I work at nights so that I can spend the time with her during the day and we can form a good bond. I have read books on Down Syndrome and joined Facebook groups to talk and learn from other great mums who have walked this path before. We go to Mothers group every Friday and we go to the pool once a week. I read to Ariel and play with her every day. We also go for a walk in the pram at least once per day, sometimes twice. I massage her and try and teach her as much as I can through song and baby sign. I love my role as her mother and I am doing as much as I can to ensure she has the proper care. It has been proven with the right education and proper care that quality of life can be improved drastically. I hear people say that I should just treat her like a normal person but to be honest I don’t really think such a broad statement can sum up what is required to bring up someone with a disability. I have a “normal’ baby with Down Syndrome and I need to treat her accordingly. A certain type of nurturing suited to her will be required.
But the flip side of the coin is environmental influences after conception. I was so healthy during my pregnancy. I ate extremely healthy and did not drink alcohol at all. I went for walks and rested when needed. Down Syndrome is not caused by any environmental factors, it is genetic. That is our luck and having Ariel has definitely been good luck for us!
Here is a link to a video of Ariel starting to crawl at 11 months. She has been up on all fours rocking for months. Her legs were spreading like froggy legs so I got tennis wrist sweat bands and Joe sewed them together. We placed them around her thighs to strengthen up her hips. That was a week ago.