Saturday, May 29, 2010

When do I worry?

Does anyone else ever stress about the kind of person your kid(s) will grow into? My kids sometimes do things that worry me, and I wonder if they are doing normal kid stuff or if these traits are something that will eventually be problematic.

My son's father (dirtbag alcoholic who abandoned us pretty much immediately upon learning I was pregnant) has a number of annoying traits about him, a couple of which I see in my son. One is the need to tease, harass, & otherwise make fun of other people well beyond the point that is funny or even nice. Granted, my son is a 4-year-old boy, so I expect some of that is normal. But at what point should I become concerned?

Conveniently (or perhaps inconveniently) enough, I'm a psych major, just about to (finally) graduate (thank GOD). Based on a lot of the research I've been doing over the last couple of years, plus some good ol' observation of my kids, I've come to the conclusion that (in my opinion) nature wins the nature vs. nurture battle (to heck with Watson & his dozen healthy infants...). I firmly believe that there is a lot that is hardwired into the brain, more so than many people realize (not that I'm an expert, I just don't think many non-psych folk ponder it much...).

I think environment plays a big part in how traits manifest themselves, but the traits are already there. My son exhibits mannerisms, gestures, expressions, etc that come from his father. Being that he does not know or spend any time with his father (again, thank GOD), he cannot possibly have learned any of these from his father.

So, that being said, there are traits in there that are just there. Nothing I can do about wiring. Likewise, there's wiring in there from me, my parents, their parents, etc. So who knows how he's actually put together. All I can do is provide what I hope is a positive environment & hope for the best, I suppose. Nonetheless, my hope is to rear a child who grows into a quality man...& not the mean, dirtbag alcoholic* that (1/2) created him.

I'm probably just worried about nothing, but I don't know what the hell I'm doing with this whole parent thing & I get a little freaked out sometimes...

*We'll save the "why on earth were you seeing a mean, dirtbag alcoholic" issue for another time. Suffice it to say, sometimes you realize a lot of things in hindsight...and sometimes you just do dumb shit. Let's leave it at that for now. :)


  1. I mean, honestly, I worry about it all the time. But at the end of the day, I just have to hope for the best! Pray that I did a good job and that he will go out there and make a difference in the world! Good luck!

  2. Mine is 5mo old and I totally see his father's habits in him! Fortunately they aren't the annoying ones. Yet.

    Of course, of my husband's siblings, he is the only one not to have ended up addicted to drugs and alcohol, not in a psych unit, and not in prison. Or living in/trashing his mother's basement. Same genetic background, same childhood environment. So not sure who gets that win in the great debate.

  3. There is always that debate "Nature versus Nurture!" Sounds like you are a very thoughtful
    Mom...and smart too!

    I think that communication is the key to alot of things.When my kids were little, we would just
    sit and talk and I WOULD LISTEN!...still do!

  4. It's weird how different siblings can be from one another! My husband & his brother are very dissimilar.

    We have alcoholism all over the place in our families & we already mentioned the dirtbag alcoholic, yeah, I'm a little worried about that.
    Despite our backgrounds, my husband & I barely drink, so I know it might not matter. I just saw what a waste my son's father made of himself & it would break my heart to see that in my son.

    So many things are more scary when you have least they are for me...perhaps everyone isn't as paranoid as me. loL