Psychology 2

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A Perfect Match " We're not ever going to believe it, but we're going to have to act as if we do," are the words of David Reiss. This M.D. is referring to what recent studies on child development have revealed. The shocking conclusion is that parents appear to have little effect on how their children turn out. Genetic influences are largely responsible and even predict things such as how well a kid will do in school, get along with friends, and whether a kid will become involved in dangerous activities. Although sometimes hard to believe, genes have a great impact on our personalities and how a child turns out.

Behavioral geneticists believe that heredity reveals itself through complex interactions with the environment. How a person acts, due to their inherited make-up, tends to affect how others will treat or respond to them. If parents are aware of this, then they should try and act to benefit the child and have the child's best interest at heart.

Next, there is the concept of "goodness of fit". That phrase refers to the convenient fact that traits are passed on from parents to their children (the child is likely to share qualities or abilities with their parents) and can be brought out by providing the necessary environment. Unfortunately problems arise when the child's tendencies clash with that of the parents or do not live up to the parent's expectations. Also, if the child is not provided with an environment that promotes their inborn traits, then there is a poor person-to-environment match. This could lead to many roadblocks later in life.

Moving on, siblings share a remarkable fifty percent of their genes. Still their genotypes lead them to ask different questions and receive different answers even from the same environment. Parents of more than one child treat their children differently. Siblings each require a unique response due to differences already present between them. As Robert Plomin states, " It's the experiences that siblings don't share that matter, not the ones they do." As far as raising kids, it's how a parent reacts to a child's inborn characteristics that counts. If the child's genotype is matched to a corresponding environment, then the parent has succeeded. The child already has everything but it's the parents' job to bring it out. Parents should give a child many opportunities to work with, see what the child prefers, and build on that.

In conclusion, by matching the right environment to genetic tendencies, there can prove to be much potential. Obviously this idea has stirred up much controversy, and as far as what side I'm on, all I can say is that I agree with the words of Greenspan: " The old idea is that you tried to live up to a potential that was set by genes. The new idea is that environment helps create potential." I believe that there should be no limits and having the right environment can expand and create an even greater array of opportunities.