the Nature-Nurture Dance
Elizabeth M. Biscotti
Fairfield University

A “dance” between nature and nurture. What could this possibly mean? For years, many psychologists, researchers, etc. have debated this question and asked what exactly is it. How does it influence children in their development into adults? Nature is involved with genetics, what a child is born with, for example, their IQ. Nurture is the environment that surrounds them, the environment they live in, play in, grow up in, etc. The question here is just how much of each influences them and why?
Urie Bronfenbrenner is a psychologist who argues a system in which children need to grow. This system is the Ecological Model of Human Development. This model can show us that no matter what, nature/nurture does have an influence on children, in many different ways.
Starting with the microsystem, we see that this is where the child interacts with their family, peers, school life, etc. They interact with someone individually; someone has an influence on them. Family, for example, has a huge impact on a child’s development. In fact, I believe a child’s family is one of the most important parts of their life. Without family you have no support, no caring love. Yes, some families are torn apart or believe different things, which is why some children become aggressive and violent. For example, if a child is brought up in a caring, loving home with parents who have the money to send them to a good school, give them clothes and luxuries, the proper education, I feel that this child will turn out to be a successful human being. Not only does he/she have the chance to do this, but also his family is there to support him/her. So if the child is born with a high IQ, that is great and hopefully they will do well in succeeding in life. However, the other case is someone born with the same IQ, just as intelligent but without the family support. They don’t have the money to get a proper education, or have enough food, or have somewhere to live and study, etc. This is where a perfectly normal child cannot fully develop because they are deprived of certain things needed while growth occurs. If the parents are not responsive to their children this as well affects them. How can a child feel pride in themselves when noone rewards them or tells them they did well on a project? Children need to hear this from parents and need their support to experience life and grow.
Peers are another factor that influence children. In fact, at such a young age I feel they influence children more than at a high school age. Children at a younger age are so susceptible to believing anything said by anybody. They are not afraid to speak the truth and therefore believe anything said by an adult form. Even children their age are ones to believe. Either it can be on the playground or in school, whatever the case may be children talk and the others listen. For example, a younger child may hear something about divorce. Their family may not be experiencing that but someone else’s might. They may hear something the other child says, go home and repeat it to their family, asking many questions. Why is that, and for what reason? Children can hear curse words and repeat them, not realizing it is a bad thing to do. Some families don’t teach their children that cursing is bad. Others do, so when a child hears someone cursing, they are confused and say,” Well if that person is doing it, so can I!” Peer pressure as one gets older is something hard to deal with. Kids feel they need to fit in and will do and say whatever they have to do achieve this feeling.
School life fits into this all because peers are attending school as well. Children who attend a good school are more likely to succeed in life. If one has the money and time to send a student to a good school, they will achieve the goals they want. If a family cannot afford to send a child to a good school, that child suffers