What Effects Children's Behavior: Genes Or Environment?

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Core Concept 1 talks about how children’s behavior is shaped from interaction with their genes and environment. Children are affected both by nature (environment) and nurture (home, community, beliefs, and values.) Since children are shaped by both biology and experience, they view life different. Because we make an impact on one another’s lives we experience life differently. We shape our environment and in turn our environment shapes us.

This concept help deepen my understanding of children because it made me realize how much of an impact our environment, whether it be genes or experience, has on us. We can’t walk in each other’s shoes, but we can learn tolerance and love for one another by trying to understand where the person is coming from. Some things I will never experience like someone else has, but I have my own experiences that they won’t have. It is important to remember that we all have our own story and journey in this life and we need to develop love and tolerance for one another so we can understand where they are coming from.

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One good strategy is to strive to see everyone as Heavenly Father does. One thing I learned in the 12-steps is to view everyone as my brother and sister. This is because I wouldn’t do that to my brother or sister and I wouldn’t want someone else to do that to my brother or sister either. It helps me see people for who they are and not their flaws. This is still hard for me at times with certain people, so I need to work at that. Another good thing is to be of service to one another. As it is pointed out that our experiences shape our development, then it is important to have healthy experiences. Service to others can help foster those healthy experiences. When people view acts of service, they become more willing to be of service to someone else. Of course just because someone is being of service doesn’t mean the other person will do it as well, but it helps build those healthy experiences that everyone needs.

As an example, I live across the street from my stake president; of course this is not a shock to anyone who lives in Utah but living in California that is impressive. Anyways one morning my battery died and long story short he helped me out as he was getting ready for work. A week later I was very depressed and bad thoughts were entering my mind. That experience I had with my stake president, where it was very similar to a father rescuing his daughter, helped me get out of the funk I was in and had a better day. Where I didn’t have a dad growing up, this father daughter moment I experienced was what I needed to show that I was loved and wanted. This goes along with Core Concept 1 because other people have had those father daughter experiences that I will never have, but I had that same experience with my stake president that other people will never have.

Core Concept 5 teaches us how our relationship with each other has an impact on future relationships. This is because each relationship is a “building block of healthy development”, in other words each relationship builds on the next relationship. Children also learn what relationships are and how to develop them. For infants it is essential to have healthy relationships with their caregivers because it is essential for their survival. When caregivers are in tune with their infant, the infants’ emotional cues and needs are responded to and taken care of. The intimate and caring bond becomes fundamental for successful human adaptation. Development in communication, cognition, social-emotional competence, and moral understanding are formed because of this bond. Helping caregivers develop that bond with infants will help the infants adapt successfully.

This concept help deepen my understanding of children because it made me realize the importance of relationships. Learning about this has made me understand why I viewed certain relationships the way I did. My perceptions of those relationships changed, for the better, because of the role models I have in my life. It made me realize that certain children might have not experienced certain things in their life and behave a certain way because of that. You don’t realize how vital healthy relationships are because one cannot survive without them.

The best strategy I can think of here is to be a role model to someone else. I didn’t have a dad growing up. My views on priesthood, fathers, marriage, and guys in general were skewed. As I got older I noticed the father figures around me, mainly in my ecclesiastical leaders. I saw how they were and was drawn to them because they were a father figure to me. I observed how they treated their wives and children. From this it showed me that marriage was something I did want and it wasn’t all bad. Then I have good friends, since I had no brothers or sisters, who are like brothers and sisters to me. So even though I didn’t have the family that everyone else had, I had good role models in my life that served those roles which helped me establish healthy relationships with the people around me.

Core Concept 10 we learn how things from our early childhood can have a profound effect on us. With the help of effective interventions we can alter those negative outcomes experienced early in life and help shift the odds to having more favorable adaptive outcomes. Even though certain experiences that happen can affect us, we can do things that will alter our future. Just because you live in poverty, doesn’t mean you are destined to be poor. Yes you have Autism as a child, but that doesn’t mean you will be different from everyone else. There are programs and interventions that assist in altering the future so those children that are affected can have the opportunity to have happy and healthy adult lives. The individual has to be open to the new experience and be willing to change. The options that are out there for the different individuals vary from therapeutic to educational services. The earlier you can get an intervention started the more likely you will increase development and foster growth.

This concept help deepen my understanding of children because it made me realize because it made me remember that people can change. There are great resources out there to help people change and they shouldn’t be ashamed to use them. Getting extra help is not a bad thing, as long as it is bringing about a change and the person is not being dependent on that. These resources help people have happy and healthy lives. We may not be cured of certain diseases and disorders, but we will gain tools necessary to help us adapt to our circumstances as we learn how to live with them. When these interventions are used great change can come as long as the individual is honest, has an open mind, and be willing to do what is suggested.

The best strategy I can think of is to help others get the help they need. Some people need extra help to deal with things and there is nothing wrong with that. The extra help is the tools that a person needs to deal with life’s challenges that are thrown at them. There are many programs that I have used in dealing with my challenges and so I can be an example of that program and tool. I can show others through my experience, strength, and hope that there is a way to a happier and healthier life. It is important to be there for people as they are getting the intervention and prevention they need. It may not make their problems go away, but it helps them accept those things, deal with in a healthy way, and move on with life.


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