Dadulthood: Nature or Nurture

It’s been a while but Dadulthood is back today with an age old debate… Get involved!

I have never been academic. School was a way to make lifelong friendships before I entered the real world of work and the drudgery of daily life…shopping, cleaning and cooking.

Whilst academically I wasn’t a strong performer however, I did manage to get in to university, albeit not a great one, but I now have a BSc that I haven’t used since the day I left.

I studied Anthropology, the study of culture and people, where we have come from and how we are developing as a society. A very niche science with a very grand goal, which I was directed to by Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell: The College Years”. (If you ware born after 1989 you can watch it on YouTube). UCAS-schmoocas.

I learnt quite a lot in the three years i studied but the area that stuck with me was the nature vs nurture debate. Basically the argument is how much of our behaviour are we born with, and how much do we learn from our social environment, for example our parents.

Now being a new Dad this resonates with me in a very new level, as I now have a little person who is potentially moulded by my behaviour. Before it was a theory I played with, and I very much sided with the nurture argument. Now it is a potential disaster as my actions could cause major implications on our Son.

I am a miserable git for example. If you find me in a good mood it is like witnessing Halley’s Comet, a once in a life time experience. But Calum is discovering the world and even the smallest thing delights him. The last thing I want to do is crush this enthusiasm for life. So, what do I do? Do I change and become happy, where until now pessimism has been built into my psyche but then that it feels odd, false even. Or, do I stay the same way and hope my glass forever empty is balanced by my wife’s eternal optimism?

I am not saying I don’t want to change but is the change right? If I become happy and carefree do I end up with a hippy child singing songs on the tube for loose change?

I am sure every father has these thoughts at some point. If I have a kickabout with my son and he kicks the ball straight at 3 do I encourage him as he is obviously the next David Beckham or do I not push him and see what happens? As parents, my wife and I come from both folds of this camp with our own parents ways.

So far I have tried to be happier which is easy when your little one is exploring the world and I encourage him in his discoveries which are easy when its carpet fluff and doors!

The future I am sure will bring new challenges and any advice is very welcome.


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