Conscious Parenting: Parents as Genetic Engineers
Do parents matter? No doubt you’ve heard the seductive argument that once parents bestow their genes on their children, they take a back seat in their children’s lives—parents need only refrain from abusing their children, feed and clothe them, and then wait to see where their preprogrammed genes lead them. This notion allows parents to continue with their “pre-kids lives”—they can simply drop their children off at daycare and with babysitters. It’s an appealing idea for busy and/or lazy parents.
It’s also appealing for parents like me, who have biological children with radically different personalities. I used to think that my daughters are different because they inherited different sets of genes from the moment of conception—a random selection process in which their mother and I had no part. After all, I thought, they grew up in the same environment (nurture), so the reason for their differences had to be nature (genes).
The reality, I know now, is very different. Frontier science is confirming what mothers and enlightened fathers have known forever, that parents do matter, despite best-selling books that try to convince them otherwise. To quote Dr. Thomas Verny, a pioneer in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychiatry: “Findings in the peer-reviewed literature over the course of decades establish, beyond any doubt, that parents have overwhelming influence on the mental and physical attributes of the children they raise.” [Verny and Weintraub 2002]
More info all tomorrow and all this week!
Verny, T. R. and and Pamela Weintraub (2002). Pre-Parenting: Nurturing Your Child from Conception. Page 57, New York, Simon & Schuster.