Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who is Your Baby? (Part 2)

Is birth a clean slate? Can a baby become the outgoing, bubbly type or the quiet, academic if we as parents create the ideal environment for our choosing? Nope!

First of all, what is personality?

Personality is the way a person interacts with the world around them, the unique ways one communicates—verbal and non-verbal, the ways an individual relates emotionally to others or views the world. Personality comprises all of the attributes that connect the inside of a child to the outside world. And many of those characteristics stick with us as adults! Just think: who was the “ham” or the “trouble-maker“ in your school growing and what is that person doing now!?

Personality is a combination of our genetic makeup (what we’re born with and can’t change) and environment (all of the influences that our upbringing and surroundings instill). Most certainly, personality is molded by experiences and exposure. We know that young children deprived of social and emotional interaction will suffer in their ability to relate on those levels. We also know parents who are bubbly and outgoing often have children who are the same.

But “cooking” a baby’s personality is not a precise recipe. It’s more like a big pot of stew—a little of this, a little more of that—plus the base (genetics) that the soup started off with.

(This post is a part of a series on personality. Read Who is Your Baby? Part 1 and Who is Your Baby? Part 3.)