I am inclined to believe that the one author who said that parents do not have a profound effect on their children is wrong. In particular, I know of
parents who did not prevent sexual molestation of a child, or who gave small children alcohol and other drugs and thought it was funny to watch a
five-year-old daughter who was drunk.
In Bill Hybels' book "Whispers," he tells of a Christian who heard a mother say that when her baby would cry, she would put liquor in the baby's bottle, and then the baby would calm down. The Christian lady found this heartbreaking--how could a child raised in such a way have any chance for success in life? She felt led by the Lord to devote her efforts to helping and advancing children, which she has done ever since.
It's a combination, Mary, nature does have some effect, Nurture has a lot more! Our kids, are all wonderful, and have great natures. A friend is/was
a wonderful parent, and his kids are are all great, one of them, however, is nothing like the parents and, given, different nurturing as a youngster,
I could see that he would have turned out quite a different, angry, young man. I also know many adoptees, my daughter-in-law, was one. In her case,
nature has turned her into a loving and caring person. Her adoptive parents did the best they knew how, but they certainly could not have nurtured her
to be what she is now. SWMBO came from a dysfunctional family and it took many years of nurture on my part to overcome some of her childhood nurture,
her nature, however, has always been kind and loving.
Nature without nurture, or vice-versa, will never produce as good a result as both combined!
I used to work beside a man who married a girl much younger than himself. He always said, even before he met her, that he would never adopt as you
never knew what you were getting.
As luck would have it, they never managed to have children of their own and true to his word didn't adopt either. He's now retired and she continues to work her way towards retirement. I often wonder if they regret the decision they made.
I meant their decision not to adopt.
I worked with a couple who adopted a boy and a girl and the problems that couple had with those children I am sure that I couldn't have coped with.