Friday, 26 April 2013

Are talents instinctive or learned?

My wife and I rolled out an old Yoga mat the other day and our little one leaped onto it and went straight into the "downward dog" position instinctively!  Now let me explain why this is so peculiar; we have NEVER done Yoga in our house!  The mat was bought (by me, the loving husband) as a gift for my wife a few summers ago and was never really used. Hang on, I am still a bit Yoga really an innate instinctual drive?  I guess not, perhaps it was completely random and it just so happened that my daughter did something that looked yoga-esque (you decide for yourself based on the pictures).

When teaching psychology, I often wonder if talents and abilities are innate (biological) or learned; in other words, are they nature (biological) or nurture (learned/environmental)?  Many young ones show signs of musical ability or are handy little sportsmen or women, but are they born that way or is it us parents who (sometimes overly) encourage a keen level of interest, which then results in the child becoming rather competent at a young age?  It is a difficult one to answer, but in my experience as a teacher who deals with children daily, I definitely feel that there has to be something to work with in order to enhance that particular skill.  This angle or point of view very much favours what is known as the Diathesis-Stress Model; in other words both nature and nurture.  The child has an innate predisposition to be talented at something (Diathesis), yet there is also something in the environment which helps that individual child to hone in on his/her skills and/or talents (stress).

No matter how much we want our little ones to be something that they are not, in reality, they never will be without that built-in predisposition (in my opinion anyway).  I would have loved to be a rockstar, but in reality, I am just not musically blessed and now have to resign to the fact that it isn't going to happen.  This is not a reason to become apathetic and lack drive or desire.  Children should always strive towards their dreams, but it is important for us as parents to be there if and when the reality starts to set in.  So if my daughter wants to become a budding actress with a view to being the next Gwyneth or Charlize, then I will do all I can to support that dream with the hope that she possesses some acting talent.  For now, I'll continue to sit back and enjoy the dance performances she so loves to act out (dressed as a fairy of course!) 

No comments

Post a Comment

© Making sense of the unknown leap into fatherhood. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig