Monday, April 27, 2009

Nature vs Nurture

When people ask me what the best thing about having 5 kids is, my answer is always the same - we have such a mixed bag. 5 very different little people in one family. Often the differences are so glaringly obvoius that I start wondering about the whole nature versus nurture argument. Which personality traits and habits have we helped shape and which are so deeply embedded in the fiber of their little beings? We have recently implemented weekly and daily chores (this is long overdue) in the Johnson household. Lets just say this has met with some very interesting reactions. One particular child has been very eager to help, wanting to do all the chores on their chart all at once. (Yes there are charts, actually typed up in Excel and taped up weekly in the kitchen. You'd never know by looking at the inside of my car that I do have these crazy OCD uber-organized tendencies locked away deep inside.) Another child, who shall remain nameless, has taken on the role of Cinderella coughing as they sweep up the crumbs from under the dinner table, telling us on several occasions, "I did NOT sign up for this." I might argue the same.

The same two children have very different saving and spending habits as wsell. You can literally see the smoke coming from Cinderella's pocket when she has a dollar to her name. Whereas her sibling, shall we call him Prince Charming (I'm not doing very well in the way of anonymity, am I?) has a washed out glass jar in his drawer filled with every nickel he's ever earned or been gifted. Go figure...

The scene that played out at this morning's breakfast table had me revisiting the nature vs nurture topic once again. Piper and Finley were having waffles, and Piper noticed Trace's plate had a piece of chocolate chip coffee cake left over from Nana's birthday brunch. She started to cry when I told her it was the last piece. Without a word, when Piper wasn't even looking, Trace put the piece of cake on her plate. Those of who know Trace know how much he loves his sweets. So this was a true sacrifice for him, yet he did it without a moment's hesitation. I would argue that that is something that you cannot teach your child. Either way, that is the kind of moment that makes us so proud as parents, and so thankful for this crazy, chaotic life with 5 very different individuals. Happy Monday!

PS. This awesome pic was taken by Paula Subler

1 comment:

  1. Our children are so much alike it's scary to me... Eli my money hungry, never part with it we call him Alex P for a reason kid and Grace my burn a hole in her pocket faster than she can count it kid, although Eli balks at his chores and Grace is generally willing to just do it and get it done.


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