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They are born to the same parents. They grow up in the same environment. They are brought up the same way. Yet, how come children in the same household are so different from each other? Parents are often surprised at this phenomenon, but it is natural for children to grow up to be different in temperament and character. This is because heredity has a role to play, too, in shaping a child’s personality, character and abilities. In one child, the characteristics of the father may dominate, and in another, that of the mother may dominate. Traits inherited from an earlier generation may also show up in the children.
The likes and dislikes of the mother and the father may also be an influencing factor, and a child’s character may depend upon who he or she tends to imitate. A child’s priorities also differ according to whether it is a boy or a girl. Differences in temperament may also develop because of the way parents behave with the children. One child may be given all the attention and praise, while the other child is neglected or always blamed. In such cases, it would be quite natural for the latter to feel hurt and to develop unhealthy complexes.
It is best to avoid hurting comments, derogatory remarks of comparison such as, ‘Your face looks so grumpy, just like your dad’s!’ or ‘How selfish you are, just like your grandma!’. Why give the child a bad picture of himself (or herself) at such an impressionable age? Of course, the same rule also applies when praising a child. Accept children for what they are, and work on developing their good qualities so that they grow up to be well balanced human beings. Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.
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