Does Having A Healthy Child Have More To Do With Nature or Nurture?

Does Having A Healthy Child Have More To Do With Nature or Nurture?

Nature vs. nurture.

What does that mean?

Now don’t worry. I’m not about to give you a college lecture in child psychology. I just want to bring up an interesting point that I was thinking about recently.

We mothers (and fathers) play a huge role in our children’s health and well-being. When it comes to raising our children naturally, it’s not about a list of right or wrong things we can do. It’s about those big picture areas that we need to focus on in order to make the most impact on our children’s health.

Now here’s where nature vs. nurture comes into play.

When you look into the foundation of the nature vs. nurture debate, it’s really only a question you’re faced with, “Did x occur due to nature or due to nurture?” So for example… take a child with juvenile diabetes. Did that child develop this disease because he was born with it in his genetics and therefore predisposed to it, or did the environment he was raised in contribute to it’s development? This is the basis of nature vs. nurture. A comparison of two things. Looking at an issue and trying to determine where the root comes from. Now this debate is usually over child development, but I think we can apply it to health as well.

We mamas play a HUGE role in when it comes to taking care of our children’s health. Nature can be the answer to many problems our children may face in any of these areas, but so can nurture.

Now I’m not one of those people that think we can’t change nature. At one time I would have been, but as I’ve grown and learned more, I see that, yes, we very much can change the nature part of our children… our future children that is! We can do that by making healthy lifestyle decisions (nurture decisions) for ourselves starting today. From what we eat, to what we expose our bodies and minds to. This will set our bodies up for health and success when it comes to future generations. As we live out these healthy lifestyles, they will be passed on to our children and that will then set them up for future success of having healthy children by nature.

So what about the children we already have? Well it’s not too late. These healthy, positive nurture decisions we make each day will affect them. It will keep their bodies working correctly, therefore preventing many nature type (genetic propensities) illnesses from starting. It’s never too late to make a positive difference in our and our children’s health.

We should also be realistic in thinking that we’re not always going to do things perfectly. We’re going to get off track. We’re going to lose control. Either way, there’s always tomorrow, and there’s always a better decision that can be made. Don’t beat yourself up over perfection mama!! You’ve got enough on your plate. I know… I’m right there with you!

What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture viewpoint of children’s health? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!
  1. sarah birchmoon says:

    A small philosophical discussion today, huh? (: Definitely not a simple answer, but the biggest things in life are not a simple, black & white answer. I think nature responds to nurture. Certainly our physical health is one of the simpliest ways to see improvement as we take better care of our bodies and therefore our minds because it is all connected right?
    have a great day all! sarah

    • Meagan says:

      LOL! Yes, I thought I’d branch out a bit today! Did you like the slight change? I do agree… the biggest things in life are NOT always the simple things, and it does seem that nature does respond to nurture. The more we nurture our health, the more nature (our health and bodies) respond to it. Thanks for your comment Sarah!!

  2. Magic and Mayhem says:

    I definitely think it’s both! My 5 kids have had an assortment of issues, from cancer to severe wheat issues (I suspect Celiac) to sensitivity to everything from mold to food coloring. That said, we’ve managed to respond to each health issue with research, healthy living and more positive lifestyle changes, and turn each one around.

    Our world is increasingly toxic and it makes it hard to try to keep kids safe, though. We’re in farm country and crop dusters are dumping pesticides all around us for months out of the year, and I wonder how much of our health problems have to do with that. We have Monsanto’s poisons on four sides of us in our tiny town. We eat and garden organically, but we can’t live in a bubble. I hope people start waking up soon because if they keep poisoning our air, water, food and homes, there’s no amount of healthy living we can do to protect our families.

    • Meagan says:

      Yes, yes, yes Alicia! We can’t live in a bubble, and we’re going to be exposed to toxins. You can only do so much to decrease the toxins you are exposed to, especially in a situation like yours where there are outside toxic influences that you’re being exposed to. I wonder if there are things you can do to improve your surroundings in order to decrease your family’s exposure to all those nasty toxins though, and you very well may be working towards some of these things.

      I’d say there are two options in your situation. Move to a better location (which isn’t always possible), or really work to lobby and speak out against the spraying that’s being done. I’m not sure how much pull you can have, but if there are others in your area or you can draw negative attention to what’s being done, showing the negative health effects, I think that could help get things moving in a better direction for you.

      In your situation, doing your best to keep your kids healthy is a nurture thing, but all that exposure to those chemicals can definitely effect the nature part of your children… or future children even. Thanks so much for your comment. I hope things will eventually get better in your area. I’m sure, over time, they will as more and more information about crop spraying and gmo foods is becoming more mainstream.

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