Changing Choices, not Personality

Adoption

Like many adoptive parents, I’ve often wondered about the balance between nature and nurture. How much influence can parents have on their children, and how much has been predetermined?

For now, I’ve come to the following conclusion: I can’t change my children’s personalities, but I can influence their choices. I don’t believe that my children’s preferences, talents, strengths, or weaknesses would be any different if they had been raised in a different family. But, I do hope that in this environment, they will feel secure and loved enough to make choices not based on fear, but based on love. Of course, this belief is strongly influenced by my immersion in Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control (BCLC), which states that there are only two primary emotions: love and fear.

What are your beliefs about nature vs. nurture? I’d love to hear some other points of view.

The primary emotions

Adoption

According to Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control (BCLC) authors Heather Forbes and Bryan Post, there are only two primary emotions: love and fear. When I first read this, I didn’t believe it. What about anger, frustration, sadness, despondency, and so many others? Is fear really the root of all these other emotions? We’ve been trying to practice BCLC for about a year now, and in that time, I’ve fully bought into Heather and Bryan’s theory. I’ve come to see that just like my kids, much of my negative behavior is driven by fear.

The other day, BE and I were talking about my dislike of fighting. I told her (truthfully) that there’s something in me that feels scared and nervous when she and BC fight and yell. She told me that some people say that they’re not afraid of anything. I know many people say this because they don’t have a phobia of spiders, or public speaking, or the dark. But, I think fear is much more┬áthan that. I told BE that everyone is afraid of something and that it’s ok to be afraid. What matters is that you recognize it and do your best to overcome it.