1. Discuss how a person’s beliefs (i.e.: nature vs. nurture; medical vs. behavioral) have a profound impact on our understanding and interactions with children.
A belief can be defined as something, which a person is accepting as true whatever may be the situation. All the reactions of a person will be based on these core beliefs (Where Core Beliefs come from, 2008). People fail to see reality in front of them if they are blind in such beliefs.
Each and every person in this world will be a bundle of beliefs and superstitions that he or she has gathered from the childhood days onwards. These beliefs may be about oneself and about the environment or surroundings. Negative beliefs about oneself would result in channeling the entire energy, money and everything he has towards moving away from these beliefs and in this effort they will move away from love. Such people will not be able to understand or interact properly with their children.
When people become educated they discard most of these beliefs and view whatever that is happening in their life with an open mind. But less educated people strictly follow these beliefs and would not be able to understand their children properly and interact with them properly. Some people will become strong followers of these superstitions, when they face serious problems in their life.
There are beliefs about the time of birth of children and some people in India believe that the star in which he was born will govern the character of a child. This creates a lot of misunderstandings of the behavior of the child. The way of interaction will not be normal when these beliefs are in the mind of the parent. Girls and boys are brought up in different ways in many societies because of these beliefs (People, 2008).
2. Many things contaminate the waters of the earth, including the amniotic waters. What do you see as the greatest threats?
The greatest threat of the today’s world is the non-availability of quality drinking water as a result of the unscrupulous contamination of all the water resources by humans. One billion people do not have good quality water to drink. Children die in every second due to diseases caused by waterborne contamination. Most of the aquifers including well are contaminated. Tap water, which is supplied as free purified drinking water in most of the countries, are also contaminated. People are turning towards bottled water and its business is the quickly increasing and developing business of the century. But now even the bottled water cannot be trusted upon.
The factors that lead to the water contamination are many. The most important ones are the elimination of toxic wastes including heavy metals into water by industries and sewage pollution, which introduce harmful disease causing organisms into water.
The world population is increasing day by day and the availability of water is decreasing day by day. If it continues like this the next generation will have only less water to drink and finally there will be no water at all, not only for drinking but to carry out all the other activities, which require water. We are having a ‘right’ to have good water, but future generations will be deprived of this right. This is one of the greatest crimes that can be done to our children (Wetzel, 2008).
3. Now that we have discussed the issue of consciousness, how would you explain the concept of intelligence and morality?
The ability of an organism to process information is called as intelligence. It is actually a biological trait and using this trait one can decide the effectiveness of his actions in achieving his goals. The manner in which information is processed is the measure of one’s intelligence. This trait is there not only in humans, but also in all the living creatures that are having a central nervous system. Although this concept was a matter of study for many researchers for many years a clear-cut definition has not been made. Although people talk about this aspect quite frequently it is very difficult to explain what it is actually. This is because the word is having many technical senses associated with it and so its ordinary sense is indescribable.
The concept of intelligence is different from that of competence. For example a person may be competent in math and another may not be. This doesn’t mean that the former is more intelligent. The latter will be competent in other subjects in which the former is less competent. Competence can be acquired quite easily, but intelligence cannot be acquired very easily. So both intelligence and competence have a role to play in a person’s performance.
Intelligence is a quality of mind that is present in different degrees in different people. It is actually not known whether this is having a biological or environmental origin. Both nature and nurture can affect the intelligence of a person.
There are some features closely associated with intelligence (Nickerson et al., 1985). It can be called as the ability of a person to classify patterns. It is also the ability to adapt one’s behavior through the process of learning, it is the ability of reasoning and it is the ability to understand and use skills that are present. Finally it is the ability to understand everything around. These abilities will enable a person to process information passed on to him in the correct way.
Three central aspects of intelligence are adaptation, induction and deduction. Through adaptation one can easily cope with the environment. So adaptation leads to change in behavioral patterns. Deduction is the ability to draw conclusions from whatever that is happening around. Induction is the ability to understand a general law from whatever that is happening around. It is very difficult to acquire these aspects from schools or colleges. It has to come from within, from mind.
The concept of morality is also not explained accurately by anyone. Some consider it as a set of rules which one should follow, where are for some others it is their principles in life. For some people whatever parents and society taught them is regarded as morality. Some believe that morality is what they think right and are of the idea that different people have different morality and people should not interfere in each other’s morality. Religion as well as political environment in which one lives also influences the concept of morality by a person.
Morality affects the conduct and behavior of a person in the society. It also affects interaction between people. It is morality that actually governing our contacts within the family among friends, in church or any such religious place and also in the work place. A person’s attitude towards everything around him including his parents and children will be determined by his sense of morality. It will also determine his attitude towards life and death, war and peace etc. Thus it plays an important role in every aspect of a person’s life.
4. How can we, as parents, as educational and spiritual models, produce the “Christ” child (or one who is strong, accepting, capable of unconditional love, humane, and peaceful)?
In order to bring up a child who is strong, accepting, capable of unconditional love, humane and peaceful as Jesus Christ, it is necessary that parents should follow Christian parenting. There are many books that provide information on Christian parenting, but the best book is of course The Bible. The parents should represent themselves as spiritual models to their children and educate them on the principles of Christianity. If the parents could make Jesus as a real model for their children, definitely, they will imitate all the characters of Jesus Christ. Such parents should understand that to bring up such a child, the first thing they can do is to pray for the child. This itself brings a lot of difference to the kids (A Christian Parenting Resource…..The Word, 2008)
During the young age itself children should be attracted towards bible and prayer. Apart from these, the story of Jesus may be told to instill the personality of Jesus. When they enter into teens, intensive teachings on the principles of Christianity should start. The parents should spend quality time with them playing and laughing with them and answering all their embarrassing questions. In this way they can become the trustworthiest person in the child’s life and then it will be easy to guide them according to the principles of Christianity.