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Do you parent from nature or nurture?

My father used to rock me to sleep; my mother used to sing with me. These are things that I do with my son because I have such fond members of them from my childhood. But those are things I know I learned from my parents.

After reading about a study by Michigan State University, I now wonder how much of my parenting style is genetically influenced. In the study, the researchers took a look at more than 20,000 families worldwide and discovered that genes influence up to 40 percent of a parent's warmth, control and negativity.

So, now I am wondering if science is playing a bigger role than I thought when it comes to my outlook about parenting or even my desire to snuggle with my son.

But that's not all - in a breaking study by the same team, it turns out that children's behaviors are also affecting the way Mom and Dad parent. This research made me stop and think a little longer, but it makes sense. My son knows how to push my buttons as well as how to be my special buddy. He knows how to try and manipulate Mom and Dad against each other and he knows how to negotiate. And he keeps me on my toes, which means that a lot of time, I am a reactionary parent, based on the scenario he has set up for me.

What parenting technique do you find yourself doing because you learned it from one of your parents? What parenting technique do you hope your child learns from you? Tell me at Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.

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Comment by Lauren Markman on May 9, 2014 at 9:13pm

I love that you practice the habits you want your children to develop - our actions speak so loudly in their little ears!

Comment by Marcia Fowler on May 6, 2014 at 12:23pm

Playing with my kids. My parents played a lot with us, whether it be pretend or board games. At least it seemed like a lot (probably not as much as I remember but according to one of your posts, we create our own memories even if it didn't happen. :)) I hope my kids learn take on my patient side, not my impatient side. When milk spills, I just say, as I'm wiping it up,  now the floors with finally be clean. Things like that. I want them to find the good in the not so good.

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