Of all the social institutions out there, family is the most basic and the most intimate unit for all who open their eyes for the first time as they are born in a setup of family relationships even when they are not yet aware what life is and who they are.
Family is the first set of people they interact with. For new entrants to this world, their family that they are born in is the center of their world.
Hence it is very natural that they will ingest into their personalities what their families have to offer to them. And they will do so without asking a single question about it.
That’s why and how family plays such an important role in shaping a newborn’s personality in the making.
What all does the family have to offer to the newborn?
It’s essentially the worldview that the family tends to transfer to its new member’s mind.
The worldview comprises one’s emotional, intellectual, social, philosophical, financial and interactional relationship with the world out there.
Our family relationships are the seeds to grow up as trees of our relationship with the world as we grow up into an adult.
My Creative Experiment of Bringing Up My Daughter:
When I was blessed with a daughter, I took it up as a creative opportunity to be the best possible instrument to shape a personality that was yet almost a clean slate waiting for what is going to be written on to it.
I took it up as an experiment to conduct for shaping a personality the best we can.
The very first thing that I took care of was listening to every sound the newborn was making and replying to the same with mine simply out of love for my child.
I didn’t know I was creating a strong equation with her for the rest of her life and mine, then!
A few months later, she started uttering single words, and our sound based interaction added a new dimension of simple meanings to it.
The equation between the two of us kept getting deeper and stronger with every passing day.
Another few months passed and she started speaking two or three word long simple sentences to which I responded with equally simple two or three word long sentences.
For me it was a game to play and I was enjoying every single bit of it.
A Lesson in Independence:
She had learned walking by now, and once as she saw the main gate of the house left open by someone who just had visited us, she took up this opportunity to move out of it simply by walking that she had recently learned as a skill.
I didn’t stop her.
Yes, I didn’t stop her but to ensure her safety, I kept following her from a safe distance without her knowing I was doing.
She kept moving to wherever she felt like going. At times she entered other people’s houses and I followed her inside with a finger on my mouth telling those people not to let her know I was behind her.
She kept walking on roads and inside people’s houses for about half an hour on her own alone. Then she seemed to have gotten tired and started looking around in all the directions around her. She found me standing at a distance and started smiling.
As I smiled back, she uttered her one word sentence, “Home!”
I brought her back home.
Her tiny steps out of the main gate of the house for half an hour were no less than a giant leap into her independence!
What Not to Give:
As time passed, I made it a point to see that she didn’t get instructions from me but took her own decisions in whatever she did all through her day.
If she asked for one, I would avoid giving it as long as I could, and said, “I don’t know. Do what you feel like.”
I was letting her develop her own self without any interruption from me, i.e., her family.
I also made it a point not to transfer my value system into her mind, but let her develop her own shaped by her own interactions with her family including me and with the world around.
I was ensuring she didn’t become my carbon copy but would develop as a unique personality formed by her own unique experiences.
I helped her only when it was absolutely necessary and when she really asked for it.
I never preached her.
I never advised her.
I never criticized her.
I never gave her any moral values.
I never emotionally reacted to her; I just interacted lovingly with her.
What Always to Give:
And the most important of all, I always answered every single question that she ever asked me. If I didn’t know the answer, I simply said so and suggested we both would search for it together.
Today she is an absolutely independent woman emotionally, intellectually, socially, philosophically and financially.
And here is what she has to say about me, i.e., her family:
“This man single handedly made me the person I am.
But you know the beauty of it?
He never lets me say this, he says I made myself.“
Every family has the onus of ensuring it doesn’t condition its children’s personalities and let them grow as absolutely unique and independent persons in their own accord.
They will always thank their family for that.
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