This comment was from MichelleG on the post “What exactly makes a ‘Good’ Parent?”
“The genes you pass on to him and the financial situation he’s born in do waaaaay more to help (or hurt) him succeed than anything you can do as a parent.”
Where does love/respect and education fall into that? I think they’re equally important, if not more. One of the basic needs of a child and of intimate relationships, lies in reciprocal affection. And the cornerstone in any healthy relationship is respect.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The education level of parents also make a huge impact on the upbringing of children. Usually educated parents know how to model good behaviors, instill desire to learn; motivate, guide and support children, and generally are able to better provide for them. In this case I would say education should supersede financial means. For instance some of us are born into wealth; some born into poverty…but education teaches to us to think, grow and mature…develop our values and guide us through thick and thin. Money is just a bonus…a means to something. Some of the wealthiest people are not rich…they don’t invest in stock, venture capital or real estate; instead they invest in family, knowledge, communities, humanity…they volunteer tirelessly and give back in other ways.
“Love makes the world go round.” Good genes is a bonus too. But I think a child and as adults, both need to grow up in loving environments that nurture their spirit, more so than good genes. A child growing up in a happy environment is more likely to have a head start in life, face less challenges or at least find them easier to deal with. Good genes will shine through once the spirit is nurtured. For example, Oprah Winfrey was borne to a single teenage unwed mother (low education level); both lived in poverty…Oprah had a troubled and rebellious teenage life, there was abuse, she ran away, got pregnant and was sent to live with her father; who gave her a more stable and ENCOURAGING environment to grow up in — this was a turning point in Oprah’s life…he made her EDUCATION a priority. The rest is history. Another example, is the Jersey Shore cast…I doubt they have extremely high IQ or good genes and aren’t from wealthy backgrounds, but I’m sure they have loving parents who supported and encouraged them to be who they want to be. They all have capitalized on their fame and are now making millions; they have various product lines and books. Jersey Shore is one of the most watched shows.
People who escape abuse and come from less educated/poor/unloving parents to become successful are more the exception than the norm. Those are inspiring stories nonetheless.