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No one and nothing can prepare you...

So, you make the decision to become a parent. You work through all of the usual I ready financially, emotionally, etc.? The idyllic mental images of a newborn may be quickly shattered when a baby 'joins the planet' with qualities you were not expecting. Alternately, life with your young child can be quite peaceful, and then something changes. I have lived both of these experiences, and while I will never claim to be an expert (no one is, truly), I can say that my ceaseless research and searching to understand has paid off, as my sons reached their upper twenties and became highly conscious, self-aware, citizens of Planet Earth.

I have come to the conclusion that there are at least 4 factors that shape a young human:

Nature - the genetics , including Down syndrome, body shape and size, possible physical defects, and more.

Nurture - the effect family and to some degree, society has on a developing mind. Also, where one 'lands'...a third world country, a rich or poor family, etc.

Spiritual path - do we come in to this world with a purpose? Are we here to learn lessons and gain wisdom?

Sensitivity - each human being responds differently to the three afore-mentioned factors. I have known families who have given love and material comfort to a child, and that child is dysfunctional in the greater world. Alternately., I have known children of alcoholics (and other detrimental habits and traits) who have grown up beautifully.

It is so important to not sit in judgement of a family who is having difficulty with young or even adult children. We can certainly do our best to foster a well-balanced child, but that is only one leg of the 'four-legged stool'.

There are also environmental and medical interventions that can move a child, along with the entire family, in an uncharted, isolating direction. I will speak in more detail about this shortly.

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