Thursday, April 30, 2015

The "Sensitive" Get Their Day

In my years of observation, it became quite clear that all children are not created alike. Some simply bounce, physically and emotionally, off of hardship; others possess such fine skin that the merest tap, physically and emotionally, leaves a bruise.
Scientists have pinpointed that tendency to genes ("The Downside of Resilience" by Jay Belsky). The latter group of children, while naturally predisposed to getting crushed, can be saved through support and nurturing; all is well! However, the former group keeps on keepin' on with or without any outside help. No matter what care is provided, the end result will be the same. 

When my neighbor's son went off the derech, Ma asked the family guru how it happens. He replied that some children are very sensitive; in this case, perhaps he could not tolerate perceived hypocrisy in his upbringing.

Belsky's long-view hope, in light of this study, is to channel funds to target the most vulnerable and in need of help, while providing less expensive measures to the ones who will be fine in any case. 

In our world, such genetic sequencing anytime soon is not likely to happen. Perhaps, we can realize that there are those who can't simply "laugh it off." The more resilient can often be quite blasé about the sensitive's thin skin; they cannot be tougher, any more than the tough will suddenly become susceptible. 

There are children who crave structure and consistency, and suffer for lack of it; there are others who are mellow any which way. Being able to differentiate between the two types is the challenge, I suppose, of l'chanoch yeled k'darko.

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