Friday, April 27, 2007

Nature Nurture

Last week's reflections took the shape of having a look at the nature Vs nurture debate with regard to the young people we work with.

When we meet a young person are they 'who and what they are' because they were born that way or because society has made them that way? Most think it's a mix of both, that both can have an effect...but whatever the mixture, young people come in our doors with a whole lot of baggage we don't know about that can help or hinder the short opportunity we have to take part in that nurturing.

So this week our Adopt a Plant experiment began. Each worker got to choose a seedling for adoption (with birth certificate of course), give it a name (which was registered) and could take their seedling home to nurture as they saw fit.

No one knew the genetic make up of the seedling they took home, all they knew was from what they could see. Some took a be-draggled sad looking seedling because it needed the most attention and others sought the best looking or healthiest plant to give them the best chance of survival.

As the plants were chosen and named a relationship seemed to begin. As the days went by people talked about their adoptees. Some had re-housed their seedlings in new pots and compost , others were moving teirs about to get the best light. People swapped advice about whether to keep the existing housing and incorporate it into the new pot or when to water or feed with nutrients or if talking to their adoptee really worked.

In my role of Plant Health Visitor, I have talked to each 'new parent' about their adoptee and will as part of the Plant Social Services be checking up on all the seedlings at half term to see if they are developing and give all the 'parents' the opportunity to share their experiences so that others might learn from it.

There are also 8 seedlings which have remained in care so if there is anyone willing to offer one a home ...

Names on Adoption Plant Register

Nurturer & Nurturee

Nick & Philo
Renu & Billy
Emma & Munch
Craig & Sammy
Kelly & Vincent
Josh & Harry the Hard Nut
Jim Sebastian
Christine C & Ronan
Daisy & Petal
Rhonda & Plant
Keeley & Tristin
Jon & Pip
Christint M & Audrey
Thomas & ? (cant find name registered, you know how bureaucracy works…paperwork disappears…the case falls off our radar…all we can hope is that the parent is responsible and that we don’t read a story about the possible results of our lack of support (some might say incompetence) in the paper…

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