On The Early Show Tuesday, clinical psychologist Jeffrey Gardere said the quick answer is that, "It's both. It's nature when it comes to genetics, that's the foundation. And when it comes to nurture, it's the environment where we take that behavior or personality traits."
A clear no-no for parents, Gardere says, is comparing their kids.
"The worst thing you can do is tell one child, 'You need to be like your big brother or big sister, or little brother or little sister.' That's the wrong thing, because it will turn off the child who is less successful."
Something to heed, he says, is that, "Every child has a dream. Find what their strength is. Don't impose what your dream may be, living vicariously through your child, helping them find fame and success, which is really what you want. Find out what the child wants and nurture that."
Another pointer? "Give praise equally, because the child who is successful needs the rewards. But you don't want to shun the other child. So you have to find where their strength is and give them as much of that reinforcement as possible."
With all the energy so many parents put into their kids these days, how do they know when to back off?" asked co-anchor Harry Smith.
"They should back off," gardere responded, "when it becomes an overriding job for the child to be successful. Help them enjoy life, and not lose their childhood."
The quick answer is