Even as an over 60 I wonder about this, not that it is probably any use. Perhaps I can relegate it to the intellectual zone rather than the personal!
If we look back at our own childhoods, would ‘nurtured’ be how we would describe ourselves?
If we were nurtured, do we feel we have benefited? If we look at the converse, do we feel we have been damaged by not being nurtured?
Many of us are children of the flower power generation, influenced by ‘earth mother’ theories, and driven to give our children more nurturing than we ourselves received. We are remiss if we had problems breast feeding, we responded to our children’s crying without reference to a Spockonian timetable, and suffered acres of guilt if we felt we had caused any stress or distress to our infants.
I came from a tradition of non nurturing. If I felt a pain, a dis-ease, an injustice, I was told that I should ignore it. In fact, ‘ignore minor ailments’ was my mother’s mantra. I am still tempted to inscribe on her tombstone that she ‘ignored minor ailments’! It is not unlike the Spike Milligan phrase…’I told you I was ill”!
Possibly as a result of this, I suspect I over-nurtured my own children, feeling that they needed this overwhelming sense of being loved more than they needed anything else.