Not every ignored, neglected, or abused child makes it big. But that lack of nurturing can help. In the new biography of Barbra Streisand "Hello Gorgeous" by William J. Mann we find out how a grim childhood can push a talent to open itself to what it needs. Those with happy childhoods might have figured out that everything necessary for success was right there at home.
Mann shows how Streisand was positioned to attract helping hands and shrewd enough to accept what they offered. Those ranged from the know-how, wisdom, and contacts of Cis Corman to that of Phyllis Diller.
Most of us who have lived long enough have observed how those from happy families tended to accept the status quo as if it were their path. None of the well-put-together young women I attended Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, with made a splash. Typically they knew what to do to have an engagement ring by first semester senior year. Those of us who were messes lacked those social skills, so had to forage in life. We learned plenty, much of which those women never had to.
Is the lesson here for parents to not be nurturing? No. Playing the game of life wounded is something none of us would wish on anyone. However, parents might pull back from being all-purpose emotional fix-it apps. That will create space for their children to develop the instincts of an alert, cunning animal.