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Do you inherit behavior problems?

My niece who just turned two is a little terror & my husbands family always says she got this from her aunt, my brother-in-laws sister who they said was a terror when she was little. I know that she is disciplined somewhat! Any thoughts?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:19 PM on Nov. 10, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • I think you can and do to a degree, but most of behavior problems are taught, and picked up from the environment and surroundings.

    Answer by MommaRox4683 at 3:29 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • I think behaviour comes down to both nature and nurture... some of our personality is innate and some kids are more active/sensitive/feisty than others. Then the way they are raised, disciplined, etc. affects the way these traits are displayed. I have three kids, and see different personality traits in all of them- some positive traits, some difficult traits.

    Answer by Freela at 4:03 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • It depends if there's a medical issue or if it's simply lack of discipline.

    If it's a medical issue, yes there can be a genetic link.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:30 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • Yes, I believe behavior, which could also be called personality, can be genetic. My daughter has a very similiar personality to her paternal aunt. However, they saw each other maybe once a year so it would have to be genetic and not learned. Or it could also be coincidence.

    Answer by Dyndudes at 5:20 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • I agree with freela, it's a nature/nurture combination that makes us who we are. Babies are born with a certain temperament- the nature part and how the people around them react to that temperament is the nurture part. Personalities develop from what we see and what our DNA is, my son is a perfect example of this, since he was 11 months old (now 16 yrs old) we have been with my DH and he saw his biofather mostly EOW but not real regular until he was 13 years old. The kid is so much like DH sometimes that we have shocked people telling them he isn't his birth child, but then he will turn around and do something soooo like his biofather it is scary. On the aunt/uncle connection, DS had the same first grade teacher my brother had and she told him almost daily how he was just like his uncle! Of course coming from her it was not a complement they were both very active and she liked sit still all day kids, but.......


    Answer by goaliemom93 at 5:46 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • Behaviour is not inherited. The only things you can inherit are hair color, eye color, facial or body featuers. You can't inherit behaviour.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 7:10 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

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