My Daughters’ Personalities: Nature or Nurture?

Photo Credit: Phortys/Flickr
Photo Credit: Phortys/Flickr

I’ve always wondered about nature versus nurture. Questions like, “Where did my love of reading come from?” and “Would I have still become a musician even if I didn’t start classes at a young age?” always had me thinking. For me, being adopted and having adopted create a frequent reminder that some traits are genetic and some are learned through the environment. Up until recently, I’ve believed that who I am and who my children are becoming is based primarily on “nurture” — that is everything experienced after birth. I even had a number assigned in my head, 90 percent nurture and 10 percent nature. Some of this is based on research, but mostly I made it up.

Now I have two daughters only four months apart and they can’t be any different. They are now 13 months and 17 months old, and their personalities are coming into focus. Both reflect their birth families to such an extent it’s uncanny. One is tremendously easy-going, calm and just like her biological siblings and birth parents. The other reflects the captivating, yet serious and thoughtful personality found in her birth family.  One is focused, the other carefree. They are so different I sometimes joke that they are like Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street.

My numbers have reversed, I now think personality is 90 percent nature and only 10 percent nurture. What do you think?


More posts from Rebecca this month:

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