Funny thing about genetics

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hexemaus2, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    easy child and I were chatting the other day. It all started with a conversation about she and Favorite Son-in-Law trying for baby #2 before he ships off to Afghanistan again this spring. easy child said she's praying for a boy this time, as this family has no luck with second girls. (My 2nd girl is difficult child 1...PIA extraordinaire, her father's 2nd girl is also a difficult child, then take into account I was the 2nd daughter and a wild child in my teen years, my mother's younger sister was a wild was kind of hard to argue with her logic.)

    So we got on the subject of gfgness, genetics, inherited family traits, etc.

    We both found it interesting that her father is a KING sized difficult child, yet she turned out to be a easy child. On the other hand, my second husband (exDH #2) while a moron in terms of parenting difficult children, was basically a normal guy. No serious gfgness (unless you count a wild period during his teens and early 20s) yet the two of us had THREE difficult children.

    1 normal parent + 1 difficult child parent = easy child
    1 normal parent + 1 normal parent = 3 difficult children

    How did that happen? lol.

    I have to admit though, I see her reasoning behind hoping for a boy this time, instead of the accursed 2nd girl. It does seem to follow a pattern in this family that 2nd girls are a pain, in some form or fashion...either with legitimate difficult child issues or just general wild child tendencies in the teen years. In her shoes, looking at family histories, I think I'd be hoping for a boy myself. lol.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    LOL -- it's completely random, I think!

    In our case, the difficult child-gene is probably on the Y chromosome because both my boys got a healthy dose of it. Although some of it came from my side, too.

    And my girl is the easy child in the family, so go figure!
  3. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My sister is the second child and girl and even at almost 50 is still a difficult child extraordinaire. I had 3 boys after my only daughter (and one before her) and prayed each time that it would be a boy. I didn't think I could handle a sisterly relationship within my children since my own with my only sister is so dysfunctional. If I had daughters who fought, it would have triggered me horribly. My daughter, however, is a blessing.

    The second girl theory is interesting. H's aunt is almost 80 and still a difficult child - she is the second daughter. However, my mom is the 2nd and was not a difficult child. My dad's younger sister (2nd daughter) was mentally ill but not a difficult child.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You are just speaking tongue in cheek, aren't you hex?

    Genetically - there are many reasons for difficult child-ness, as we know. Some of these are genetic, but often in different ways. Often our child inherits a tendency to whatever-it-is, rather than directly inheriting the problem. With ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and similar - it is actually more common in boys. Where it manifests in females, it is more challenging to diagnose and also to manage.

    Environmentally, second children do it tough. First children do it tougher though. First children are under greater scrutiny and often tighter controls. Second children can often be whinier and demanding, but also can be more sneaky and deliberately slip below the radar if they want to do something illicit. Also, second children can often feel resentful of the older one, and feel neglected. First child is old enough to get a bike; second child is resentful because he/she wants a bike too.

    There has been a lot written on birth order, also with reference to gender. It makes fascinating reading. I come from a large family, but there were several sets of twins in there. One sister, who is between two sets of twins, has Middle Child problems as well as total neglect problems. I was the youngest by a long margin and had a lot of single child problems but without the affluence. I also had to deal with the resentment of my older siblings who felt I was getting an easier ride (and while I probably was, it was no picnic).

    Friends of ours had twins first, then a single daughter. That single daughter was very much neglected and ignored. It shows even now, in her behaviour. She is attention-seeking, big-time.

    We have family coming to visit on Saturday. The oldest was the adored child until her baby sister was born three years later. After that, oldest girl was pushed aside and ignored, even to the point of being held back in school so bay sister could catch up. Baby sister is now married, older sister has had a string of failed, abusive relationships. She went form one basher to another and wondered where she was going wrong. I told her it had to do with her expectations, set up by her parents (her mother especially) that all she deserved in life was abuse. I think now, at 30, she can see that she deserves to be treated well. Interestingly, when we spoke to her parents last night, they said they only met the fiance at Christmas. Frankly, I don't blame her for not taking him home sooner to meet the parents! I'm going to be very interested in how things go on Saturday! Her parents would say their eldest is a difficult child. Well, not in my books. Both are easy child, but the younger one learned how to manipulate the system and pass the abuse on to her sister. One favoured, one not. Purely because of birth order. Very sad.

    So it really does depend, a lot, on what sort of difficult child-ness as well as a lot of environmental factors.

    Get your daughter in law to do some reading on the subject so she won't be too anxious. Especially while her husband is away, things will prey on her mind. And it does make fascinating reading! But it also shows what you can do, to avoid the difficult child-ness caused by environment.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As an adoptive mom of four, I BELIEVE in I also have one biological son. My kids are all completely different. My youngest, whose birthmother and birthfather I know, is more like them than us, although she's the kid I get along with the best. I believe in nature over nurture :) There is always some difficult child in anyone's can skip a few generations :)
  6. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Oh yes, Marg. The whole conversation was very tongue-in-cheek. We tend to poke fun and make jokes about our family's gfgish traits. Its one of the few things we have to help us get through the days when it's not such a laughing matter. It's about as serious as my announced plan to "retire" my father to the crawl space under my house, rather than a retirement home. Or our family motto being "We'll do really well at the home." lol. (Although, we have all agreed that yes, we will all do well at the home...and there will be so many of us from one family, we'll have our own wing, with cookies, and cotton-only I-love-me jackets that match our jammie bottoms.) ;)
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We are trying to figure out how my boys got each others children! I say that tongue in cheek too. I know why Hailie is so bad but we really do wonder how Keyana came out so basically normal. For her first 3 years I would have called her a complete easy child but now I would just call her a very normal little girl.

    I think Hailie has some of our bad genes and she got her mom's bad genes and then you add in nurture and its a nightmare. Keyana somehow got the normal genes and we all seem to be doing okay in the nurturing department, probably because most of the people doing the nurturing are grandparents. We have all learned from our mistakes the first time