Nature or nurture


Well-Known Member
I swear it has to be nature that is stronger.

I raised five kids. They are not genetically related. The first three were raised by me and first hub, who was a pretty uninvolved father (I DO THINK NURTURE IS PART OF IT). MY youngest two were raised in a very stable loving home by myself and current husband and husband was very involved father.

Still, all my kids were basically raised the same, in a loving, laid back, mother involved family and were taught kindness and compassion. These traits were stressed

Bart really has neither trait and even declares his imported (his word) siblings are not his real siblings. He never shows empathy for anyone but himself.

Today somebody who knows sweet Sonic well (this young autistic adult son has a heart of gold)....well, this man who works with Sonic told me that if anyone bullies one of the disabled residents, Sonic, who is so shy, is right there facing the bully strong and heatedly defending the victim.

I told Sonic how proud of him I was

Jumper and Princess are very different in their temperament and likes and strengths but they are very compassionate too.

There are some very self centered heartless people in my DNA. He is so like my father.

This puzzling faCT makes me feel more strongly about nature being the biggest part of our adult children's personalities.

What do you think? What is stronger, nature or nurture? Not even sure anyone else is even interested in discussing it, but I'll see.


Well-Known Member
I wonder about this myself. Miss KT's father and I separated when she was 3, and he moved about three hours away when she was 5, so she barely saw him for several years. I was terrified she would turn out like him - blaming the entire world (but me especially) for his misfortunes, not working, hiding in a basement...and during her teenage years, she was doing some of that stuff that reminded me of her father. Scared me to death.

But enough of the nurture made its way in, because she went away to college (first about three hours away, on the California coast, and when that college closed down, she went fourteen hours away, to another state), got married, graduated, and has been working. No laziness, not like her father.

And my brother. He's three years younger than me, and in my opinion acts exactly like our father did before our parents divorced. My brother is basically a donkey's behind. Our father spent 95% of his time at work, so did my brother learn by the minimal example that was set, or was he predisposed to be a donkey's behind? My brother and I don't spend a lot of time together. He thinks I'm uncivilized and loud. I think he's boring. Oh, well.

A dad

Active Member
Well there not all of you five children you raised that compassionate are they?
And I do not mean only Bart. You see you will not have compassionate children from all of them some become selfish and self centered exactly what you try not to teach them.
It all matters on what they value and it seems 2 of your children value themselves and their family wife and children way more then anyone else if not only them.
Not the worst thing in the world I will say but its hard to be the one cut from their compassion. But I will tell you this you still in the end raised good human beings and good members of society and that in the end that shows nurture matters most its just that nature still leaves its footprints but overall nurture.


Well-Known Member

I still dont think I had much to fo with it. I think it is mostly genetic. But always good to read your thoughts and have a nice day :)


Well-Known Member
There are times my son, who never saw his biodad after the age of 3, is SO much like him that it scares me. He's always been that way. The lack of respect for authority, the amusement when someone was angry at him, the lack of empathy he sometimes shows...and laziness. I mean, Jabber and I are sedentary people, but if the dishes need done or the laundry needs done, it gets done. We work and pay our bills. While my son has been much better lately...responsibility and hard work, are not traits he usually shows.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I'm on the fence on this one. I think if there is a mental illness factor, then definitely nature.

However how many times do you hear of siblings by same parents brought up in same home with same parenting and one is good and one is bad?

My older son has a different father and he actually had a nervous breakdown at around age 30 (when we split - his doing) but now is stable, remarried with two more children and doing very well. I worried about son's mental health but he is great.

Younger son with this husband who is troublesome but husband's older son with ex wife doing well (and she's a pretty odd).

We say the two of us together created child with a problem. Addiction on both sides of our family - but to contradict - so many families have it on both sides if you look hard enough.

So go figure.


Shooting from the Hip
Interesting thoughts.

You all know about Bill's eldest, who really isn't part of the family. DNA marks him, but he's basically lazy and thinks the world owes him. Even Belle says as much. We know he was smoking pot, and suspect other drugs. But Bill didn't see him from age 6 months to age 15, then not again till age 18. Not much time for influence. He's now 23.

Then there is Belle, who is a hard worker and has gotten her act together. But she was very, very violent, drugs and alcohol, etc. like her mother. But then... She no longer acts entitled (though she certainly is getting a lot of things just landing in her lap... I'd be jealous if I didn't see how hard she is working to keep them).

Pat... Who arguably has the most to overcome developmentally... Is turning out to be very much like Bill's eldest. We had the most time with him. And in the last 2 years it was like a switch was flipped.

And then Rose. Who is opinionated and demanding, wild and crazy and so smart she scares all of us. And SO VERY loving and giving and polite and well-mannered. Time will tell, but Bill says that her manipulation of others compared to Belle at that age is similar, but tempered by that giving attitude.

These four have Bill in common and Pat and Belle have him AND biomom in common. Two more different kids... You couldn't imagine from the same family.

So then. We know the eldest's mother told him a lot of stories. Some of which had a grain of truth, some were one-sided, and some were flat out fiction (she never even MET me, so I am not sure how she knew anything about me).

We know Belle & Pat's biomom had issues, and could be violent, and lied to the kids like crazy about us.

And I have had several people tell me Rose acts much like I do, and that comes from her watching me.

I think I have to say that... Nature puts the capability for certain traits out there, but the switches to turn them on and off are flipped pretty early in life by nurture. Trauma further compounds any issues.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I believe nature is stronger. My son turned out just like his bio-father and he pretty much had zero influence in my sons life.


Well-Known Member
Bart is just like my father. And he didn't really see his grandfather much as grandfather wasn't all that interested In his own kids, let alone his grands and great grands. It's uncannyd scary. The only way he is like me is having inherited my anxiety.

I think nature trumps nurture.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
I think nature trumps nuture. Albeit, my son was born brain damaged from oxygen deprivation or the fact ex husband punched me in stomach when I was 7 months pregnant, my son is spitting image of ex husband. His mannerisms, his laugh, his quick temper, his impulsiveness, won't listen, does it his way, learns the hard way. He inherited the personality descriptions I believe. In just about every family there is a child who is the black-sheep of the family. No matter how good the parenting is; the same advantages as the other siblings they seem to turn out to be so different.

A dad

Active Member
I doubt that I mean in the end he learns things slower because he can not do better its not genetic he just grows way slower then others so he was a child a lot them most people.
You husband chose to be how he was, your son well did not.
Its easy to look to flaws that are similar to other members of the family but you get blinded to only them. For example
SomewhereOutThere said that her son is so similar with her father well I disagree you said your father had no interest in his children but Bart has in his own child. Well that is a huge difference right there.

in a daze

Well-Known Member
However how many times do you hear of siblings by same parents brought up in same home with same parenting and one is good and one is bad?

That's my family. Son is much better now becoming more independent although not quite there yet. But he will always have issues.

Daughter is the most stable, grounded person I know. Never gave us any trouble. Graduated college in 4 years and making good salary.

I think it's nature more than nurture.