It doesn’t take long for a parent to realize that not all children act alike, but we seldom know what to do about it. One child may be bubbly and outgoing while another is reserved and withdrawn. One may demand constant attention while another is content to be left on her own.

Studies have confirmed that children are born with prepackaged personalities that largely determine how they will interact with the world around them. Environment doe splay a role in the expression of a person’s inborn personality, but the existence of a personality that is present from birth is undeniable.

In 1979, the University of Minnesota began a study called “Twins Reared Apart.” The study revealed convincing evidence that personality is inherited. By bringing together and testing twins who had been separated at birth, adopted into different families, and brought up with no contact, the university team concluded that we inherit more of our adult behavior than was previously imagined. Twins in the study were dumbfounded to meet exact replicas of themselves in looks, mannerisms, attitudes, sociability, and personality.

A similar study at Indiana University generated the same results. Individuals whose only link during childhood had been their genetic makeup grew up to be remarkably similar in every way.

Janette and Annette, for example, were born svene minutes apart. Both married evangelists and twice gave birth to babies at the same time. Though they live eight hundred miles apart, they frequently do the same things on the same day, later discovering their identical actions.

Lana and Lorna, separated at birth and later reunited found when they visited each other that they had chosen the same wallpaper for their master bedrooms and had many of the same outfits in their closets. Another pair, after being apart for thirty years, they came together to discover that both of them were writing and illustrating children’s books.

As these stories indicate, humans inherit far more than just physical characteristics such as eye and hair color. Rather, we come preprogrammed with a direction of response to life that causes shyness, aggressive action, happiness, depressions, talkativeness, desire to control, and many other traits.

The biological makeup of individuals is complex, but genes clearly influence our responses. Individuals react to similar experiences in surprisingly similar or different ways, depending on their inborn personality traits. Author Dean Hamer concludes, “You have about as much choice in some aspects of your personality as you do in the shape of your nose or the size of your feet.”

When they begin to understand what makes others so different from them, children are much more tolerant of each other and grasp why their parents are so different. That will make your house a happier home!

As you begin to understand yourself, your mate, and your children, you learn how to work together with wisdom and knowledge. How grateful we should all be that once we care enough to understand what makes others tick, we can get along with just about anybody!

Author's Bio: 

Samantha Johnson and Christine Lazaro are both members of the editorial board of and