How much of our children's personality, intelligence, and mental health is genetic and how much is environmental? With our kids it is tough to say because most of them had an abusive or neglectful environment in the beginning. Some lived in it for several years. But the real question for us is "Can living in our homes change the outlook for their lives?" Really big question. Sometimes a haunting question. My kids are 14 and Bear will be 17 in about 3 weeks. And then here is Fish who lived in this same world, same genetics who is excelling at many things. Let's look at these 3 things, personality, intelligence and mental health one at a time.
Personality: We all have a basic make up of personality. I have taken the Meyer's Briggs personality test and am an introvert, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive. We could talk about personality and parenting for a week! The question today is "Is our personality genetic or environmental?" What do you think?
Intelligence: We have 5 children and run the gamut of ability in school. But what about our children's intelligence. Is it all genetic or has the environment played into it? Can we make a difference?
Mental Health: We have 3 children adopted from the foster care system. Two of them have some mental health issues. RAD is one of the issues but there are other problems as well. Are their mental health issues genetic or environmental? RAD would be environmental because it is caused by separation from mother during the first 3 years of life...but what about the others?