We've all seen unexpected traits pop up in the physical features of our children, but what about their personalities or attitudes? My daughter absolutely loves to perform whether playing the violin or giving a talk at church. I always point at my husband and proclaim it came from his genes. My little boy already demands ice cream from me whenever he sees it even though he eats it all the while making a face that proclaims, "This is freezing my tongue!!! Give me MORE!" I have to be the one to claim the preference for sweets. So, how much of this is just my desire to see myself or my husband or our family members in our kids?
According to this article which is citing other recent studies (so mind you this is a watered down version of some crazy, scientific study) it says, "Families tend to have similar facial expressions when they're happy, sad, angry, disgusted, surprised, or thinking hard. And kids don't just pick up these reactions from watching us; Blind members of 21 families in the study also grimaces, smiled, and scowled like their relatives 80 percent of the time."
Another crazy fact cited by the article: "Kids who have a taste gene that's associated with a sensitivity to bitterness are less likely to pick milk as their favorite drink and more likely to love sugary soft drinks and cereals." Ahhhh, so I'm not a sugar addict, I just have a more delicate, refined palate! I KNEW IT!
One more interesting fact for those of you out there determining when to start your children's music lessons: "Most people with perfect pitch started taking music lessons before age 6, and that only 3 percent of people who started voice lessons after age 9 have perfect pitch--suggesting that both genetics and training affect one's singing voice."
I was disappointed for my husband when I read that, "The impact of genes for height can be modified by the foods you eat." Ah-ha! My 5'7" husband was fed the scraps from the table while his 6' tall youngest brother was feasting on roast beef! He'll love having an explanation for why he's the shortest man in his family. Surely food played more of a part in that than the fact that all of his mom's brothers max out at 5'7".
I think this is part of the reason I love to do family history and find out details about these people whose genetics have helped make me who I am. Where did these big lips of mine come from other than my big-lipped mom? What about my mom's crazy, course hair? My fingers that are kinky and won't point straight, what's that about? Wouldn't you love to know?
I think that everyone enjoys playing this game as you always hear people proclaim, "Your daughter/son looks just like you!!!" I can't tell you how many people have told me that my daughter with her dark skin, brown eyes, petite build and brown hair looks just like me with my light skin, green eyes, very blonde hair when I was her age, and medium-large build. Uh, yeah, a perfect match...
I still love to hear the similarities mentioned between me and anyone else though. I think it provides me with a sense of belonging. Really, no matter whether we have our dad's meticulous ability for detail or our mom's big lips we just want to be loved.