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My Fascination with Genetics and Family Psychology

Updated on July 20, 2009

 I often look at my family and find it interesting to see what characteristics (physical and mental) come from which parent and how these traits are passed down through generations. I have a basic understanding of how genetics works, how things are passed down. But I nevertheless find it so interesting to discover what I have been given by my parents and whether I can expect to turn into them. I'm also interesting in psychology of family members, that is, if there are similar traits that you can see in all youngest siblings or older siblings etc.


 Everyone tells me and my sister that we look very similar, I can even see it myself sometimes. I think it's our eyes and our mouth maybe, I'm not really sure. BUT I am frequently told I look like my dad and she is told she looks like my mum. How does this work when we look so much like each other. I saw a photo of my dad when he was 7 or 8 and he really did look JUST like me. Just to add to this confusion, my sister has curly hair like my dad and i have straight hair like my mum. We both have very dark hair that I think is darker than either of my parents. My dad looks like his mum and his sister (my aunt) and two of her three children look like her (and have her freckles, which neither my dad or my grandparents have).

Are you keeping up?

In terms of non physical qualities, I cannot speak on the phone. I get nervous and over analyse it and never know what to say, and will refuse to ring people which will end up meaning I don't have opportunties that I should have. Both my parents say that I get this from my dad, but my mum's mum is also like this. She is incapable of making small talk, something I have no idea how to do. I suppose there's no hope for me here.

I love reading, writing, drawing and playing the guitar. My mum reads and writes like a maniac. I undoubtably get this from her.  My grandma (mum's mum) likes to draw. She used to do watercolours and sketching and all sorts. I'm not very good but I do love it. My dad plays the guitar. He has 18 (I think) of them and has recently started learning the piano. I clearly get my love of music from him (even though I am tone deaf, like my mum, and he is not.) My sister has no interest in reading or writing, and will only read non-fiction which may be useful to her uni course. She does not draw and learnt the keyboard when she was younger but has no real interest in it.

I know about dominant and recessive genes, I vaguely remember it from school. What I don't know is which of these traits I've mentioned come from genes and which are just coincedental. I think this is a question that many people wonder. Does anyone know anything that could enlighten me here?

Family Psychology

 Many people often think they can tell if someone is an eldest, youngest or only child and also the difference between eldest and youngest male and female siblings. This is something that I've noticed recently, since I've spent some time at my boyfriend's house. His sister (who is the youngest) is very different from my sister (who is also the youngest) but there is just something about them that is clearly a youngest sibling thing. They both kind of cling to their mums, follow them around, maybe sub-consciously trying to be the favourite. I should just mention that my sister is 19 and my boyfriend's sister is 18 (I realised I made it sound like they were just little kids.) But having said this they both wind up their parents, making a pest of themselves,  i guess giving bit too much affection.

 I think that in some ways I am fairly typical of an eldest child. I am the sensible one, careful with my money, I let my parents come to me, confide in me things they wont tell my sister. When we were younger I was the one that seemed to work hard, keep my head down. Whereas my sister would get told off for chatting in class and never really applied herself to her work. As it turns out she's on the whole had better results on a higher level exams and she works a lot harder than I do (did), but when we were younger she was definitely the slacker!

Two of my best friends are the eldest of four. And clearly as a result of all the responsibility heaped on them by their parents they are more responsible in all areas of their life. They don't do things on impulse, everything is clearly thought out, mediculously planned. They've both grown up a lot quicker than they would have done had they not had their siblings.

What does everyone else think? Can you confirm or deny my observations? I'm really interested in other people's experiences of this.


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    • blue.lotus profile image

      blue.lotus 8 years ago from Cali

      Family psychology fascinates me as well. I come from a huge family and there's plenty of crap to ponder! lol. Keep writing!