Toddlers are not the nicest people. If, like me, you’ve got one at home, you’ve been on the receiving end of hitting, screaming, and flying chunks of macaroni and cheese.
But when is a child’s bad behavior just the “terrible twos” and when it is something more? A new nationwide study of 561 adopted children and their families has revealed a set of behaviors that identify which children are at risk for severe antisocial behavior later in life. These behaviors are strongly inherited through our genes, the study found, but they can be offset by positive parent-child interactions.
“Biology is not destiny,” says co-author Luke Hyde, a psychologist at the University of Michigan. “Even kids that seem difficult early on can definitely change.”