We talk a lot about all the many, many ways parents can screw up their kids. But today I thought we could use a break from all the guilt. Let's talk about all the ways your kids could be screwed up through no fault of your own! Yes, really. Thanks to the important work of scientists, we now have proof that sometimes babies are just born that way -- born with certain characteristics or tendencies that make their lives (and yours, by extension) so much more difficult.
1. Preferring "bad guy" behavior: Paul Bloom's new book, Just Babies, is all about how babies are born with a certain morality. Well, most babies are. His research did pick up on behaviors in babies that may indicate ... er, well, maybe not exactly psychopathic behavior per se, but maybe an affinity for the "bad guy" in a puppet play.
2. Throwing tantrums: New research shows a tendency to throw tantrums is genetic. NOT the result of your failure to introduce your child to Mozart while still in the womb. You're off the hook on that one.
3. Certain behavioral problems: Babies who are especially fussy during the first year of their lives tend to have more behavioral and mental health problems later on in life. And we all know how little control we have over how fussy a 1-month-old baby is. All you can do is cope and comfort.
4. Stank attitude: Does your child have a bad attitude? It could be your fault -- or it could be he or she was just born that way.
5. Generally kind of a jerk: Doesn't it just seem like some kids -- not yours, of course, but other people's kids -- were just born mean? It's a possibility!
Of course, the opposite of all the above could also be the case. But that means if your kid is an altruistic angel who always behaves well, you really can't take much credit for it.
Are there any other traits you think babies are born with?
Image via Nina Matthews/Flickr