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    Traits You Probably Didn't Know You Could Inherit From Your Parents

    Do you have your grandfather’s eyes or your mom’s ambidexterity? Perhaps your sister is the only redhead in your family, and nobody is quite sure where that came from. We inherit many traits from our parents.

    Those traits can range anywhere from how you gain weight to your ability to focus on tasks. 

    Before you blame your parents for everything, keep in mind that many people believe traits about themselves to be genetic, when they aren’t.

    Traits can be inherited through dominant genes, recessive genes, and X-linked traits.

    Keep reading to sort through what exactly your parents are responsible for and what you may have to thank your mom and dad for.


    Thanks to advances in technology and DNA research, we now know that your risk of developing memory-related issues like Alzheimer's or dementia most often comes from your mother genes. 

    Understanding if you have a predisposition to a genetic mutation that causes one of these diseases can lead you to take important and preventive steps.

    Taking these necessary steps may enable you to live a longer and fuller life.

    Losing And Gaining Weight 

    It looks like it’s not just diet and exercise that affect that number you see when you step on the scale. There are two types of fat in the human body.

    One is a good kind of fat known as brown fat. This kind of fat helps with your metabolism and assists you in keeping a healthy weight. 

    White fat is the bad kind of fat. It’s the source of obesity and many associated diseases. Genetic research shows that brown fat is likely inherited from your mother. 

    Laugh Lines

    DNA inherited from your mother is known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA. Individuals who inherit mtDNA with many mutations are more likely to develop wrinkles and grey hair.

    The bright side? Laugh lines are beautiful wrinkles and can be a sweet reminder of your mom.


    Men everywhere might want to pay attention to this one. After years of believing that hair loss is due to a gene from your mother’s side, the myth has been debunked.

    Men with hair loss can no longer blame their baldness on just one parent.

    Inherit Traits

    As fun as it would be to say you inherited your dad’s sense of humor or your mother’s love of the sun, we can’t tie every trait to a specific parent. Each trait you have is influenced by a combination of different genes that you receive from both your parents.

    Don’t forget that environment plays a role too.  You might have the gene for a specific trait without it ever being realized.


    Our moods aren’t just hormonal issues we deal with as teenagers. Your mood is tied to a complicated mechanism called the corticolimbic system. This system helps you to regulate emotions and can play a role in disorders like depression.

    Generally speaking, genes related to your mood are more likely to move from mother to daughter and father to son. 


    Are you having a hard time focusing on the task at hand without your brain running in a million directions? Well, you might be able to blame your mother for that. If your mom has low levels of serotonin, then any child of hers will be more likely to develop attention issues like ADHD. 


    Puberty isn’t always the fondest of memories, but it could provide valuable insight into your genetics. Both parents’ genes play a role in your development.

    However, girls and boys who start puberty before age eight are more likely to have inherited that gene from their father. 


    It’s kind of mind-boggling to think that a woman’s fertility could be linked to her father’s genetics, but there you have it.

    A genetic dysfunction passed from fathers to daughters can cause an issue with a part of the egg cell known as the centriole. If this issue exists, the woman may have a hard time conceiving.

    Gender Of Your Children 

    Do you come from a family of all girls or all boys? There’s likely a good reason for that. Of course, the gender of your children is influenced by both you and your partner’s genes.

    However, the specific gender genes you pass on might only be inherited from your dad. 

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    Understanding how your genetics play a role in traits like gender, focus, and fertility can be a fun exercise in understanding more about your family history and health.

    Thanks to the study of DNA, we are learning more than ever about how our individual traits relate to those of our ancestors.