Why are some kids born of the devil himself?

There’s something I really want to hear your opinion about. It is the whole nature versus nurture argument. For a long time, I have always felt children are born blank, i.e. not good or bad, but then a series of events happen in their lives, right from the day they are born, and later how they choose to handle those situations determine whether they become good or bad. But now, I don’t hold on to this belief anymore.

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One major reason I have ceased to believe that children are born blank is because of my neighbour’s kids, who are also my family friends. They have three kids, the oldest being about 8 years old, and I know when every single child in that family was born. They are a very balanced Christian family, and do all what they can to care for their kids. But you see, the first child, who is the only guy, he was born with a scowl on his face… no exaggeration. When he was a child between 0 and about 3 years old, this guy never smiled. Never! He was very very quiet, never talked to anyone, and never smiled. He looked wicked and unapproachable from the first day. Later in life, he had two younger ones, my sister came from US to Nigeria, and my cousin came to live with us. This means this guy, who is now 8 years old, has playmates, laughs and is very cheerful and playful.

But the thing is, that wickedness has not left him. He actually derives joy from seeing people suffer or in pain. Whenever he comes to my house, and I am punishing any of my younger ones, you can see the glee on his face. His joy comes from seeing his peers in pain. I know this because I have studied him over the years, since he was born. This gives me cause for worry, because I am afraid in future, he might end up hurting people deliberately, just so he could be happy and fulfilled. I know his parents discipline him well, and try their best. He is the only one in his family that is like that.

Then the second case is the popular family care pastor, Rob Parsons. He is the founder of Care for the family, in UK. I used to listen to him a lot, as a guest presenter on Focus on the Family. He has two children, Katie and Lloyd. According to him, Katie was born an angel, and had an angelic character all her early years. And Lloyd, he was born bad… in fact to come and torment their life. In his own words “Lloyd came out of the womb, smoking a cigar.” Now, this is even before the child has a chance to know what life is about, they’ve already formed their character, so it wasn’t about being born in a Christian home.

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Now, here is the twist. When Katie got into late teens or so, she became a rebel, and walked out of her parents’ house, which had her parents crying to God for a couple of years or so, not having any idea where their daughter was. She became a very bad girl, but walked back in to her parent’s house one night when loads of people held vigil specially for her. And the guy that was born bad? He cooled down later in life, maybe like late teens or early twenties, I can’t remember. So the good became bad, due to her choices, and the bad became good, due to his choices. The two kids are now great, involved in Christian ministry work, and have their own families.

So now, if a child, from the first day, came to the world with the intention of making life hell for everyone around him, should he still be blamed for his choices? After all, he was born that way. Lol.

In conclusion, I no longer believe children are born blank, from the real life examples I have given here. I believe children are born with a certain personality, which can either be skewed towards the good or the bad. Plainly speaking, I believe it is possible that a particular child can be born with a character which poses a high risk of him being bad, and as such, must be trained with a different hand from a child than a child who was born with a high propensity for being good. As you know, these are just my opinions. I am no scientist or behavioural psychologist. Please, let me know what you think in the comment section.

49 comments

  1. Lol. I don't even know what to say.

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  2. LOL, joker! You know what sha? I've thought about it before... wasn't Hitler a cute baby before? Killers, rapists, terrorists, etc were all babies and innocent children before, so what went wrong along the way??? Other people were born in similar circumstances - they probably even have siblings - so why did/do these wicked ones decide to go in their evil ways?!

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    1. What of kids born in the same home, experienced the same thing, same exact circumstances, and turned out completely different from day 1? Doesn't counter the nurture claim?

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  3. I dunno either... let me seat on this one and read what others would say.

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    1. I must admit, this one is hard. It is something that has been in research for hundreds of years.

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  4. This post deserve some serious thought...hmmm I don't even know whether to agree or disagree.

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    1. I tell you... really serious thoughts.

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  5. Tooh! Na who I go con ask now? I think it is a combination of nature and nurture sha

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    1. Hmm. Taking the easy way out, abi.

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  6. Children are born blank but I think its in the sense of no memory, no past of things done but as soon as day 1 goes that also goes because they start building memories already.

    I agree with the character and personality bit, because we were all made unique and that should tell us that much, and choices parents make or don't and training they give get plays a huge role on the childs life...

    Example, I overheard a neighbour tell her kid "Shut your mouth, that your rubbish mouth" If the kid has an outgoing personality little by little listening to things like that will dent the kids esteem...

    Its kinda tricky but the parents (at first) play a HUGE role in my opinion.

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    1. So how does that explain this question I asked Berry?

      What of kids born in the same home, experienced the same thing, same exact circumstances, and turned out completely different from day 1? Doesn't counter the nurture claim?

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    2. Every child is Unique with different characters and personality ever twins sef

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  7. Much as your observation (of the child you mentioned) seems to suggest, I still do not believe in people being born of the devil except we want to consider the spiritual (which actually supersedes in all truth) and say that some things were probably pre-declared on the child. Either ways, it is a tough nut to crack

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    1. Actually, the spiritual angle never crossed my mind when I wrote this post, but I am not sure God will intentionally created a spiritually-skewed child. Lol

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  8. Atilola, this is semi tongue in cheek, right?

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    1. Yes, the title is, but not the content.

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  9. Kids are born blank. He might be having a psychological problem. He might also be experimenting the things he has observed or seen around or even tv. A transformation process can begin before things get out of hand.

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    1. What of the toddlers who haven't had the opportunity to really 'observe things', and they are already displaying strange tendencies? What do we say about those?

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  10. I really don't know about being born "blank" it sounds kinda clinical to me. They are more like a clean slate. well, looking at it again, I guess we mean the same thing. But by nature we tend to take up certain attributes from our environment. Maybe this kid (your neighbour) wasn't shown love in the womb (who really knows) because its just plain odd.
    My nephew was born with a scowl on his face as well, but he is the most adorable boy ever right now (Thank God)
    Without going academic, I remember the Freudian Theory of the Id, Ego and superego. Every child is born with a sense of good and bad. This doesn't mean they are born of Angels or demons, they just make a choice knowingly or not. Anyway, I think parents have a huge role to play in moulding their kids to make choice that will help better the society at large.

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    1. Hmm, my intellectual madam. I pray that guy gets his acts right. He's not even 10 yet, but I know his parents try hard.

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  11. I've read this but i didn't know what to say. I'm usually tilted towards nurture but then again, you seem so sure this boy was "born" that way. We have to involve Oluwa into the mix niyen

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    1. Ever since I knew him as a toddler, he had a scowl on his face. YES!

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  12. I would say behaviors are formed and that is why they can be changed
    Definitely worth exploring the latest research for some scientific evidence

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    1. Abi, we need to keep studying this.

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  13. The level of their goodness or badness deeply depends on their level of exposure to either the good or bad. But one thing is certain, a child makes wise choices when he's been offered to. Instead of restraining a child from doing what he feels is right or keeping him in the dark about good/bad knowledge, he should be allowed to know or even expereince everything, letting him know the consequence of the good, bad or the ugly. That's adult mindset! The fear of the consequences of our actions always keeps us on the right side, making us to make good choices. So it depends on parenting, the kind of knowledge a child is fed on. Nature has small to do with our behavours!

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    1. Hmm. You are definitely looking at it from another point of view. So let me ask this, what is you let the child know the consequences of doing bad, and he still goes ahead to make the choice to be bad? In fact, what if he builds a whole empire out of doing bad? The fear of consequences does not really stop people from choosing to be bad.

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  14. I believe it is wrong to label a child as good or bad as they are not even ripe for the descriptions thrown at them.

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    1. Thanks ma'am. I will be careful not to label them.

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  15. atilola, instead of judging this boy... why don't you show him love more thamn you would? why don't get to know him on a one on one level. I'd be worried for my kids to be around you 'cause you belive some of them are born good whilst some are born bad. I mean this lil' boy is only an eight year old. We all go through different phases in life! even if he's what you 'think' he is that doesn't mean that he's bad!

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    1. Easy does it ma'am. I honestly can't believe I just read this comment from you.

      How am I judging him now?

      I should get to know him on a one on one level? When this guy is not doing his homework in his house, he spends 80% of his time in my house, in my living room. How more can I get to know him?

      Where did I state in my post that I believe children are born good or bad? Please, show it to me. I'm sorry if you feel I am a threat to your kids because I raised the nurture vs nature argument (a topic which has been in research for hundreds of years).

      I said I am worried about him cos of the things I notice now. I never said he is bad.

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  16. I'm glad I'm late to this party cos I got a chance to read other comments before sharing my thoughts.
    I'm currentlt taking a Child Development class and from what I've learned so far, neither nature (temperament, personality) or nurture (upbringing, training) is independently responsible for how a child turns out.
    This child's temperament is different from his siblings and unfortunately, being strong willed hasn't endeared him to everyone else. He may be difficult, but he's not "born of the devil" as such. How he is raised (nurture) will play a major role in how he turns out.
    He needs a firm hand and lots of love.

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    1. This is exactly what I was thinking, that kids come with a temperament, and as such must be handled according to that.

      Please, come and give us more insight, when you are done with your lecture.

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  17. Hmmm. This one is a serious question.. Very difficult to answer and requires a lot of thought. I have always been of the opinion that children are nurtured but from your example and some personal observations, you begin to wonder if some people were created for destruction.. I really don't know but like Toin said, Oluwas has to be involved, as in well well..
    Again as a Christian, I believe that parents have a very significant role to play in how their children turn out. Like someone commented earlier, the spiritual determines the physical. We have many examples of parents who have 'shaped' or determined the destinies of their children as recorded in the bible - Hannah determined Samuel's fate before he was born, Mary was party to Jesus fulfilling His purpose on earth, same with Samson's parents and Jabez's mother.. Now the twist with the latter is that when he came of age, he himself changed the course of his destiny! So our own will supersedes that of our parents when we come to God in prayer. Anyways, what I am trying to say is that some parents or forefathers may have made certain agreements concerning a child so they come 'born that way' but like Jabez, it may not be the final conclusion..
    Anyways, I am still learning...

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    1. I think this is one of the 'makes sense' comments I have read, thanks.

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  18. I honestly don't know what to say....

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    1. Loooll, I know its a hard topic.

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  19. I've come across this nature vs nurture argument somewhere before. I still don't know which weighs more in a child but I think the persons personality is a key factor to which way the child would bend towards. If the child's personality is soft enough to 'bend' towards the nurturing he gets from his family he turns out well but if not he creates his own path. Some kids from as early as three years know the difference between good and bad...so they actually start deciding to be good or bad by themselves early enough.

    I believe the spiritual always control the physical. I don't want to go all preachy but I believe that after the fall of man and Adam lost the God nature he got at creation, everyone was born in a sinful nature till you accept Christ. Nurturing can'soften' that nature but it doesn't change it.

    Don't know if I made any sense to you atilola.

    So many posts to catch up on.

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    1. Yes, you made great sense. I agree with your comment. I also love when you said Nurturing can'soften' nature.

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  20. Firstly I believe smiling does not necessarily depict having a good character nor scowling; a terrible nature.

    Secondly everyone is born with a nature because Christ said before we were formed He knew us. If we are "blank", what then was He knowing? Also nature is determined by the name of the child even though some people disagree that names have anything to do with it. Most people are named due to the circumstances of their birth e.g Jabez, Isaac etc. Not only direct names, nicknames as well and whatever is used in referring to you right from the womb. I know someone whose dad used to call "Were" (mad) from conception due to the issues with the child's mother, do you really think that child won't exhibit "were" tendencies?

    However, since you noticed beyond the scowl i.e the happiness he displays when others are punished then it gives light into his kind of person.
    From what I noticed, training a child should begin right from the womb with speakings, prayers, songs etc. As parents (most especially the mother as she physically carries the child), I believe we're ought to ask for revelation regarding that child we're carrying. A child could be born with a tough mannerism for e.g (not cruel but tough) because God knows what that child will go through and how being tough or seemingly having a scowl would help. I think the mother of this 8 year old should ask from the boy's source i.e God to explain the child's life pattern to her and how she is meant to handle him. We're mere caretakers of these children and you cannot effectively take care of something without receiving instructions from the owner/manufacturer. God knew what He was doing when He said Before He formed us in the womb He knew us, before we were born He set us apart. Nurture is highly dependent on Nature. One cannot succesfully nurture without understanding nature and to understand nature we need to seek it from the Maker. When nurture is carried out in that manner, it then gets to a point that the life pattern then becomes determined by that child himself and no longer by the parents. This is because we only remain babes for awhile and then transcend. This age of maturing and taking your life into your hands varies from person to person. At 7 years old my nephew had begun praying for his purpose in life to be shown to him.

    I believe no child is born with a "bad" personality as children are very dear to God. "...For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well...". When the nature is not understood and nurture is either forced or "wrongly" applied, that is when we see so called "bad" behaviours. You mentioned how the child is from a practical christian home which means he's getting love (love is one of the fundamentals of being a christian) but can we tell if he's getting adequate rod as well? If his nature was prayed about and understood from birth, the right nurture could have been applied since birth (which could be more exposure to the word and less to cartoons, which could be spending a little more time showing this 8 year old what the consequences of rejoicing over other's misfortune could be etc).

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  21. In conclusion, Yes everyone is bon a nature but nurture and nature are not independent variables and the correct doses of each shows forth the full potential of an individual whether good or bad. Incorrect doses or application of nurture in relation to the inborn personality of an individual will result in skewed results. As is written on most baby food containers; "Improperly mixing baby formula is associated with dangers, and failing to follow the manufacturer's instructions can cause serious health complications, illness, and even death" which is the same way we should take care to consult the ultimate manufacter i.e God so we can mix the right dose and method of nurture uniquely for each child.

    N.B: I strongly believe in gender equality but as women please even before conception let's sow into the lives of our children. We are the ones physically doing the carrying and have more contact than the fathers when the child is in our womb. We feel the touch first, we feel the kicks first, we sense their presence more etc. During pregnancy we have great influence over that which is in our womb and we should effectively maximize it. We should also always prayerfully get the child's name from God and nurture specifications and focus less on appearing "tush" hence giving the child names that sound nice without good meanings e.g Deyanira, Loviatar, Lilith.

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    1. Thanks for the long comment/blog post on this post, lol. Considering the fact that this is out of character for you, I think you have found your calling, *ducks chair, and sticks tongue out*. But seriously, consider it o.

      Thanks for your comments, makes sense die.

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  22. Tricky tricky topic. I do think children are born with characters and are definitely not blank too. However, I think the character bit always has the possibilty of changing with tine (nurture) like Rob's kids. But this is still a tricky topic so don't let me complicate things further! Where are the elders o?

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    1. Its tricky, but I think you are right in many ways.

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  23. Lol...very interesting topic. I am of the opinion that it's a little bit of both and I will explain. Every child is born with a temperament already formed in them. Therefore they already have an innate tendency to react in a certain way to their environment. For example, one of my twins was like the boy who never smiled in his first year and I had to consciously teach him to smile. His twin brother, on the other hand smiled easily and giggled all the time. But as they grow, environmental influences and nurturing bring about changes in temperament. Today, that child is very playful and friendly. A subdued child may become more talkative because he has a talkative mum and a restless child may learn to be very quiet if he has parents that insist on consistently quiet behaviour and decorum.

    So both nature (and talents) as well as up-bringing (or lack of it) work hand in hand to make each adult what he or she is today.

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    1. I agree with your comment, and it comes fro a place of experience. Thanks for your contribution.

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  24. Lol this is scary but true. Like you I used to think kids were born blank but soon realised their personalities are formed before they are born. It is then up to the parents to study each child and apply the way they raise accordingly for each child. May God give us wisdom

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    1. Exactly. Children shouldn't be raised with the same kind of hand, if they are completely different.

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What's your opinion on this? Let's learn from one another.