Your bad habits can adversely affect you and your entire family. The impact is especially significant when you have children because kids learn most of their bad habits from their parents. If you’re a parent or role model to children, you should do all you can to eliminate your bad habits and replace them with good habits. Here are some of the common bad habits that children tend to learn from their parents.
Poor Coping Methods for Handling Stressful Events
The way you respond to stress in your life is usually habitual by the time you’re an adult. Adults who were not taught proper ways of dealing with stress during childhood often repeat the harmful coping mechanisms they learned from familiar adults. Some ways people can poorly deal with stress include drinking, using drugs, smoking, or other self-medicating behaviors. If you deal with stress poorly, reach out for help, and try to find good ways to cope so you don’t pass it on the bad habits to your kids.
Being Irresponsible with Money
If you observed your father or mother spending money on unneeded purchases on impulse, it’s more than likely you do it too unless you’ve realized it and stopped it. Shopping impulsively or excessively, overspending, and not having a good handle on your finances not only teaches your children irresponsible behaviors, but it can also negatively impact you and your spouse’s credit and financial future.
You might also have bad ideas or attitudes towards money, such as being overly frugal, which can cause stress and anxiety for some children. If your spouse believes you are irresponsible with money, they may also not trust you to make financial decisions. Late bill payment can also result in more fees and disconnections of services such as utilities, which puts more stress on the family.
Demonstrating constant worrying about things you cannot change will also rub off on kids. They see their parent, the person they most trust in the world to keep them safe, being worried about everything. Obsessive worry also makes children feel insecure and sometimes act out. If you want to stop worrying, you may have to get professional help such as counseling- especially if it also comes with inherited anxiety. Other trips to stop worrying include meditation and exercise, as well as following a daily self-care routine.
Being a Picky Eater
There are many reasons why someone might be a picky eater, including intellectual and physical disabilities, allergies, and sensory impairments. Some people might also have dietary restrictions that make them seem picky. However, some adults are picky eaters just because they are difficult. Encouraging your children to at least try different foods and offering these foods to them in non-stressful meal times is a great way to encourage good food habits over bad habits that could make eating in social settings complicated in the future.
Not Expressing Yourself
An adult should never be afraid to express themselves in appropriate ways such as calmly talking about their feelings, not being afraid to dress the way they want or have an opinion. When adults are afraid to express themselves, children often learn to be insecure, unhappy, and afraid to be themselves—let alone truly express themselves. Expressing yourself also teaches confidence and self-assuredness to children.
Poor Communication Skills
Part of not expressing yourself may have to do with poor communication skills. Some people get very nervous talking to people (even their family) about any issues they’re having. Children who don’t see adults communicating the right way will often repeat the same behavior and be even more closed off and unemotional with their immediate family members and friends. Instead, learn to be open and positive with your family.
Inability to Maintain Good Relationships
If you cannot communicate, you’re over-worrying, and you don’t like confrontation, it can be hard to maintain good relationships with your family. Building and maintaining good relationships can be learned by example. When you show your kids that you’re spending time with your best friend alone at lunch once a month, they learn that interpersonal relationships outside of the immediate family are also crucial for maintaining a healthy, balanced life.
Not Saying “I’m Sorry”
You’ve heard people joke about not being able to say they’re sorry, but this is not a good quality for someone to have. If you are one of those people, learn how to do it now. It’s easy. Just state what you did wrong and then say, “I am very sorry.” Being genuine in your apology is essential; however, and your children should be able to communicate with you in a way that engages their understanding of what they did and why it was terrible to do.
Eating a Poor Diet
One of the most significant habits we pick up from our parents has to do with our relationships with food. When you grow up eating food specific to one area or culture, that food is typically what you make in your household and family. Parents who buy and eat a bunch of junk food and drink a lot of soda or go out to eat frequently are showing their children that a poor diet is acceptable and expected.
There is no doubt that each of these bad habits negatively impacts your family. What’s worse is that you are at risk of passing these types of bad habits on to your kids. Even spouses can catch bad habits from each other, but being aware of the bad habits you present is the first step in overcoming them!