Child Behavior And Discipline - Other

Bad Habits Children Learn from their Parents

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There are many bad habits children learn from their parents, some of which can affect their lives tremendously as they enter adulthood. Children learn by watching others, and while seeing their parents partake in bad habits, they too stand a chance of following in their parents footsteps. Sometimes parents may not realize the seriousness of their bad habits, as listed below, until their children begin to do the same things.

Swearing, cussing, or using profanity is a bad habit that parents display in front of their children, and one that is picked up early in life when children first begin to talk. It is a habit that is often hard to break, and will cause the child trouble in school when using the language he or she hears at home.

Gossiping and talking bad about others
Children hear things when we do not even know they are listening. When a child hears their parents on the phone talking about others in a negative way, or spreading something that should not be repeated, they too will become curious and will think it is normal to carry on this way. They may also repeat what they have heard, to teachers, other family members or anyone else that they hear their parents talking about. This can be hurtful to others, as well as embarrassing for the parents.

Children practice what they see, and if a parent constantly says they are going to do something but they never do until days or weeks later, this is the path a child may also take. This goes for parents who warn or threaten their kids repeatedly that if they do not behave, they will be punished. Children learn to recognize that the parents do not really mean this, and they probably have ten more times before the parents will actually do what they say.

Drinking and smoking
Children who see their parents engage in these activities may think it looks like fun, especially if the parents act differently in front of them while under the influence. Children may think smoking or drinking is “cool” and may not see any dangers in these bad habits, because after all, their parents are doing it!

Drinking and driving
Another habit that is not only bad, but illegal as well, is drinking and driving. When parents drive home from a cookout or get-together after they have been drinking with their children in the car, they are taking a risk that could end up being tragic. This is teaching children that it is okay to break the law, and when they decide to do the same thing, they may not be so lucky as to make it home safely. They should never think that it is okay to drink and drive under any circumstance, as they, too, take a chance on killing themselves or someone else on the roads.

Cheating, lying and not doing what is right
A child sees their parents do these things in subtle ways. For example, if a store clerk gives them back too much money and they knowingly keep it. Alternatively, if they lie, or tell their kids to lie about their age in order to get a better deal in a restaurant, leave grocery carts in the middle of the parking lot instead of returning them to the proper place, or even doing their kid’s homework or school projects for them instead of helping them. Children, when seeing their parents practice these habits, may commit even bigger wrongdoings when they are older.

Bad habits that children learn from their parents will perhaps stay with them through life, and they may have to suffer much harsher consequences for these habits as they get older because of the way the world is changing. They are already exposed to the bad habits displayed by celebrities, sports personalities and politicians.

Children look up to their parents as role models, and the most important lesson parents can teach their children is that honesty is the best policy, that to get ahead in life, you have to work for what you want and to always obey the rules.

More about this author: Kat Ballew

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