Giving your kids your bad habits

my big dog
my big dog

When my daughter was going through her "terribles," I rediscovered my short temper. I'd like to blame my hothead on the fact that her "terribles" coincided with the birth of my second child and sleep deprivation, but that wouldn't be truthful.    I've always struggled with a quick tongue.   However, nothing brought this out quicker than having my toddler tell me what she was and wasn't going to do.

To "bite my tongue" during this time, I developed a habit of gritting my teeth, clutching my fists, and making a short sound like "grrr."  This kept me from saying something I'd regret, but what I didn't realize was how my response was impacting my kid.

However, one day I witnessed our yellow lab, Jake, steal something from my daughter, and she turned on her heels, gritted her teeth, clutched her fists and yelled at the top of her lungs...


My plan B wasn't working.  My approach wasn't solving my temper, instead, I was modeling a coping tool that, in the end, wasn't too attractive.

Of course, as the years progress, whether I want to or not, I realize I'm passing on a LOT of traits onto my kids, both good and bad.  (Remember The Negotiator Incident?)

Parenting is the most humbling thing I've ever done.

That's not a complaint.  Just a fact.

What habits are you inadvertently passing along to your kids?