I’m a good mom. Yep, I can say that with confidence. I am a good mom—who has some really bad days. We all do. Any mother who leads you to believe that she doesn’t is hiding something.
I’m not suggesting she has some deep, dark secret (although she might), but I am suggesting that she isn’t letting you into her REAL world to truly see what’s going on.
One of my biggest shortcomings as a mom is passing on some of my bad habits to my kids. Are these habits going to ruin their lives? Not by any stretch of the imagination. However, I know that life will be a little bit easier for them if I don’t go around making them think these bad habits are okay.
So what exactly makes a habit that bad? Bad habits are basically all the things we do that simple don’t serve us well. They are the habits that set us back a bit (or sometimes a lot), and without them our lives would actually be simpler, happier, easier, and just plain better.
As parents we don’t wake up and think, well, let me give my kids some bad habits. Now that’s just crazy. Rather, we move through life doing what we do, not realizing that these tiny people we are raising are watching everything we do. They don’t filter through our behavior patterns and pull out just the good stuff (although that sure would be nice). They take as much of the bad as they do the good. They take it all because they want to be just like us.
Despite our best intentions, we give them plenty of bad to go with the good we serve up. We all do it. Does that make it okay, though? No, it doesn’t. We have to do more. We have to try harder. It won’t make us perfect, but that’s cool because kids don’t want perfect parents.
They just want loving parents. And even when we make an effort to keep the bad habits away from them, they will still pick up on some of them. But if we do better, they will pick up less of the bad stuff, and that’s what really matters.
Here are 5 bad habits we are unknowingly passing on to our kids, and a few tips on how to turn things around.
I exercise 3-5 days a week. I’m not thin, but I’ll just go ahead and blame that on genetics. I am healthy, though. So many of us work so hard to provide for our children, but we fail to take care of ourselves in a way that will keep us around long enough to see them thrive in life.
Exercise is not about some quest to get thin. It’s about living in a way that shows you value the body and the life that God gave you. If you show that moving your body is important to you, there is no doubt it will become important to your kids.
Not being present
Television, smart phones, tablets, and even family drama—the distractions are endless. And the more we allow ourselves to be consumed by life’s distractions, the less present we are when we spend time with our kids.
Sure, kids loves treats, and toys and all kinds of surprises; but what they love most of all is spending quality time with you. They want to know that you see them, you hear them, and that what they have to say matters to you. If you can disconnect from all the outside forces and give your kids some high quality time, everyone will be happier.
I am not proud of this, but I struggle with consistency when it comes to parenting. It’s something I am mindful of and I work on it every single day. Are you inconsistent? Do you say one thing and do another? Do you start things and never finish them?
Kids notice that (honestly, they notice everything). Being more consistent is great for you because it helps you accomplish more in life. It’s also great for your kids to witness. A lack of consistency shows a lack of commitment and follow through. I don’t know about you, but I definitely have no interest in passing that on to my kids.
Not eating well
Do you want your kids eating fruits and veggies while you enjoy a can of coke and a bag of chips after they hit the sack? Not a good look. Healthy eating should be a family affair. There is a time when everyone should indulge, but that time can’t be daily.
Kids need to see you eating well so they can value the importance of healthy eating. If you want them drinking more water, you should drink more water. Be the example and they will surely follow your nutritional lead.
Rushing through life
Are your morning crazy? Do you keep forgetting things you have to do until the last minute? Do you feel like you are rushing through life? Slow down. Rushing all the time makes you anxious, and anxious parents raise anxious kids.
You have to live in a way that allows you to take a deep breath when you need to without feeling guilty about it. We all have busy schedules. We all have a lot to do. But I believe we can all make changes that will allow us to slow down and move through each day with a lot less stress and a lot more patience.
BMWK family, what bad habits can you stop teaching your kids?