Bad Habits that Children Inherit from their Parents and How to Break Them

Read about the bad habits children can inherit from their parents and how to break them.

Parents don’t realize that everything they do, their children watch and start mimicking their words and actions.

If you have a house where there is quite a bit of yelling, your children are probably going to raise their children like that. If you as parents curse frequently at home, most likely your children will start cursing and so will your grandchildren. Some parents actually think it’s funny when their children curse at home, but it’s not really funny because many children and adults become offended by these words. If your household contains violence, this is another bad habit that can carry on for generations and so can substance abuse. When parents divorce and have multiple partners in their life and bring them home or are moving in and out with different partners, this too can become hard on children and their adult relationships most likely will be similar to their parents.

There are also other bad habits as well as not taking responsibility for their own actions. Parents can become tired and not be too interested to see if their children have homework and that can set off some bad habits. Poor hygiene care when it comes to bathing, shampooing hair and kids entering puberty can pass down through generations. It’s difficult for people to think and function in dysfunction, even if it boils down to five loads of laundry a messy house and sinks full of dishes. Children are important and need the help of their parents, however; it’s hard to juggle all of these responsibilities plus a job and school for parents if they are taking night or online classes. Emotions can run high at times and frustration sets in quickly. Parents become just as overwhelmed as their children at times. There are many examples of bad habits that could be mentioned, however, the world has changed so much and family structures are different. Some families are blended, some parents have 50/50 custody so kids have different rules at each parent’s home. The main point of this is thinking about any bad habits you may have learned and find yourself doing while raising your own children.

Every person is a product of the environment they grew up in.

Your parents were the ones who helped you grow and learn the good qualities you have. Now you are an adult and may worry excessively, struggle with insecurities, are compulsive or are afraid to speak up. This might be coming from some bad habits your parents didn’t realize you learned. Habits and many behaviors are learned by how you react to circumstances in the world you live in. Did you ever wonder where these habits came from? This all goes back to the environment you were raised in and how your parents’ habits you don’t like ended up becoming part of your life.

There are a few reasons for children to pick up bad habits from their environment and one is through mimicking. Another way is genetics and this still has something to do with the natural order of things and nurturing. Genetics and mimicking parents or other adults are what it is that makes you different.

This doesn’t mean you can’t change and if you are unhappy with certain habits you have, change them. As you grow into adults, you realize that not everything you learned from your parents was right. You are the one who can decide what behaviors you cherish and which ones you don’t agree with. If your dad dumped all the garbage on your bed because you didn’t take it out on time, why would you do that to your child. If your parents called you names out of frustration or claimed you remind them of a spouse they no longer were married to, why would you want your child to relive that behavior?  

Stress is one behavior you might have picked up from your parents and how did they manage stress? If certain times of the year, you noticed your parents becoming agitated, and now you dread these times of the year, you are reacting like your parents. Recognition is the beginning of learning how to manage stress. Now you are ready to make some changes and if you are ready a great therapist is always willing to help. This will help you learn techniques on how to make stress more manageable.

There’s nothing wrong when you decide to spend money, but if you are a compulsive gambler or are addicted to online shopping to relieve stress, maybe it’s time you look at this differently. Did mom or dad do these things to relieve their stress? Whether you know it or not, becoming impulsive is passed through genetic traits so this is something you might want to get control over. When the bills come in and your paycheck isn’t stretching, it’s time to talk to someone to help you learn to control being impulsive. Some people are impulsive from various diseases like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). This may cause major problems in many areas of their lives or your life so you might want to talk to a therapist to get these behaviors under control.

Believe it or not, our money spending ideas are already in our consciousness by the age of 8. Some people are afraid to spend money because they grew up in poverty, some feel money is the root of all evil and there are many more reasons. You can change these bad habits as well when you build a healthy relationship with your money. You earn it and work hard for this so spend wisely and focus on needs and occasionally a want if it fits your budget.

Anxiety is another inherited issue that can also be a habit that is very hard to control. Anxiety has more of a tendency to make you feel uncontrollable and this is when using mindfulness comes in handy. Focus on the here and now, don’t worry about the future and live on “what ifs”. This is sure to make you dwell on a subject for an entire day and ruin your day because this never happened. You have to learn how to get through this anxiety and do something you enjoy. Meditate, read a book, swim, go to the gym, bike or take a walk. Once you realize you inherited this trait from a parent, this will help you understand yourself more. If you are still having problems, call your family doctor.

You don’t have to beat yourself up over having bad habits, you can’t control genetics but you can start to understand what habits you don’t like and put in the effort to change them.