We all have things, characteristics that we’ve inherited from our parents, whether they be good or bad. I have a friend who said she constantly notices how she’s turning into her mother because she worries about things more than she should and she does so because her mother did it. Believe it or not, it is that simple for us to develop the same behavioral patterns that our parents had, no matter how far removed from their homes we are. A couple of weeks ago I talked about how we as parents can’t live by a “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” creed because children often mock our behavior without even trying to. It’s almost as if they inherit our quirks and inconsistencies as if it’s in their little genes. Knowing this, what are some very common behaviors that we, who have parents from the baby boomer era, may have inherited and should be conscious of passing on to our children?

Worry – As I mentioned above, my friend just talked about how she picked up on the habit of worrying from her mother and how debilitating it can be. We all know that worrying can cause unnecessary stress, especially when worrying about things we can’t control. If there ever was a time for uncertainty for kids, it’s now. For most of them, their routines are out of the ordinary but the one thing we can do as parents is to keep things
at home as normal and even as fun as possible. Pinterest is full of activities that you can do with your kids at home to keep their minds engaged and uplifted.

The inability to express how they feel/poor communication skills – It’s all too easy for some families to want to protect their children from issues that seem too real, too soon, especially if these are emotional issues. However, not dealing with problems head-on can cause your children to shut down and lead to an inability to express themselves. Try this: even in simple matters such as choosing what you should eat for dinner as a family, or making any kind of family decisions, encourage your children to give their input and let them have the floor. This will make them begin to feel valued at an early age and can build their confidence a great deal.

Poor food choices – I’m going to tell you something that you may already know, but hearing again is always a good refresher. We can probably pinpoint the overt bad food choices we make on a daily basis. We tend to eat these types of foods because we’ve grown up eating them. Let’s face it, when it comes to food, our kids under the age of 16 don’t have full-time jobs and they are left to eat whatever it is we make available to them. Not only that, but they are also more inclined to eat what they see us eating whether it’s good for them or not. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but a sure-fire way to keep our waistlines in check is to think about the responsibility we have to teach our kids the importance of healthy nutrition. Not only that, what we offer them in the way of food choices and examples now, paves the way for their health and even longevity as adults. We talk the talk, but we also need to walk the walk. Let’s make sure we are making and creating environments of healthy food choices and that we have healthy options available for our kids in the home and when we go out to eat. Y’all for some of us Chick fil a is REAL! I won’t lie, that Red “C” gets more times than I care to mention, but when the attendants begin to know you by name and say welcome back “today”, you know you may have a problem. No, we can’t control everything they consume at school or on the go, but when they step through the door of their home or think of the example their parents set for them, may it be they remember and experience the provision of healthy snack options a majority of the time and the not so healthy options as occasional treats.

Kids and teens are like sponges while they’re living under our roof. Let’s make sure that what they’re absorbing from us are things that can help them go far so that when it’s time for them to pass something on to their children, it’s a legacy of healthy, not harmful habits.