Everyone has a few bad habits we need to surrender, but it's often our day-to-day actions that our children pick up the quickest — and can mimic to perfection. From how you talk to your spouse to how you talk on the phone, anything you can do your child can (and will) do better. So while it's exhausting to always be on your best behaviour, here are a few actions to check yourself on, because your children are sure to copy them.
1. Using Phone Manners
How and when we talk on our phones gets passed along to our littlest mimickers. If you ever want to see how you look while talking on the phone, hand your kiddo a pretend phone and watch. We guarantee that what you'll witness afterward is a reflection of you.
2. Making Reaction Noises
My daughter has taken up giving out a loud sigh when she is annoyed. It bugs me, so I asked her where on earth she learned such a behaviour and she said, "Well, you do it, mummy."
3. Body Shaming
Unhappy with your body? Join the club, but please don't shame yourself in front of your tot. Kiddos pick up on these comments faster than you can imagine — and may repeat it to themselves the next time they look in the mirror.
4. Speaking to Others
If you want to hear how you sound when speaking to others, listen in on your child's playtime. It'll provide you with some good insight on your own behaviours.
Does your child flip out over seemingly small things? Part of it is being a child, but another part of it could be your own behaviour rubbing off. So, next time you see a spider crawling past your legs, maybe resist the urge to jump on the counters and scream.
6. Speaking Politely
Show me a child who is polite and I'll show you the parent whom he mimics.
7. Using Free Time
Children are genuinely interested in what their parents are doing, so if you spend all of your free time in front of the TV or computer, chances are your child will too.
8. Making Fun of Others
Joking around with your spouse about the way someone at the mall is dressed may seem innocent enough, until your child does it. And then it seems way more mean-spirited.
Yes, kids hear colourful language at school, but their main source of the foul language is their parents. I like to throw a zinger in there as much as the next mama, but it's not nearly as funny when my 4-year-old does it . . . at preschool.
10. Saying "Like" or "Um"
Nothing shows you your linguistic tendencies until you have a small child who, like, speaks exactly, um, as you do. You know?
11. Nose Picking
If you don't want your child to do it, then you might want to curb your own tendencies to dig for gold.
12. Practicing Spirituality
Will your children follow your religion your whole life? Maybe not. But chances are that if you provide a spiritual example for your tots, they'll mimic your relationship with your religion.