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How does my behavior affect my children's behavior?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics
Your behavior affects your children's behavior because they are listening and learning, whether or not they seem like it. Just as they learned to talk from repeating your words, they learn to behave by repeating your behaviors.
If you are polite and compassionate, they are more likely to be polite and compassionate. If you are a fun-loving free spirit, they too should exhibit these qualities. Whatever your good qualities are, your children will probably share them.
Unfortunately, the reverse is true as well. Parents who lose their temper easily, yell often, or are rude have children who behavior poorly. Hitting a child because they hit a sibling simply reinforces that hitting is an option and increases the likelihood they hit again.
Be your best self in front of your kids! In doing so, realize that being your best self may mean learning from your mistakes rather than not making them.
Lynne Kenney
Psychology
On occasion, I have encountered parents who want their children to behave well, but do not behave well themselves. These are difficult parents to intervene with, because they seem to believe that they can be rude and insensitive, and expect to raise children who are loving, rule-abiding, and compassionate. It just doesn’t work like that. There’s never a reason to tell a child, “You’re a baby”…“You’re a brat”…“You are acting like a girl,” or even, “Go live with your dad, I’ve had enough of you.” And it certainly won’t help children to be kind and considerate themselves. Making changes in our children means committing to change within ourselves.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.