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How do you teach your kids to be better than you?

Everything I read says that the most important thing our kids learn from is our example... but I don't want my son to pick up my undesirable traits, the way I picked them up from my father. So how do you nurture the best and suppress the worst?

Asked by at 12:02 PM on Oct. 23, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • Be honest about your shortcomings, show them that you are trying to improve, and explain that you want them to be "better" than you and how much harder it is to change/learn as an adult.
    Leading by example id the best way but it is also important that they learn that people are not perfect and that people can change.

    Answer by trying2survive at 12:19 PM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • I feel the same way. I dont want my son to be like me, or his dad really. We both need to work on ourselves. I just try not to show it too much in front of our son. We fight and yell, but not around him. Im extremely emotional, and am a big cry'r. But I just try not to do it in from of him. If my partners stressed and not using the best language, I take him out of the room. Just try not to expose them to the trates your not too faund of, and hope that it works.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:15 PM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • Eliminate your own undesirable habits.

    Anything else is just pure hypocrisy: you can't pretend that it is 'important' to you that people not do what you do, not even to children. They're just not that stupid.

    A mother asked Gandhi to tell her son to stop eating white sugar, and he said 'come back in 2 weeks.' Two weeks later the mom came back with her son and Gandhi said 'stop eating white sugar.' The mom was appalled and said 'why didn't you say that 2 weeks ago?!?'

    Gandhi replied: because 2 weeks ago I was still eating white sugar.

    Walk the talk. It really is the only way.

    Answer by LindaClement at 12:16 PM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • I don't know. There's something to be said of the "do as I say, not as I do," train of thought.
    From an early age I've tried to teach my kids to eat healthy and just be healthier. But, at 32, old habits are hard to break. I do eat a lot healthier then I did in college, before I had kids, but I still indulge. My kids are constantly calling me on it. But they have taken the lessons to heart. They choose fresh fruit and veggies as snacks even when we have junk food in the house and don't really question when I tell them the candy bar is for me and they get nothing. Although their eyes light up if I tell them they can have a banana or something instead.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:26 PM on Oct. 23, 2009