Babies and Bad Habits

April Peveteaux
2

Thanks to the smoking baby story, another mom wrote what I've been wondering: When do our kids start to pick up our bad habits?

Michelle Gerdes writes in the Wall Street Journal about her 22-month-old mimicking talking on the telephone. My 14-month-old has been doing that for awhile now, which makes me wonder a) how often do I talk on the phone? and b) why this, out of all the other things we do in front of him?

While the telephone isn't as bad for you as smoking cigarettes, there are plenty of other bad habits I'd rather he not pick up, but short of becoming a perfect person (umm, not likely), what's a regular old mom to do?

For example, the first time my baby noticed me yelling was painful. After all, I was yelling at his older sister who had the benefit of never hearing me yell throughout her babyhood. If anyone (the dog, my husband) needed some yelling at, I did it outside of her earshot.

But when a 4-year-old is drawing on the table in crayon, after she's been repeatedly told not to in a calm voice but she knows I'm distracted by trying to get the baby to eat without grabbing and throwing his spoon across the room -- well, a yell is going to come out of my throat.

Also, when I ate that piece of cake for breakfast while insisting everyone else stick with whole grains -- probably not the best example to set for either child.

So far no one has asked for a cake breakfast, but my baby sure is a big yeller. My fault? Maybe.

What bad habits do you have that you worry your baby could pick up?


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