21 Parenting Habits Women 'Inherited' From Their Moms

three generations of women

When it comes to raising happy, healthy kids, who do many moms turn to as a role model? Their own mothers, of course! That's right, whether you even realize it or not, you probably "inherited" a ton of parenting rules and rituals from the woman who raised you.


As a kid, of course, you probably didn't appreciate all the things your mother did for you -- but now that you're in the same hot seat with your kids, you may see the wisdom in her ways. Here are some of these best parenting habits moms have decided to carry on with their own kids.

  1. "My mother never had the radio on while she was driving us around as kids. It meant that we could have conversations instead of tuning each other out while listening to music. And it's something I do to this day: Having silence doesn't promise good conversations, but it does make it easier."
  2. "I warm my kids' towels in the dryer for when they hop out of the tub."
  3. "My mother created a little game that I now play with my kids. On Oscar night, we all guess which movies will win which awards. Whoever makes the most correct guesses wins whatever treat they want from the ice cream parlor. Everyone else gets a regular hot fudge sundae. It's a win-win, and a lot of fun!"
  4. "I sing my daughter to sleep every night after her bedtime story."
  5. "Just like my mom did for me, I have fresh-baked cookies and lemonade waiting for the kids after school. That way, we have a few minutes to chit chat about their day before I start dinner and they start homework."
  6. "One year my mom tied a string to our joint Christmas gift then strung in all over the house. We had to follow the end of the string to our gift, going upstairs, downstairs, outside. It was a lot of fun. I will definitely do that with my kids one day."
  7. "We have a sit down, relatively formal dinner every night, just like my mom did."
  8. "Lots of cuddles, even though my kids are teenagers."
  9. "I sound exactly like my mom when I yell or get frustrated! She has an accent from living in Europe until she was 17. I was born and raised in south Florida and have no accent, unless I yell or speak in frustration. Don't know why!"
  10. "Family bridge and dominoes."
  11. "I kiss my kids goodnight each night when they go to bed. I get that from my mother. It never mattered the age of the child, from infancy on up until they leave for college."
  12. "Very limited TV, unless it is PBS."
  13. "I make my daughter some of the same recipes my mom made me, and that my grandma made her: homemade fudge, homemade chicken and dumplings, homemade chocolate chip cookies. My mom is the most amazing woman I've ever met. If I end up being half the mom she is, I'll be happy!"
  14. "New pajamas on Christmas eve."
  15. "A huge one for me is reading and visiting the library. My mom was a very avid reader and instilled that love for the written word in us. I bring my kids to the library regularly and read to them every night before bed."
  16. "Tea time! My mom and I always loved our tea time. I, in turn, love having tea time with my little ones."
  17. "The one thing I got from my mom was that she would build up my self esteem by saying I was smart, beautiful, etc. I always say those things to my kids."
  18. "I nag like her sometimes. I absolutely hate that!"
  19. "I co-slept; so did my mom. I also wait on my daughter pretty much hand and foot. My mom did that to us when we were little. She had five of us and that wasn't sustainable, but I only have the one, so it has endured."
  20. "My mom always did fun crafts and activities with us. My favorite was painting sugar cookies, which is also something I do with my kids. I do these things because even though there were a lot of things that went wrong with my childhood, these are the things that I look back on fondly."
  21. "The house rules and things my mom did that I copied are:
    1. Reading a book at bedtime, then hug and kiss goodnight
    2. Pizza Fridays
    3. Color Easter eggs
    4. Make costumes for Halloween
    5. Decorate for Christmas. I wish I had continued putting little gifts into Christmas stockings like she had, but that took too much planning.
    6. I bake like my mom, but I was afraid to copy the tradition of licking the spoon because of the hype about raw eggs.
    7. Homework at the kitchen table, so that I could check progress while I prepare dinner.
    8. Everyone eats dinner together, no matter what else is going on that night.
    9. I display my mom's hand painted turkey platter that she received at her wedding shower in 1954. I would still use it like she did every year, but I am afraid it can't take more washing. Displaying it helps to show how important traditions are.
    10. Everyone eats a good breakfast before school.
    11. Eat dinner, or go to bed without it. She only had to send me once.
    12. No whining.
    13. Try everything (food, sports) at least twice before deciding you don't like it.
    14. No backtalk.
    It's amazing that some of the rules you hated as a child did make you a better parent!"

What parenting rule did you inherit from your mom?


Image via Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

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