Do Kids get Habits from Parents – Yes

Habit.  The title of this article speaks volumes as to the answer.  Does a child learn their habits from their parents?  Yes.  Habits are learned physical, mental and emotional reactions to daily life.  If Dad chews with his mouth open and son sees this, son will mimic (learn) to act as his father does.   

When a mother loses her temper and throws a fit because she failed to get her way with Dad, daughter learns the habit quickly and uses it to get her way with both parents.

Learned acts are habits and vice versa.  We learn to smoke, thus it becomes a habit.  Swearing, throwing fits, and pouting are all bad habits.  They have been learned for the sole purpose of getting one’s way or to show displeasure.

Good habits are much easier to overlook.   Sitting properly in a chair is a learned habit, even though it is a good one.  Most people would say that a child that sat properly, had good table manners and asked to be excused when finished with a meal has good manners.  In fact, these manners are taught to the child until they become habits.

Do all habits come directly from parents?  No, of course they do not.  Peers influence many habits on their friends.  Most of the time, we only notice the bad habits.  Sneaking out of the house, going to parties that are forbidden, drugs, sex, etc… are actions that become habits if left unchecked by the parents/guardians.  These are the life destroying habits that no good parent wants their children to learn. 

On the other hand, habits such as good study skills, being responsible people, being honest, and doing well overall, are all great habits that we hope to instill in our children.

Society in the United States has become so willing to allow children of all ages to run the show, so to speak, that we must wonder where there ill training, poor manners, bad habits and lifestyles have come from.  The parents.  Like habits of any type, poor parenting is also a learned habit. To not discipline a child is to teach that child the bad habit of raising more undisciplined children.  They only know what they are taught.

There are also habits that kids develop that have nothing to do with parents or peers.  Many children are born with mental deficits that cause irrational behaviors.  Such mental problems are many times dealt with as bad habits instead of the illness/problem they are. Washing one’s hands over and over may not be a habit, but more likely Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  In this scenario, the child’s mind tells them that their hands are dirty and must be washed.  They can never get their hands clean enough.  Their hands were not dirty in the first place, actually, but this mental illness causes them to think they are and thus, rewash them many, many times in a day.  This is not a habit.  This is an illness.  As are many other odd habits some children experience. 

To say that a child does not learn habits from a parent would be like saying a fledgling doesn’t learn to fly from the mother bird.