Bad Habits In Children Of All Ages: A Parental Guide

There’s no doubt that parenting is incredibly varied. You are the nurse, the peacemaker, the person who provides hugs and kisses after a bad day– and you are the guardian.

Not just in the legal sense, but in the literal sense: parents are the guardian of who their children will be in the future. That’s why so many parents carefully monitor their children’s behavior, always on the lookout for how their choices may impact their child in the future. You want to be an excellent example to your children and hope that they will then follow in your footsteps.

You, like all parents, almost certainly do a great job of being a guardian. However, you are not the only adult who may influence how your child behaves in future. Your children can pick up bad habits from a variety of different sources– which is why all parents have to keep an eye out for harbingers of problems inherited from other people. Even if you do the best job in the world, there’s always a chance that your children will pick up bad behaviors from others– and it’s these you need to guard against.

This is work that continues whether your child is eight or 28; all parents worry about the implications of bad habits for the rest of their child’s life.

Below is an exploration of signs of bad behavior that your children may pick up from other sources at any age and, most importantly, how you can put a stop to it.

BAD HABIT: Swearing

Most of us watch our usage of expletives around our kids; some of us even have swear jars to ensure that we always stick to the rules. When you’ve been parenting for a while, you’ll quickly learn to modify the language you use when your children are in earshot– but that doesn’t mean other adults will do the same.

How To Handle Swearing

For Children

If you hear your child using language you know they didn’t pick up from you, then take action. Explain that the word is inappropriate and that they shouldn’t use it. There’s no need to be angry — children can’t help the words that adults less cautious than you use — so keep it light and thank them for avoiding that word in the future.

For Adults

While you might not approve of bad language, if your child is an adult in their right, then they can express themselves as they see fit. There’s no harm in asking them to be careful about the language they use around you, however.

BAD HABIT: Smoking

Smoking is most often picked up by peers, especially if your children are entering their teenage years. As a non-smoker, you will usually be able to smell cigarette smoke from five feet away, but even if you don’t, then there are always telltale signs of smoking that you can look out for.

How To Handle Smoking

For Children

If you discover that your child is smoking, then there’s plenty you can do to help put a stop to the situation. Restricting their finances is usually the best way of doing this, as this prevents them from being able to obtain cigarettes.

For Adults

Try and appeal to the sense of your adult child, explaining the dangers of smoking and expressing concern about their health. You could even try and persuade them of the benefits of a switch to vaping, choosing to shop Vaporescence and similar suppliers on their behalf, presenting them with a starter pack as an incentive to make the switch.

BAD HABIT: Rudeness

Many parents make considerable efforts to instill the need for politeness into their children; you have probably done the same thing. We all want to be confident our kids will mind their Ps and Qs, and always try to be understanding of others. If you witness behavior that suggests that your child is developing a tendency to be rude, then it’s an issue you’re going to want to address directly.

How To Handle Rudeness

For Children

Gently correct your child if you ever witness them being rude. It’s also worth instilling the need to say “please” and “thank you” with extra insistence at home; in time, it should become natural for your children to use these words. If they don’t, refuse to comply with a request until they have used the appropriate language.

For Adults

It’s tough when you see your adult children being rude to others, but remember, they’re never too old for a little parental advisory. There’s always a place for a simple: “I didn’t raise you like that!” to admonish their behavior, which is useful without falling into the trap of being a long lecture that they tune out.

BAD HABIT: Lack Of Focus

Children need a direction in life; they need to know where they’re going, what they hope to achieve, and how they are going to be able to get there. If your child is continuously showing signs of procrastination, then this is a matter you’ll want to deal with.

How To Handle A Lack Of Focus

For Children

Children are most likely to fall into focus-free bad habits during school holidays, as they are without the normalizing routine of school. Try to assemble plans and expectations of them during their holidays; leave some time for them to have fun, but include plenty of excursions and learning opportunities.

For Adults

A long talk with your adult child can help you understand why they lack direction in their life. Don’t be judgmental; just ask a concerned parent, and if any issues become apparent, work with them to help solve the problem.

Remember: bad habits can always be fought back against if you know the appropriate action to remedy them. After reading through the above, you should have a good idea where to begin– good luck.

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