10 Things parents should never do in front of their kids
Remember: your kids are watching you
Whether we’re aware of it or not, our kids are watching us closely, learning from our examples. That’s why we should be especially careful about how we act around them. TheAsianParent founder Roshni Mahtani asked a question on theAsianparent Community about behaviors parents should refrain from when with their kids:
“Kids are like sponges, they will mimic you,” Irsyad I. responded. “So be the kind of person you want your child to be.” Here are the things parents should stop doing in front of their kids, according to the theAsianparent Community community:
Smoking was the first thing several theAsianparent Community users listed down. Not only does smoking in front of your child set a bad example, it also affects their health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke causes ear infections, asthma attacks, respiratory problems and infections, and more risk for sudden infant death syndrome. (It should go without saying that smoking is also bad for your health. There’s no better time to quit than now.)
2. Getting drunk
Like smoking, many theAsianparent Community users named drinking or getting drunk in front of kids as a no-no. Though there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine or a can of beer with your meal, you should definitely not be getting drunk—or even tipsy—around your child.
According to Drinkaware, underage drinking has a strong link to how they were exposed to alcohol at home, so be careful. Whenever you drink alcohol around your child, do it sensibly, and be sure to educate them on responsible drinking.
“I’ve seen a lot of parents (some are even my relatives) who swear and curse in front of their children. Though they don’t mean to say it and most of the time they curse or swear out of habit and fun, their children were able to adapt the language (that they don’t even understand). I’ve heard my three-year-old niece cursing her playmate while laughing, thinking that it’s funny because her dad and mom are doing it on a regular basis.”
— Janine M.
4. Fighting with one another
“If there is a need to, close the doors and soften your voice. Or if this is impossible, one partner can leave the place for a while until both have calmed down to talk without screaming bloody murder.”
— Nooraini D.
5. Disrespecting service staff
“I think this something most parents forget about and it’s just so said to see kids nowadays talk in such a haughty tone to a service staff. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are definite musts.”
6. Trash talk, gossip, being racist, showing prejudices
“No one is born a racist. It’s a learned behavior.”
— Rose C.
7. Not walking the talk.
“Parents should also be careful not to show contradictory behavior (not practicing what they preach). For example if you’re against swearing, don’t swear when your children can hear it.”
— Jared M.
“Parents should not be dishonest to others. But it’s also important to remember that even the little things can send the wrong message. Passing off acts of omission as ‘white lies,’ for instance, can establish a harmful behavioral patterns which can evolve into more dangerous acts such as cheating or lying to parents. They might think it can be justified as simply ‘white lies.'”
— Bianca M.
9. Being violent
“A long time ago, when I was a child, I remember a relative hitting his wife for dropping a tray of drinks at a gathering. Me and my cousins were playing in the kitchen and we saw it but that idiot of a man didn’t care.
“So no, on top of everything else everyone has said, don’t ever ever ever abuse (physical, emotional, mental) any person or animal in front of kids. Some kids remember it for life like me while others might just emulate it since it seems ok for adults to do it.”
— Yuna L.
10. Spending too much time on their devices.
“Parents must avoid technological overindulgence, especially if they own an iPad or a laptop or a fancy phone. There are two reasons:
- This can make the child think that they are no longer important to their parents because they have been replaced by technology.
- This will encourage young children to constantly use technology as the primary recreational activity as opposed to physical activities.”
— Deepshikha P.