passing habits onto our children


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I am currently pregnant and I was joking with my husband that we would not longer be able to drive in his 2 door car everywhere, since the car seat won't fit(we ended up searching the net and several actually will!). During the conversation I mentioned that we would definitely have the car seat checked by the police or local organization(I just saw a commercial on TV for it). He stopped joking and said he would never do it. The reason? He won't have a person without a degree checking his work. (Though I wonder how my elementary education degree and his math degree makes us more qualified) I explained to him they are trained and he was adamant. His final reason, he just doesn't like cops.

Heres my issue, though I love him, his habit of making snide remarks about others bothers me. For example he grunts like a pig when seeing a cop. Or the other day when showing him pictures of career day in my classroom, he asked what the ghetto black man was doing there (The "ghetto black man" was a phd candidate at the local university in atmospheric science). Or how anyone who is cheap with money must be Jewish. While I in the past I have tried to not let it bother me, now that we are going to have a child soon, I wonder, will he pass this habit onto our kids? Should I be worried?

I love my husband and think he will be a great father, but I also want our kids to be accepting of all and respect people for who they are and not what they look like. I definitely want our kids to trust cops and go to them if there is ever a need. Am I just overreacting because of the pregnant hormones coursing through my body?

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Guest tomk

How much of your husband's kidding is REAL vs teasing you?

Sometimes I say things to get my wife's goat. Guys tease...that is how they show love. :)

I would just talk with him about it.

Sometimes my wife and I write letters to each other. That way we can present our case without worrying about things escalating into a fight. Of course, this can backfire....

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My limited experience, after just having our fifth child, is that you *will* both pass on your habits to your children, but that is not the end of the story. First and foremost, I believe having children is *the greatest* motivator for eliminating bad habits. We see ourselves reflected in our children, and we're motivated to change. Plus, kids stretch us in more ways than we ever thought possible, and motivate us to change.

But spouses don't and shouldn't motivate each other to change . . . it just doesn't usually work out. Each spouse should see the good in the other, and try to think of how Heavenly Father loves your spouse. Heavenly Father knows just how far we have to go, but he's patient, and knows that forcing us to change does no good, he needs to let us change when we're ready, since that's the only way our heart changes along with our actions.

My guess is your husband doesn't want to have prejudices, and may even feel bad about his habit. Think about how many habits you wish you could break, but haven't yet been able to. We usually know what we need to change, and don't need others to tell us. Of course, it doesn't hurt to take time out to read parenting books together, go to seminars & firesides, visit counselors, etc. so we can be reminded of the really good ideas we always knew ;).

All that said, you can help your husband by believing his heart is good, and praising him every chance you get. The belief in him and praise for him sets for him an image of what he can become, and shows him someone close to him believes in him. That's motivating. It works on kids too. Now, if only I could get myself to do it more consistently!!!

Oh yes, and I forgot to suggest prayer. It truly does miraculous things. God hears us, and will help soften the hearts of our loved ones just because we pray for them.

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Guest GhostRider

I can see all of your points on this. However... My family basicaly comesfrom the south. My grandfather did not care for the african american race. It was instilled in him as a young man. My father is the polar oppisite as am I. So that was one habit that did not get passed down...thank goodness!

AS I do not have children it is hard for me. yet seeing the things that goes on with my brother and his boys I can see where my grandmothers phrase of " Becarefull what you do cause young ears and eyes be a watchin" comes into play. I have a 3 year old nephew that basically wants to be just like Uncle Ex. Scary thought in itself. i had to be VERY careful what I did around him. I caught him once trying to get my Copenhagen tin ( I quit soon after this) open so he could dip just like me. So sometimes it is not the parents....but those around the parents also that need to be careful.

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You know....the first time your little un's repeat something inappropriate and come home crying OR repeat your behaviour in a publicly embaressing a steep learning curve.

Parents bring different bits of baggage to the parenting equation. Your hubby may also have some things about you that he's nervous about. Mistakes are sometimes made and none of us are perfect : )

However you may find that he will change. There's something about holding a little baby in your arms that makes you want to be a better person. Relax. Things will work out. Love is a powerful thing.

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