by Holly O'Connor
posted Mar 26 2014 7:47AM
1. Telling white lies--A cop pulls you over for speeding, and you tell him you were rushing to get your daughter to soccer practice--even though she's in the back seat and knows that isn't true. Lying is such a commonplace practice in an adult's life that you may not even realize you're doing it. And by following your example, she'll assume it's no big deal to lie even about big stuff.
2. Keeping secrets from your wife--You swing by McDonald's for a snack and whisper to your child, "Mom doesn't have to know we snuck out for some fries." You may think it’s harmless-or even a type of parent-child bonding. But you're showing to your kid that it's okay to lie to your partner.
3. Teasing your tyke--With other grownups or your partner around, it may seem fun to use a little sarcasm or gentle teasing. But your kid won't understand you're not serious. Kids are literal all the time. You need to be as well.
4. Spending too much time on your iPad--If you're fine with your child having a cell phone at age 6 and playing with a tablet before he can walk, then feel free to use. But if you want him to spend his early years with books and hands-on activities like Legos, you need to put down your own digital devices when he's with you.
5. Losing your temper--This includes losing it with anything or anybody--not just your kids. Children tend to believe any bad things that happen are their fault. Even if you're mad because your favorite team just blew a lead, your child will assume you're upset about something he did, which will frighten him.
6. Making fun of a crazy friend or annoying relative—A comment about "your cousin the drunk" or "your loser friend from college" will imprint itself on your kid’s brain. And he's liable to repeat it the next time you're around the person you insulted.
7. Joking about your kid's teacher or school--You can probably remember one or two weird teachers from your elementary school days. But while you may think it's harmless to poke fun at your child's science teacher, he will assume you don't have respect for that person--or for school in general. And so he won't either.
Original story by Markham Heid, Men's Health