Help! I’m Raising a Kid Just Like Me

just like me

Ever had those parenting moments when you realize your child is a mini-you? And it’s not in a good way.  I’ve had these moments with both of my kids as I watch them start to show traits of perfectionism. Or as I watch one child stubbornly express her need for things to be just the way she wants them. And I’ve witnessed many meltdowns of negative self-talk when my son makes a mistake. When I see my kids following in my footsteps in these ways, I say to myself, “Oh no, they are just like me!”

At first, I agonized over the curse I had passed down to my children, but then I remembered that I have some say in how I parent my kids. If you find your kids are carrying on your bad habits, here are some tips to help:

Ask yourself what you wished someone would have done

When you look at a struggle you had as a kid, think about what would have helped you. What do you wish an adult would have done to intervene and help you choose a different path? This doesn’t mean your child will magically respond if you do it, but at least it gets you thinking about solutions that could help. This may be a great chance to teach your child some essential coping skills like these.

Teach through modeling

If you have conquered the struggle in your adult years, show your child how you’ve done it. Maybe you had a lifelong battle with eating poorly. Model healthy eating for your child. Maybe you had an anger problem in the past and your child is struggling with this same issue; show your child the alternatives to an angry response. Modeling healthy behaviors is a way to practice what you preach. Show them that change is possible. I have the power of influence as the mom. {Tweet This}

Share your story if appropriate

Depending on the issue and your child’s age, it may be helpful to share your struggle with your child. Personal testimony can be a helpful way to relate and validate the advice you are giving. Sharing your struggle with being a perfectionist, making friends who aren’t a good influence, or making poor financial decisions can help your child see that your concerns are justified. You have walked that road and want them to learn from your mistakes.

Stop thinking worst-case scenario

Some people make mountains out of molehills when something is upsetting. Just because your child doesn’t have many friends now doesn’t mean he will be the kid sitting alone at lunch forever. This worst-case scenario thinking will only create more anxiety and cause you to not think clearly.

Raising a child “just like me” doesn’t have to be a dead end road. You just have to be intentional to point them down a different path. If this leaves you insecure and questioning “Am I a Good Mom?”, here is an article to help.

What struggle do you fear you will pass down to your child?