Monday, August 22, 2011

From Mother to Child

Since I was young, I do this weird thing: When I'm trying to fall asleep in bed, I put my arms up over my head and tuck my hands in between the mattress and the headboard. Or sometimes I just tuck my hands behind my back. Or under my pillow. My hands just need to be tucked!

It's a little weird, I know. But I have friends who need to keep one leg outside the covers, friends who can't sleep without all the blankets on, friends who can't sleep without pajamas, friends who can't sleep with pajamas. We all have our little quirks.

My son! Photo courtesy of 2355 Photography
What I find truly fascinating is that my son also has a bedtime quirk. Well, he has my quirk, actually. When he's falling asleep, he tucks his hands underneath his back. He's got his own additional quirk, too, as he sometimes likes to tuck one hand behind his back and use the other hand to twirl the front of his hair. It's ridiculously cute.

As cute as it is, it kind of weirds me out. I didn't teach him to tuck his hands. He didn't watch me sleep and say, "Oh, I'll tuck my hands because Mama tucks her hands." Unless he had X-ray vision in utero (which is creepy), he didn't pick it up from watching me; it's innate. Just passed down somehow.

So weird.

In the Bible, all sorts of things get passed down. Curses and the like. Sometimes I think, Boy, I hope I'm not somewhere at the top of that family tree! What other traits does my son have that he got from me? Besides his blonde hair and his cheeks, his knack for language and his love of reading?

Moreover, if he's got these traits from me that he didn't learn by my teaching him, how many other traits do I teach him on a daily basis without realizing it? I'm learning that the watchful eye of a toddler should not be underestimated. How is the language I use around him? What are my attitudes? How do I treat others when I'm around him? Do I glorify God in the presence of my son, or is it something I keep to myself?

He's learned so many things without me trying to teach him; I need to be careful with all of the other things I'm not trying to teach him.

What do you do to specifically teach your children good traits and habits, especially concerning your relationship with God? And how do you unteach traits they've picked up, from you or elsewhere?


  1. If I figure out how to unteach him "oh gosh" I will let you know :)

  2. Thank you! He's better about not saying it, but sometimes he'll say, "I'm not supposed to say 'Oh, gosh.' I should say, 'Oh, man.'" Well, you still said it, dude...

  3. My girl has picked up SO many bad habits from me that it's crazy. She's just over 7 years old now, so I'm working on reversing as many as I can, and quick!

  4. We are talking a lot about what we do and why these days. JDaniel has many ideas on how things should be done.

  5. Sometimes when I look at my daughter, I see a little me...and often it is a big, fat, OUCH! Because I don't love what I'm seeing.

    working on that uh-teaching thing now.

  6. I love those funny little things my kids do that I know I haven't taught (I say I love them because the one I noticed today in my oldest, adopted daughter helps me feel connected to her, and her to me). The not-worth-imitating things do grieve me too. The hardest part for me, though, is the fear around how much I could have effected or prevented extreme behaviors in my special needs kids. That messes with my mind. I want to have a good effect, and I don't want to be full of guilt for things I didn't have anything to do with (which you can really never know for sure). Argh.


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