Can your fears and personality be passed on to your children?
I’ve often wondered about this, and even more so as I’ve noticed a few things in my own children that makes me believe that it can.
I suffer from fear of failure, so I tend to procrastinate when faced with tasks that I may fail at, or don’t do anything if there is the possibility that I may fail at it. I see this same behaviour in my eldest child. If I saw it in my youngest one, I would have thought nothing of it, and that it was just something that the children go through. But the youngest is quite brave and would do something and fail, and then go back and do it again.
My eldest would also stick with easier tasks rather than trying very difficult things (a symptom of fear of failure), which is something that I used to do, and still do to some extent. I continue to work towards overcoming my procrastination and other fears that keep me back, so I’ve been able to overcome this to some extent.
I used to believe that this problem was due to the fixed mindset. But I’ve tried from since birth to not instill a fixed mindset in my children, but the growth mindset instead. For example, by praising effort and not intrinsic talent like “being smart”.
So if it is the fixed mindset, where did it come from? School perhaps? If so, then we need to review how our school system is educating our children.
But if we were to consider that it’s not that, and it is an innate personality trait, then our children can inherit our bad traits.
Fortunately, I’ve worked out some of my bad traits and found ways to reduce their impact, so I can help my eldest overcome hers (one was the issue with mindset). Then, we can work on the others together.
It may not then be a terrible thing that you can pass on your bad habits to your children, once you believe in self-development and improving yourself.
And, on the plus side, it also means that you can pass on your good habits too.