Do we pass phobias and fears along to our children?

moneymakingmom

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How many times did you hear your mom say, "Wash your hands, they're dirty!" or "Don't put that in your mouth, it's dirty, you'll get sick."

Science has explored the possibility that we are over cleaning, over sanitizing, over bleaching our environment and that's making us all sick simply because some germ exposure might actually be good for us to help naturally immunize our bodies.

With that being said, do you think we are sending the wrong message about germs to our children? Are we telling them everything is dirty? How many fears and phobias could result from such a practice of relaying faulty information about germs? What other fears could a parent accidentally pass along to their children? Fear of social situations? Fear of school work? Fear of success?
 

Regine Richter

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My mother was a nurse so no need to go into detail with her obsessive cleanliness at home. Not only the normal, dont put that into your mouth as you will get sick, stuff, but like you said over sanitizing the place etc. Rinsing the dishes in almost boiling water after washing themwith dishwashing liquid etc.
I try my best to get off that behaviour which was forced upon me long ago and deep enough as I agree with you that over sanitizing is bad for us.
 

crovax85

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I think this is true. Young children imitate what they see. And the people they see most often are their parents. So any habits of phobias that their parents have could be imitated by their children.

The issue about germs is quite a weird one. I've seen parents that take every precaution to keep their child away from germs but I've see others who are not so strict. I personally think that a little bit of dirt is ok for the child as it help to build up a strong immune system for the future.
 

Regine Richter

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I think this is true. Young children imitate what they see. And the people they see most often are their parents. So any habits of phobias that their parents have could be imitated by their children.

The issue about germs is quite a weird one. I've seen parents that take every precaution to keep their child away from germs but I've see others who are not so strict. I personally think that a little bit of dirt is ok for the child as it help to build up a strong immune system for the future.
lol, I dont have kids and sometimes I wonder whether I would be as obsessive with cleanliness as my mother was as a mom.
 

speedy

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How many times did you hear your mom say, "Wash your hands, they're dirty!" or "Don't put that in your mouth, it's dirty, you'll get sick."

Science has explored the possibility that we are over cleaning, over sanitizing, over bleaching our environment and that's making us all sick simply because some germ exposure might actually be good for us to help naturally immunize our bodies.

With that being said, do you think we are sending the wrong message about germs to our children? Are we telling them everything is dirty? How many fears and phobias could result from such a practice of relaying faulty information about germs? What other fears could a parent accidentally pass along to their children? Fear of social situations? Fear of school work? Fear of success?
My mother didn't imposed such kind of things when we are young because she was always on the farm and we are the only one left in our house everyday. We were always on the mud, dust, and dirt playing. We even eating by our hands, but I didn't remember that we were get seriously ill when we are young. Yes, right maybe we were immune from germs. :). But after I worked abroad it seems that I adapted some sort of " cleanliness" thing from my employer and I am very particular with it from that time. I always had a tissue and alcohol with me. I always implement the " washing of hands", don't play with the dirt" to my nephews and nieces. Now I realized, that fear of social situation planted in their mind as well. We are bullied by other children when we were young, that's why me and my brother don't want my nephews and nieces to be stay outside the house and play as much as possible because there is a part of outside world that is cruel.
 

iebo

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You certainly can influence your children's point of view on things. And I agree that many households are over-sterile, which has the negative effect of not allowing the immune system to not develop.
 

MoreSuccess

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I agree there is too much worry about staying clean. Fortunately my father dismissed worries about that throughout my childhood. He told me a few times that germs help your body build up it's immune system, which I do believe. The body is pretty amazing in it's capability to fight off all but the worst types of bugs. I wash my hands at the appropriate times but other than that I'm pretty lax and I rarely get sick.

I think as children get older, most form their own opinions and attitudes, and some cases may be quite opposite from their parents perhaps from a rebellious, independence standpoint. I sure didn't want to be like my parents when I was a teen and wasn't.

I suppose lack of exposure of things can impact them as well. For example I'm not into watching sports so probably little surprise my son never got into it either, as the TV would never have it on (although he avidly plays sports).
 

moon

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Well they have passed their phobia when it comes to flying. My parents usually don't fly unless they have no other way to travel. I am just glad that I overcame that phobia.
 

moneymakingmom

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I suppose lack of exposure of things can impact them as well. For example I'm not into watching sports so probably little surprise my son never got into it either, as the TV would never have it on (although he avidly plays sports).
Children often take after their parents, emulating them on key points, especially when there is a loving environment at home. Being physically active through sports is a good family bonding experience, far more so than merely watching sports on television. It's good that you are setting a positive example with your son about being physically fit. Many parents are just the opposite and then wonder why their child lacks energy and drive.
 

Cecil Estrera

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That's so true. We parents play a significant role in building emotions of our children.
As much as possible, I try not to frighten my kids because I know that they might carry those fears in the future.
But sometimes, we can't really control their feelings and they suddenly have their own fears before we knew it.
 

clauemi

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Yes parents do pass on their fears to their kids but as we get older we realize that they are not all good ones. Like my mom is a super clean freak and hate that, I try to just be normal with my kids. My mom is also very secluded so we never had a close relationship, I don't want to be like that with my kids. I just try my best not to make the same mistakes my parents made with me with my kids. Of course I know there will be things I pass on to my kids and hopefully they will all be good.
 

thorax11

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The first influential people that children have contact with are their parents, so it is natural for them to emulate their parents actions on a daily basis. Especially in the early formative years of life. Children absorb everything around them and apply it, thats why it is so important to be aware of your actions in front of them.
 

zararina

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It is possible specially if children are also told by their parents that they should avoid such things cause it might harm them on any way. Making them think that thing should really be avoided cause it was a scary thing. What are usually seen by children from their parents or older people around them influenced them one way or another.
 

vest007

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I have to disagree with you slightly, moneymakingmom. The importance we give on being hygeinic or being strict on our children to keep their hands clean is not a phobia. Phobia is something like fear of darkness, fear of aliens, fear of spiders.etc. And I don't think I've got any phobia. Don't think I am arrogant, just making my voice heard.
 

krimsonklein

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I have to disagree with you slightly, moneymakingmom. The importance we give on being hygeinic or being strict on our children to keep their hands clean is not a phobia. Phobia is something like fear of darkness, fear of aliens, fear of spiders.etc. And I don't think I've got any phobia. Don't think I am arrogant, just making my voice heard.
Well, it all depends on the severity of the fear. Sure, informing your child that putting their hand in their mouth is dirty will not be categorized as a phobia. This being said, disinfecting a child's shoes when they come home or washing a dish 3-4 times will. There is great importance on being hygienic, a fact we must teach our children. Even so, we should not teach them fear is necessary in order to stay clean.