But how do we discern what parts are genetic, as opposed to learned?
Both my boys are awesome kids, but my older son has had a growing tendency towards whining and complaining.
Condemning him for acting this way would be a bad choice. But allowing it go on unchecked would be just as bad.
What it comes down to is that whining and complaining are habits my son has developed to cope with certain situations. And the more we use habits – just like a muscle – the stronger they get.
My job is to call him on his behavior, AND to help him find alternative behaviors that are more positive.
If we allow our kids to whine and complain, back out of commitments, be rude to their siblings, etc, we’re creating adults who are likely to do the same. In other words, we’re disabling them. The trick is to help our kids without making them feel bad about themselves.
Not an easy task.
Which is why when we’re trying to engineer better kids, we have to start by re-engineering ourselves.
And remember, you are not alone …