Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You Pass Along More than Just DNA

Do you ever wonder what little neurosis you’ll pass along to your children?

The other day, I almost caused my husband to swerve into another car next to us because I thought the car was coming into our lane. I hate being in the passenger’s seat – I’d rather be driving. At least then, I would have control over where the car went. He hates it when I yell in the car and I can’t blame him.

I know that some of those little things can be passed along to your children because I’m living proof of it. My mom has a pretty severe fear of wasps and bees and anything else with a stinger. When she was little, she stepped on a nest and ended up getting stung over and over and over. The doctor told her and my grandmother that if she were ever to be stung again, she could have a major reaction because of all the venom that she had received.

So as a kid, whenever we heard that tell-tale buzzing sound of one of those insects, I would freak out because Mom freaked out. I don’t blame her – it’s good to have a healthy dose of fear of those things. After all, I’ve never been stung by a wasp and maybe that was why! I always freaked out when I heard one.

Now I know my mother feels awful that she passed this fear on to her children. She’s told me so. But I don’t blame her for it. Fear is something that’s hard to temper your reaction to.

So I wonder which one of my crazy tendencies I’ll pass on to my children. Will it be my OCD when it comes to flower arranging? Will it be my need to color-code my closet? Will it be my obsession with reality television? Because all of those things are me – and maybe my children will be happy they can get some of those things? I don’t know. But it makes you wonder what a child might pick up from me.


  1. Oh man - I worry about this all the time! My biggest hope is that I don't pass on my worries. Because I definitely got that from my mom, so I know it's pass-downable. I hope any kid gets my husband's calm, good-natured positivity.

  2. I wonder about this all the time too!! I really hope our kids get all our good qualities (there aren't that many) and not the bad ones...like my husband's neuroses about locking doors and turning off lights, my mood swings and need for expensive shoes. Oy! :)

  3. My mom's a huge Dennis Prager fan, and he says a good parent only passes on HALF of their own neuroses to their kids! I still laugh thinking about it.

    I totally relate to your passenger-seat fears. I inherited the jumpy-backseat-driver neurosis from MY mom!

  4. It's definitely something to think about! I hope my future kids take the best of me and leave the bad alone :)