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How Not to Pass Your Family Dysfunction on to your kids:
1. Don't do it the way your parents did: Since kids don't come with instructions, parents tend to wind up doing what they know, which could be what their dysfunctional parents did. Or, they can fight about whose family did it right: Instead, take a parenting class, read a book, find a method to follow that both you and your spouse can agree on that's neutral, and doesn't pit your parenting ideas against one another.
2. Keep your adult things private. If you go out and drink too much, the kids should not know you have a hangover, just that you don't feel well. If you're a dating single parent, your kids don't need to hear the gory details. You're 'going out with a friend' is sufficient. If you have a fight, have it away from the kids.
3. Kids need to know about real life: Teach your kids about managing money -- you can share your financial problems and solutions, as long as you don't scare the kids. Teach your grammar-school age kids to cook, get themselves awake, clean up, do their homework, and help each other as though it's a matter of routine, which it should be. Keep in mind that you're raising them to be self-sufficient adults in the real world. School is the kid equivalent of a job. Chores are the kid equivalent of making life work smoothly. Getting along with siblings and schoolmates is the kid equivalent of developing social skills. Remembering this will keep your parenting on track and reasonable.
4. Face your Demons: The best way to not pass on your demons is to face them and work through them. If you have an addiction, a bad health habit, or problems getting along, get help and work it out, so you don't pass it on to your kids. Demons can be banished with some expert guidance.
5. Don't be perfect: Don't try to be perfect parents; aim for good-enough. Don't worry about what the neighbors think, be you own best self. Your kids need something to rise above, but don't make it too easy to aspire to be better than you.