There are a few reasons why parenting books top the charts in the self-help section. First, every kid is different. Second, you’re always on duty.

Whenever your kids are around, you’re parenting. It’s not just those awesome teachable moments that you handle with grace or the times when you’re screaming in utter frustration.

Your impact can be positive, but there are times when you may have a negative impact without realizing it.

Here are five ways your habits are negatively affecting your children.

1.      Drinking alcohol regularly

No one will fault you for having a glass of wine here or there. But it’s when that habit becomes a regular, or even daily, thing that it’s a problem. You may not be an alcoholic, but you’re sending the message that alcohol is a normal part of everyday life.
And if you have a problem with alcohol, now is the time to get help. In most cases, you can keep it private and continue with your daily life. Learn the truth about treatment before you brush it off.
When your kids grow up, they’re likely to mimic your relationship with alcohol. But when anyone drinks regularly, they are at risk for developing alcoholism.

2.      Telling white lies

We know we don’t want our kids to lie, but sometimes it’s tempting to lie to them. When parents lie to their children, it’s usually to protect the child’s feelings.
When your kid’s pet goldfish dies, try to avoid telling her that he went to swim in the ocean. Although it may hurt to see your child in pain, it’s important to address difficult things when they happen.
You don’t always have to delve deep into the topic, though. Be sure to keep it age appropriate.

3.      Set a conflicting example

The old “do as I say not as I do” mantra is damaging to your child’s development. Most notably, you’re diluting the power of your words. If something is bad, it’s bad. You shouldn’t do things that you don’t want your kids to do. Contradicting yourself in this way sends the message that it’s okay to break this rule. If your kids are afraid of getting into trouble, they probably won’t disobey you in front of your face, but they’re much more likely to pick up on your bad habits when you’re not looking.

4.      Threaten to leave your kids anywhere

This one seems like an obvious no-no, but many of us fall into that trap at one point or another. You’re at the park and already gave the kids five more minutes – three times. They still won’t get in the car. So, you tell them you’re leaving with or without them.
But this kind of threat actually challenges your child’s sense of attachment to you, which is really important. If you tell the kids that you’re going to leave them at the park, supermarket or a friend’s house, you may foster a fear of abandonment.

5.      Comparing your children

Although it’s important to be fair and set the same rules for your kids, don’t expect that what works with one will work for another.
It’s easy to compare your kids’ behaviors, but it’s important to keep those comparisons to yourself.

Comments like, “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” can be damage your relationships. If you want to talk about differences, keep them positive.

Although it’s easier said than done, you may be able to shift some of your behaviors to create a positive instead of negative influence. In the end, it will not only help your child grow up to be a well-rounded and caring adult, you may even see some improvements in yourself, as well!