This is another one of my parenting theories…
I believe that what children witness during their formative/toddler years creates their idea of “normal”. It is so funny to see children who are a reflection of their parents and the parents have no idea where the children get some of their habits.
For example: when you see a child that is constantly screaming and having fits but the parents can’t understand where this behavior originates, you need not look much farther than the interactions of the parents. Many people underestimate the impact that their communication skills and behaviors have on their children yet the results are manifesting before your eyes. It is even true with routines. If your family always prays before a meal, your child will think this is “normal” and he/she will do the same.
When I was pregnant, I thought very carefully about what I wanted to expose my son to and the types of communication I would allow around him. I don’t allow loud and obnoxious arguing or fighting around him. Not because I am so far above it because I can go head to head with the best of them but to set the example for my son, I choose not to. I don’t want him to grow up thinking that is the “normal” way to communicate.
If you are in a toxic relationship or allow toxic behaviors around your children, don’t be surprised if you see these same actions manifesting in their lives as they begin to mature. It won’t be because they have set out to do the wrong thing but they are doing what is considered “normal” as established by… you.