Usually, when you least expect it, you hear a 'pearl' come out of the mouths of one of your babes! And when it happens....you secretly scream "YES!" inside your own head!! We all have our BAD family traits that are either knowingly passed down from one generation to the next and sometimes it is unknowingly passed down through observations or lack of someone trying to correct it. To counter balance any negative influence from previous generations, all it takes is for someone to break the cycle.
I have broken a few family cycles, I come from a long line of alcoholics and lets face it, not a lot of good choices come from those who abuse alcohol among other things. At least with my family most other bad habits can be traced back to the alcohol addiction, physical abuse, mental abuse and infidelity, most were visited upon during an alcoholic induced haze, I also believe the intent and capability to do so has to be in there too somewhere.
My Mother was the first to make a change in her family line ( she doesn't even qualify as a social drinker), both her parents were stay at home alcoholics, My Father and his side of the family drank here, there and everywhere. Out of my Parents three children, two know when to stop (total social drinkers) the other has to drink to be social.
Another cycle I was able to break was racism, I don't allow it in my home or around my children and I am not quiet about it when it is displayed around my children. I teach tolerance of all cultures in my home and I am very proud to say my children preach tolerance too! A few weeks ago while out with a crowd, the old "Those people" isms started, I was quiet about it for maybe a minute then I stated my usual mantra about it "Since I am trying to raise my children to be tolerant of all cultures, I would appreciate it if you would not use "Those Terms" in front of my children." Since that basically shocks people into a stunned silence for a few minutes because one, they are used to speaking that way, and two, they are very used to people who share my view not speaking up about it. Sometimes a get an icy glare shot my way, as if I was the one insulting them, but most times I get an apology and we go about our merriment with mutual respect on both of our parts.
So on this same occasion, the same offender who was drinking quite heavily at this point either ignored my request or in a drunken stupor forgot my request and continued and it was at this time that my now 15 year old daughter said to this person, "So, how would you like it if I didn't like you just because your racist??" and then she walked away from this person. I was very proud of that little girl of mine and I have to say she definitely inherited her Momma's Moxy! lol lol lol
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, what they are not entitled to do is force their beliefs on other people, this world is a big enough place for everyone, IF everyone can learn a little respect for other people's beliefs and cultures in a respectful manner...... I am not niave, I know we don't live in a perfect world but for a moment, at least my world was perfect!