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     This evening's blog asks one simple question: How do you refrain from passing your own neuroses on to your children? (And don't you dare answer that you are not neurotic, because even if you weren't while you were single, you certainly are now that you're either married and/or a mother.) My problem is this... my bad habits, fears, and obsessions are painfully visible to my kids. They see each move I make, copy each conversation that I have, and mimic me to a fault. Recently, both children have developed a nasty nail-biting habit, despite the fact that I have only relapsed twice in my disgusting fingernail addiction. They've seen the few times I've chewed and now they're hooked! I feel terrible having passed on my germ-infested, bacteria-ridden infatuation to these little monkies that ape my every action. But how do I stop it?
     Something that's even worse, however, is the bequeathing of my fears onto children that need to be fearless. There are four things in this world that absolutely paralyze me with fear.
     1) Drowning (burn me, shoot me, eat me alive, but for the love of God, don't hold me face-down in a puddle or I'll die of shock way before my lungs fill!)
     2) Needles (any sharp object used to penetrate a living creature, be it knife, needle, or power tool, makes me sick to my stomach. I remember Biology class in high school and the frog dissection that awaited me... not only did the smell ruin me for life, but the thought of me slicing open an animal didn't even have the chance to morally enrage me before I got sick with fear of the sharp knife... I dissolved into tears and I'm pretty sure I've never been the same since!)
     3) Being trapped (perhaps this goes along with the fear of drowning... but anytime I feel that I'm suffocating or can't get out of an area, I'm liable to throw punches. I'm the girl that needs the tranquilizer dart when the elevator've been warned.)
     4) Spiders (big, small, hairy, fat.... it doesn't matter. I'm actually shuddering and itching while typing this! I'd rather encounter the loch ness monster than find a spider within 100 yards of me. Biggest fear of my spider phobia? Having a spider lay eggs in my face while I'm sleeping and then having thousands of baby spiders emerge from a sore on my face. Naturally, these spiders would then eat me alive, leaving me feeling trapped, requiring surgeons to try to save me with needles, and then floating me out to sea when they realize the spiders cannot be stopped.... Yes. I know. I'm troubled and I cannot help it.)
     So, when my husband accidently-on-purpose locked me in the basement yesterday (for the second time in a week) with the giant, hairy wolf spiders, I literally panicked and broke the door handle trying to escape... which my son got to witness. Not only is that slightly embarrassing, but I realized that I'm telling my children there's nothing to fear, as I lose my ever-loving mind over insects in a basement. I can't be the only parent out there that struggles with passing on nasty habits or crazy fears.... so I ask you: Parents, how do you not transfer your neuroses to your kids?