When our daughter was still a pre-teen there came a time that I “suddenly” realized that she was picking up on things that I was definitely not trying to teach her. In fact, I saw in her characteristics I definitely didn’t want to be modeling for her, but which I had, in fact, done just that.
The thing about kids is that they are their own personalities. I, or any parent for that matter, have no control over what our children will choose to like, or choose to copy — consciously or unconsciously. Those “personalities” are beyond our control and a child will be what the child wants to be no matter how gentle or strict we want to be with them. We can try to force kids into a mold we have decided upon and it doesn’t really work. And some children will be “easy” from birth, others “difficult” and it’s not about how good a parent they are and more about what the personality of the child is. There are some things that can be modified by “nurture” but “nature” will have her own about much of who the child becomes.
As a result, leaving a child in an environment where they experience the benefits of good upbringing at least gives them an option in what to copy, who to be like, traits to admire.
But whether we do anything right or not, kids will learn anyway.