I have noticed something absolutely amazing about children…when you call them or when you are giving instructions or directions, they consciously or not, tune you out when they feel like it but somehow, they can sense when you ARE about to talk about them, and suddenly they take an extra 5 minutes to walk up the stairs, need water or something else that forces them to stick around a little longer, or team up with a younger sibling to eavesdrop. I cannot count how many conversations end with “don’t tell this to “x” person” or “this is a secret”, “pinky promise you wouldn’t tell anyone”, etc
those cute and funny moments are not what this is about ; this is about letting out the not so pretty aspects of a child’s behavior.. is it ok?
The truth is, some days are hard and when we have the opportunity to unleash everything that is on our chest to an ear that is willing and ready to listen, we let it out. Sometimes, the instantaneous feeling of relief we feel is met with feelings of remorse after.
Here are 3 tips that are helpful in understanding what’s “ok” and what’s not.
Respecting Family Boundaries – Often, we don’t take the other parent into consideration, is this something you have had the opportunity to discuss? Is that person comfortable with you discussing your children to others? If your child is old enough to comprehend, are they comfortable with it? or would it just be better to maintain privacy? These are definitely things that need to be discussed and taken into account.
Respecting the Boundaries of your Children – As adults, we crave our privacy, but that craving is often not transferred to our children. Do they want you sharing their issues with a grandparent, let along Facebook and the rest of the world? Would that help the situation or humiliate the child? Speak to them and aim to protect their privacy first, ensure that their dignity is never at stake.
Using Kind Speech – You might not realize, but being open about issues you face, causes people to judge not only your child but your parenting as well, which can put you on the defensive. Will people understand that you are merely seeking to help your child or will you automatically be deemed an angry mom? Remember that speaking about your children should ONLY be to gain results and ultimately help them instead of hurting their characters and complaining about them. This applies whether they are within an earshot of the conversation or not.
Oh! Before I forget, pray about it…pray that God grants you the patience to parent; remember that with difficulty comes ease; and always, always strive to be humble- even before your own children.