Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Warning: Stop Talking In Front of Your Children

Do you remember my post "I Talk Too Much"?  Well, this is an extension of that.  I talk too much in front of my children!  Actually, I really do try to be careful about this.  But sometimes, I fail.  You know what else?  I bet you do too!

You invite a group of people over for supper.  Your child is acting up and you get embarrassed by their actions.  Feeling your parenting skills being deflated, you explain that your child is _____ (out-of-control, a mess, ornery, etc.)  You proceed to tell a story about what Little Johnny did just the other day.  Everyone laughs about the tactics and you feel better that people understand.  The problem???  Little Johnny is sitting right beside you listening to every word.  Little Johnny hears that he is ______ and then witnesses everyone laughing about what he did.  In his mind, if he wants more laughter he needs to live up to the labeling he just heard.

Several years ago I watched a Super Nanny episode where she talked with a set of parents about how they had labeled their children and the children were living up to those expectations.  The problem is that the labels were negative - lazy, spoiled, sassy, brat.  Super Nanny had the parents sit down and write positive "labels" for each of their children.  The parents really struggled to come up with words because they had focused on the negative for so long.  Then each parent sat down with a child and told them the "new labels."  It was amazing to watch the kids' demeanor and behavior change.  They started living up to the positive instead of the negative. 

Here are things that I have caught myself saying in front of my kids:
 - Bubs is having a bad day. 
 - Sweet Pea is sassy.
 - Little Man makes bad choices.

There may be a time and a place for each of these comments.  But, in front of other people and the child, it is inappropriate and leads to a negative feelings.  Talk about a hole in my discipline, are my children living up to negative labeling that they are hearing from my mouth? 

What are your children hearing you say?

1 comment :

  1. This is sooooo true! Time and time again I had parents come to Parent Teacher Conferences or stand in my classroom and say "You think this child is bad, wait until you get the next one." "The next one" was standing right there and heard what a handful he was. Of course he thought he had to live up to the expectation. Be careful parents!


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.