Gossiping About Our Children

November 18th, 2010 by Dionna | 22 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Gentle Discipline Ideas, Successes, and Suggestions, Gentle/Positive Discipline, natural parenting, Respond with Sensitivity

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Think about something:

Do you ever share raised eyebrows with your partner about something frustrating that your child has done?
Have you ever whispered about your child’s challenging behavior, maybe even while your little one is in the same room?

Think about something else:

Have you ever overheard someone whispering negatively about you?
Ever caught a friend (or your partner) making a face in disgust or rolling their eyes about something you’d just done?

It’s not a pleasant experience to overhear someone saying something negative about us. Whispered words of anger, frustration, barely stifled irritation – those are the words that can cut us to the core, that can shake our self-confidence and self-esteem.

Now think about one more thing:

Have you ever overheard someone saying something good about you? Ever caught someone in the act of someone talking about how wonderful you are?

Join me this week in making an effort to minimize raised eyebrows and hushed words of annoyance, and to replace them with words of love and wonder about our children.

And make sure your little ones catch you, at least once.

Photo credit: omster-com

22 Responses to:
"Gossiping About Our Children"

  1. Elena

    Good reminder, thank you!

  2. Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes   sheryljesin

    I do make an effort to say nice things about our son to other people while he is in earshot…and I probably need to make more of an effort to not negatively gossip about my son to my husband and parents. I never thought about it from the perspective of how I feel when I overhear others speaking about me…thank you for framing it this way and sharing it with us!

  3. Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I tend to talk very openly about my children and it is important to highlight the positive. I need to remember this, probably especially for my 12yo.

    And way to go on keeping it short & to the point. I read it to my husband and I bet he listened to the whole thing! :-)

  4. TheNextMartha

    I like that. Good thoughts.

  5. mamapoekie   mamapoekie

    I say this all the time…
    What bothers me too is that my husband sighs when my daughter does something he doesn’t like… can you imagine your boss sighing at you and frowning… Not pretty. why don’t we just talk to our kids.
    My biggest issue with dd is that she sometimes gets tantrums and then I just tell her I also feel overwhelmed when she gets them… No need to complain about that to others.

    And there’s so much of this child-gossiping between parents… It’s like you must whine about your child.
    I wrote about it a while back, if you haven’t read it

  6. Maman A Droit   MamanADroit

    Hubby and I try not to do this but my mom is terrible about it. It’s like she thinks kids are either deaf or don’t have feelings. Any suggestions how to get her to cut it out!?!

    She says things like “yeah I figured he’d freak out when we got here since you always keep him with you” that manage to simultaneously criticize both my son and parenting style. I try not to let it get to me but it’s hard. I honestly don’t understand why she won’t just be nice!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Personally I would turn it into a positive while reminding her that he’s right there: “His behavior is actually really appropriate for his age, but if you make gentle attempts to engage him, he’ll enjoy playing with you as much as he does with us. Also, he understands what you’re saying, so we’d prefer to try to only talk positively about him in his presence. If you have a concern that you’d like to address with me later, I’d be happy to talk to you once he goes down for a nap.”
      Or something :)

  7. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    We should do it with all our relationships, and keep the negative comments to ourselves!
    Thanks for the reminder!

    I remember that I overheard my parents talk about me when I was small, and it was something positive about school. I remember the good feelings I got from that even to this day.

  8. awesome post!
    it’s so true – and soooo important to remember how awful we’d feel if someone spoke negatively about us and we heard.
    it’s a good reminder to think about the ripple effect of our actions in general.
    the thought of a child (or anyone) feeling hurt, belittled or shamed is by negative talk is heartbreaking.

    and i LOVE your suggestion:

    Also, he understands what you’re saying, so we’d prefer to try to only talk positively about him in his presence. If you have a concern that you’d like to address with me later, I’d be happy to talk to you once he goes down for a nap.


  9. Amanda   ugottafriendnme

    Love this! Such a good reminder! TY!

  10. Mrslala   Mrslala101

    Great food for thought!

    Also? I *love* your header!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Thank you :) I’ve thought about changing it, since Kieran is no longer a toddler, but I can’t bring myself to!

  11. Michelle @ The Parent Vortex   TheParentVortex

    lovely post! It’s so true.

    I have an acquaintance who continually talks negatively about her son while he’s nearby. It makes me so uncomfortable that I don’t want to spend time with them :(

  12. Amy   InnateWholeness

    To the point, thank you! I really like talking -with- my children :)

  13. Whozat   whozat

    We try to be careful what we say around our just-turned-two year old, but have a friend who is ALWAYS talking negatively about her 4-year-old daughter, both when she’s around and when she’s not. The worst part, is how positively she always talks about her 6-year-old son. That poor little girl.

  14. Tat   muminsearch

    A great reminder for everyone. Linked to your post here: http://muminsearch.com/2010/11/growing-up-second-best/

  15. Nice reminder…

    Thank you :)

  16. SO TRUE!!!! Thanks for the reminder will make sure I share this with my partner and the girls Nana.

  17. Amy

    I overheard my Grandmother calling me a b***h when I was 10 years old. Over 20 years later I still have distrust of her and feel she doesn’t like me. Sometimes our family shows us how not to be. Thanks for a post that addresses something we don’t always like to confront, but can obviously do damage.

  18. Monica

    Absolutely true. A wonderful reminder. Glad that I’m catching up on my google reader feeds tonight. I try not to badmouth (verbally or not) my kids, but sometimes, especially when I’m tired or stressed, it’s one of the first things to slip. With hubby too.

    Thanks Dionna for another great post!

  19. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    Visiting from Momma Jorje because I’m a little behind on my reading! :) What a good reminder. I do catch myself doing this, but it would be better not to do it at all…

  20. Alexandra   gdrpempress

    THis post makes me wish, so hard, that the entire world was more conscious of life, and what they do to others.

    Brilliant, and makes me a bit weepy eyed, too. So much unnecessary kindness by people living unconsciously.

    Thank you, just lovely.

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