It is no secret that kids mimic their parents’ behavior and follow their example to understand what is acceptable and what is not. While most parents understand this, many parents still continue to trash talk to each other, trash talk about others, and even sometimes trash talk their kids in front of them. This behavior can be very damaging and can create or continue a cycle of abuse.
If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say….
When speaking to or about a spouse in front of a child, you should always try to abide by the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” rule. Kids are inherently proud of their parents, so talking trash about the other parent hurts the child and makes him or her feel lesser. Speaking poorly about friends and family members behind their backs teaches children that people are not loyal and perpetuates the idea that everyone talks behind others’ backs.
Talking About Children in Front of Them
When parents talk on the phone about children or speak about children while in another room, children’s ears perk up. When what is being said is positive, it validates them and makes them feel like their parents are truly proud of them. When parents speak poorly about them, it can completely deflate them and hurt their feelings deeply. Children do not only feel chastised and angry when this happens, they feel betrayed.
Bringing Positivity into the Conversation
While it is not possible to be a ray of sunshine 24/7, it helps to take a step back and think about whether you are generally positive or negative. Do you often build up your friends, family, spouse, and children? Or do you find yourself speaking ill of others more often than not? Would you be proud to hear our children saying the same things that come out of your mouth?