Every parent has experienced a time when we think our kids aren't listening to our conversations, but, come to find out, they certainly were.
Gossiping about other people is one thing that will perk your kids' ears up from the other side of the room. And, you'd be amazed at how quickly they will form judgments about those little comments you make to another mom friend over a coffee play date! Nip the gossiping in the bud all together and you'll never be caught in one of those horrific moments when your son or daughter repeats what you said to the person you were talking about!
The same rule applies to kids — don't talk about them in front of your children. It's easy for a comment about one of their friends to slip out and more likely than not, your kiddo is going to report back to their buddy what they heard.
Your children, particularly your daughters, learn how to be confident through the way you talk about yourself. Keep a close eye on your "I'm feeling fats" and "These pants look awful on mes" — your girls are listening closely and if you regularly demean your appearance — even when you think she's not listening — she will learn to as well.
While creating a realistic sense of money for your children is an important piece of your job as a parent, letting them overhear discussions about money can be easily misunderstood and lead to fear. While you may not think it's a big deal to discuss openly that you can't afford to fly to Hawaii over spring break this year (we wish!), your child may not understand the difference in cost between a tropical family vacation and everyday expenses.
We've heard it time and time again — it's natural and good for your children to see you argue with each other. However, watch what you say! While teaching your kids that Mommy and Daddy fight, but they also make up is valuable, what's not valuable are the potentially disturbing things they may hear when you're arguing. Definitely on the no-no list? Demeaning your spouse when your kids are in earshot.
There's certainly nothing wrong with a little daydreaming! We do it every day when we pretend that we're actually on a beach in Tahiti instead of battling the 4 p.m. witching hour! Be careful of keeping your head in the clouds all of the time. While you may know that your "maybe we shoulds" are just wishes for the future, your kids haven't yet grasped that concept and your daydreams will soon become what they're begging to do.
Moms, stop making yourselves look bad! And, especially in front of your kids! While you may not be a gourmet chef or the Pinterest queen, talking badly about yourself when your kids are nearby is dangerous for the both of you. Giving them the impression that you are a master of all skills isn't necessary either!
Girls' night out? Date night? Company holiday party? Yes, you had a lot of fun. Yes, you want to tell your husband/girlfriends/neighbor about it. Should you talk about how much wine you had and the real reason the family had to drive across town to get Mommy's car the next morning when your kids can hear you? Probably not.
Putting the "I wants" away is so hard to do, but unfortunately, they're contagious. If you're a mom who often finds herself talking about the things on her wish list, think about how it looks to your children. Being happy with the things that you have is a hard enough concept for a child to grasp and if you have an ever-growing want list, it's going to be impossible for them to learn.
You have more than one child. You love them each for who they are. But oftentimes, one or the other is giving you a run for your money. Wait to discuss parenting strategies, especially if you're discussing a specific child, until you know that everyone is fast asleep.
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