Ah…we try so hard as parents and watch our Ps and Qs—we strive to set a good example and be good role models for our children…but what about when it comes to gossip? Do our children hear us chatting away on the phone or on the sidelines at the soccer games—talking about neighbors, teachers, other parents, or anyone else? What are we teaching our children about gossip when they hear the things that we talk about with our grown-up friends?
Of course we’re not perfect! And I have a very good friend who admits that gossip is really her biggest vice. BUT, is this a vice that we really want to pass on to our kids? Chances are, we are trying to teach our children that it is not alright for THEM to tell stories about their friends and peers, or repeat things that they’ve heard others say or do—if they hear us doing that very thing they will either think that we are hypocrites, or that we don’t really mean what we say, or both.
Gossip can be a hard thing to let go of, and it may not be possible for you to let it go completely. After all, we start when we’re so young and have likely grown up listening to other adults chat away about each other, we ten become adolescents who seem to love nothing more than gossiping away with our friends—so what can we do now that we are the parents and grown-ups ourselves?!
We might start by creating some self-awareness and trying not to gossip when our children are around to hear. After all, it is the rare parent who doesn’t eventually hear his or her very own words parroted by a child at the most inopportune and embarrassing time. Avoiding letting our children hear us gossiping about others is a start—we then might find that we gradually get out the habit of gossiping and we can set an even better example for our kids!