To Share Or Not To Share?: How to be wise about what you say in front of children.

“Children are sponges, soaking up every verbal and non-verbal interaction.” – Dr Asa Don Brown.

A child’s brain can sometimes absorb more than us grown-ups can fathom and exposing children to adult issues too soon has been highly cautioned in the research. It’s important to be mindful of the impact of arguing or discussing issues with our finances, relationships and career while children are around.

Witnessing parents fighting, screaming and crying can be particularly distressing! Children often process our issues as their fault, taking away messages that lack security, safety and trust from what they overheard. Typically children don’t hear or understand the content of the argument – they only see, hear and feel the emotions displayed instead.

Here are some tips to guide you towards more mindful communication around children;

  • Use a signal – There are some conversations that really should be had in private – away from your child’s listening ears. When you begin a conversation, stop and think if this might be best discussed later away from children. You can use a signal to your partner like a nose twitch or pulling your ear to let them know it’s time to put the discussion on ice until later.
  • In the family – Keep conversations regarding criticism or worry about extended family in private, as this may affect the child’s relationship with that person. Modelling appropriate interactions in your life has a powerful influence on family patterns they repeat in the future.
  • Rates of development – The period of growth between 2-7 yrs of age is where children develop conversational skills, imagination and intuition. It is a magical time for them to experience life without the responsibilities or abilities of critical and rational thinking, so let them enjoy it!

Show your children how you positively cope with challenges in your life and demonstrate working through your feelings when you are calm. 🙂

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