Don’t Talk About Me! (Discussing Our Children With Others)

Don't Talk About Me!It’s amazing how our children cannot hear us when we’re standing right next to them, talking in their ear. But, somehow, through a noisy room, their ears perk up when mom mentions their name. They give us that look, and we know what it means. “Is this good or bad?” Perhaps, it might even be, “Please, don’t talk about me.”

Truth be told, we all have hard days. Whether it be a struggle with parenting or a homeschooling concern we’re dealing with, some days are just plain difficult. Maybe it isn’t just days. It might be weeks or months. When we finally have an opportunity to fellowship with friends, we let it all out. It felt so good to get that off our chest. It felt good to us. But what about those little ears listening across the room?

Understanding the Boundaries of Family – Are there things we’d prefer not be discussed outside the family? Maybe my husband only wants certain issues shared with him, and we can tackle these concerns together. Before I go to the “village”, I need to understand what is permissible to share and what is best left at home.

Understanding My Children’s Boundaries – If we enjoy our privacy, shouldn’t we afford our children a little of their own? I don’t wish to damage the relationship I have with my kids by over-sharing struggles they are currently working through. Openly discussing a learning disability with anyone and everyone might put a damper on that or cause them shame. I want to be selective about when and with whom I share.

Being in Prayer – Am I looking for help or an outlet for my frustration? Before I open my mouth, I need to pray about what’s going to come out of it.

Being Selective – There is such a thing as TMI. I can get help with a learning disability or character development without explaining every detail of my child’s issues. I want to leave them with some dignity. It might be enough to simply explain we’re dealing with lying, and ask for prayer.

On this note… Being a blogger, and having a minor presence on social media, I should also point out our need for being selective online. My kids read my blog – crazy, I know – they see what I post and how I address each issue. Generally, I don’t discuss matters which are personal to them and never that which would cause them shame. This goes for ALL medium.

Being Gentle & Kind – How I speak will determine how people see my children, and my parenting. Will I leave them with the understanding we’re not perfect, but genuinely seeking the Lord’s will, or an angry mama who can’t stand her kids? I might be frustrated now, but ten minutes from now regret the words I spoke. Gentleness will prevent harsh words.

Being Positive – This isn’t an opportunity to trash talk the kids. (Even if you’re positive they’re being ridiculous.) If we need help, I definitely should speak with a councilor or close friend. However, this isn’t time to complain. It’s time to get answers and be honest with where we might need improvement.

May the mediations of my heart be pleasing to the Lord, and the words of my mouth be edifying to the hearer. May I speak from a humble heart and listen with the intent to grow. And may my children learn God’s love towards others by how I love them.

I need to remember little eyes are watching. If I’m not careful, our children will pick up bad habits and begin to repeat my mistakes. And, really, what parent wants to hear their child trash talk them?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
~ Ephesians 4:29

Your Turn!: Here’s a question… Do you feel comfortable sharing photos of your children online?

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11 thoughts on “Don’t Talk About Me! (Discussing Our Children With Others)

  1. Speaking as the child of a mother who liked to talk about us with her friends … I hated it. When I made it clear to my mother that I didn’t want my secrets to be aired to other people, she stopped. But, it felt like an invasion. The one person who I always trusted to go to when anything was wrong, i still do trust her and always go to her first but that to me was just wrong. I don’t have kids, and I don’t know what I would do if I did. But you raise some very thought worthy points here. When I first got my period I asked my mother to promise she wouldn’t tell my father – the thought that he would know was humiliating for my twelve year old mind. She did tell him, though. And I was really upset at the time, but now I am ten years older, I see why she did. And I don’t mind. You are right, selectiveness is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it is all about balance. For us, we have to be able to seek support with our children. If your child is ashamed to have their picture online at all times or hearing you ever speak about them, you would question if you are respecting them, but also, if they are okay.
    You mentioned learning disabilities, but I believe that we need to normalize it a bit. If we are okay with having something like a learning disability, it can teach the child it is not something to be ashamed of. For one of my sons, find out he had dyslexia was one of the best things in the world. Suddenly, he was not stupid, dumb or just a struggling student that didn’t work hard enough. He was a child with an issue that we would be able to work with. I believe teach your children to own their struggles. It can help others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with all these points. It is very important to guard our words and what we say to others about our children. Also with blogging and speaking, I always get permission from my children before sharing information or a story with them in it. It’s important for them to know that I care more about them and their processing than making a point with readers or listeners. Our kids and family living with us everyday and are with us through our lifetime. Blog readers and listeners in our crowds are just there for the moment. We must guard those who are close to us and are entrusted to our care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t believe talking is the issue, merely HOW we talk about our children and our frustrations.

      Are we talking to specific people to gain help, or gossiping in anger to anyone and everyone who will listen?

      Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  4. Just come across this post. I agree! I admit, I sit and discuss things about my child, but I have to remember what to discuss and what not. Normally it’s light hearted things, which isn’t a big deal really. It’s also important to remember, if a negative thing has happened, and has been dealt with, is it right to bring it up with someone and discuss it? Aren’t we going back on the ‘it’s dealt with’ thing?
    We are all human at the end of the day, no single human is perfect and we all have ‘off’ days where we maybe say things we shouldn’t etc.
    And no. I am not comfortable with sharing pictures online of my child or kids in the family in general. I actually did a post on the topic. It’s very ‘normal’ now for parents to document their lives and their children’s.. Which is absolutely fine if they are okay with doing it!
    Very good blog post, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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