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8 conversations you should never have in front of your children

Posted March 5

Some conversations are not appropriate for children. Avoid the eight following conversations to maintain a safe, healthy environment for your children:

1. Serious arguments

Children are drawn to emotional conversations. Even if you seclude yourself in your bedroom, they will often eavesdrop, according to psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore. Having arguments is normal, but strive to hold them out of your children's earshot. When arguments do break out in front of the children, try these suggestions from Psychology Today:

  • Apologize for snapping at your spouse and reword what you were thinking.

  • Work through different opinions without getting triggered and raising your voices.

  • Notice potential conflicts brewing and agree to discuss them later.

2. Financial problems

Children can feel your anxiety and they don’t completely understand matters of money. It’s better to leave financial conversations away from your children, though a simple discussion about money with your children is also a good idea.

3. Gossip

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a teacher, a friend or an ex-husband/wife. Your children will pick up on your feelings toward others. There is a chance that they will begin to feel the same way, or repeat gossip to someone else. If you have negative thoughts about someone, don't let your children hear them. Be a positive example to them.

4. Criticism of children

Imagine you are complaining to your best friend about how difficult your son is, and you find out your son heard you. Children can sometimes misinterpret your criticism as a lack of love. They may rebel or shut you out. You will occasionally need to talk about your children with someone, but make sure it is away from your little ones.

5. Mature news stories

There are just some things children don’t need to worry about. Their small world seems large and mysterious to them already. There is a chance that children will think that the scary events will affect them. Share information with them as you see fit, but don’t talk about mature news stories in front of them if you can help it. They only get to be innocent for a short time.

6. Weather concerns

You might be aware that the storm could turn into a tornado, but unless you want your children to be scared for their lives every time the wind picks up, keep your concerns to yourself. Teach your children safety, but don’t cause them undue stress when there is nothing to be worried about.

7. Safety concerns

Starting to warn children about drug abuse at age two might be a little extreme. As they start facing safety concerns, address them, but don’t overwhelm them with all the dangers in the world. Help your children feel protected by showing your love and support for them. When they feel secure around you they will be less likely to succumb to paranoia or rebellion.

8. Negative self-talk

If you put yourself down in front of your children, they will start thinking of themselves in the same way, according to child psychologist Laura Berk. They will mimic you, and some children may even start disrespecting you. If you can’t respect yourself, why will they?

Children listen more often than adults realize. It’s their way of understanding what is going on in the world. It’s important to have serious discussions with your children. Teach your children about the negative aspects of eavesdropping, and encourage them to come talk to you any time they hear something they don’t understand.

Stacie Simpson is a journalism student. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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