Parenting Blues: 7 Things to Expect that You Might Not Want to Share About Your Children

Sometimes things we talk about concerning our children have a way of coming back to haunt us later.  Whether you boast a little too much about your child or you tell every awful thing he or she has ever done, what we fail to realize is that children are a reflection of who we are and how we parent. 

There are personal issues that will come up during the raising of one's children that is better left unsaid, especially if you are still learning and growing when it comes to parenting.  In addition, if you know you are the type that is easily offended when it comes to being told some negative things about your children, it is also best not to share too much about them.

1.  How much a child looks like, acts like, and does other things like the other parent.

When you know you don't have the best relationship with the father (mother) or you have some personal issues concerning him/her that you have yet to forgive him/her for, it's best to keep those comments to yourself that are negative and tend to compare father and son and mother and daughter.  People have a way of piggybacking off of what you say and then bringing it up in a harmless way later.  "Sure, looks like his dad...I know you must be proud, I really do hope he turns out to be better than his dad." or "Remember when you said his mother was sneaky?  Well, you know I notice that your daughter is acting just like her, you are right!"

2.  The evil or embarrassing things they do in school, daycare, at home, church, etc.

What parent doesn't have a story about a son or daughter that has left his or her face red and palms sweaty?  But it happens, and should everyone need to know about the incident including the Internet?  One day someone in the family is going to bring that story up to your child and he or she just might rebel because it was shared.  "Your mom told me when you lied about...I hope you don't think you can tell me one and get away with it!"  Keep in mind, the self-righteous, jealous types love spreading negative stories about the offspring of those they hate.  

3.  Personal hang-ups about things like: height, acne, making friends, talking, etc.

The more family and friends know about your child's weaknesses, the more likely they might come up with people they know or they may be approached by these so-called well-meaning people.  "Honey, I bought this acne cream for you.  Your mom told me that people tease you at school...I remember when I had problems..." or "Dear, you really out to wear this girdle, your mom told me you are trying to lose weight, don't want the fat wiggling."  Sometimes children feel like parents can't be trusted with sensitive information so they will close up. 

4.  An illness that could possibly spread.

Whether the illness was treated years ago or a day ago, you tell someone, who already has a compulsive disorder or two, about your child's illness, he or she just might act strange around your son or daughter.  Better off leaving your child with someone who is understanding and has had a similar issue.  Sometimes people will keep bringing the past up and sharing it with others as if it is a present issue which only shames the poor child.  "Your mom shared that you had ring worm, okay don't sit here...keep your head away from this pillow...I mean I know that happened awhile ago and you're better, but just in case."

5.  Consistent poor grades and other school issues like fighting.

It won't be long before someone in your circle is going to start questioning, "Why is Johnny always getting into trouble?  What are you and your husband teaching him?"  In time, you will start treating your partner and child as if they are the sole cause as to your unhappiness because of those whispers in your ears from family.  The poor grades and other school issues might come back up later when relatives are thinking about who they might want to help and who they would avoid in the family.

6.  Selection of friends.

Is it really necessary to talk about a son or daughter's friends to family and friends?  Just imagine hearing this from a relative if you were a child, "Your dad told me that you have been hanging around the wrong crowd, well if you bring any mess to my home and cause problems for my children, I will give you a spanking you will never forget!"

7.  Personal interests.

Since children can be very private and you don't know sometimes what to say or not to say about the things they like, it is best just to check with them first.  Consider this, "So I heard you like that new toy--I wouldn't buy it, cost too much!  My son told me about it--such a waste!  Aren't you a bit old to be playing with that anyway?"  Once again, adults who don't like you or your child will use what they know to hurt you.

Keep in mind, before you tell a relative everything that is going on with you and your child, think about the future.  Take the time to think how might a relative or friend use the information.  As much as we love the people in our lives, we also need to know when to keep some things about our sons and daughters to ourselves.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry, get your copy here.

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