Tip of the Day: Talking Around the Kids


If allowing a child to overhear you saying good things about her can affect positive change in her behavior, what about the opposite? What effect does complaining about a child’s behavior in front of her have? And what if the child acts out in front of family or friends? What then?

According to psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, allowing your child to overhear you complain about her behavior to others can make her feel angry and ashamed. Therefore, it is best to be discreet with her mistakes. And in order to address a child’s misbehavior in a group setting without embarrassing her or affecting her self-esteem, The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection and Hire A Nanny offer the following tips:

  • Remain discreet and respectful. Show the child by your example how to behave in public.
  • Remove her from the situation to acknowledge the misbehavior in private. Let her know the issue will be dealt with later and keep it brief.
  • Avoid shouting, criticizing, making threats (even empty ones), unless you want to exacerbate the situation, embarrass her, and invite criticism of your parenting by others.
  • And, of course, resist the temptation to complain about the child’s behavior, and even parenting in general, in front of her to others.

We all know kids hear and understand way more than than they let on. So, it’s nice to know we can use this to our parenting advantage. Let them hear the good stuff and keep all the oopsies and negativity on the down low. And if complaining about the things the kids put us through could damage their self-confidence, guess what . . . it can also affect their confidence in us as parents. If that’s not a great excuse to stay positive, I don’t know what is!

Thank you for being tuned in parents. Your comments, suggestions, tips, and participation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are most welcome!

-Elle C.


About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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