Thursday, October 30, 2014

PLEASE STOP CALLING YOUR KID A TATTLE TALE

Sheryl Sandberg created a campaign to ban the word Bossy from our vocabulary, citing that it's really only used towards girls, and deters them from exhibiting or feeling comfortable exhibiting "executive leadership" traits. Or, well, being a boss.

She's gotten a lot of backlash on the campaign, but I think that the underlying, take-home message should be that we all aught to be careful about the rhetoric we use with our kids.

And this is coming from a woman who's committed nearly all of the cardinal mommy-sins.
I have a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, and I still find it hard knowing exactly the right thing to say or merely express towards my children.

Every once in a while I hear a parent tell their kids to stop "tattling" on their siblings or not to be a "tattle tale." And I'm sure that they all want to communicate the same thing: "You haven't tried to work this problem out on your own, so at this point all it looks like all you're doing is trying to get your brother in trouble."

But instead, you're calling your child a name.

That's it. You're telling your child that "I know you're coming to me with a problem, I know that someone's making you feel uncomfortable, and my answer is to insult you. And not to help you solve your problem."

My kids are still pretty little. But I feel fairly confident in saying that if I don't listen to my kids' relatively small problems now, they won't want to tell me about the 'big stuff' later on. Cause to them, it's always been big stuff.

So the next time your son or daughter is being hurt or feels uncomfortable, try not to pass it of, and please don't discourage their open communication. If kids think that their words don't matter, they may stop using them - opting for physical responses or even worse, using hurtful names and demeaning rhetoric that has more force than they will ever truly realize.



2 comments:

  1. Yes! So true...I agree completely. I also won't tell my daughter that she is naughty--I tell her that she does naughty things. Yeah, we are all sinners, but there is no reason to destroy her self-image at the innocent age of 2.

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  2. PERFECT EXAMPLE! That's another pet peeve of mine. It's such old school "parenting" and it makes perfect sense why our millennial generation has the problems that they do. When a kid does something wrong, telling kids they're "bad" or "naughty" is not just harmful, it's just not true.
    Thanks for chiming in on this one <3 :)

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