We love to vent about our kids. Sometimes it just feels good to post a Facebook pic of their mess or ring the girls with your latest tale of woe.
But one Mummy blogger, Stevie of My Tribe of Six thinks that we should stop slagging our kids, as it could be damaging to them.
Child shaming? If we dont always have self control or regulate our emotions appropriately, how can we expect our children to control theirs? Did you skip a gym sesh, eat something "naughty", spend more money than you were suppose to, get angry with your husband, friend, kids? But then there are these expectations that our children should have this self control, that even we fail at as adults. Doesnt seem so fair now, right? Sure im guilty in sharing my bad days, but thats my bad day & im very conscious about what i share & how it will impact my children in future. There's a saying that goes something like, children love in the most unloving way, sometimes. Thats because theyre still learning about how to control their emotions. They feel secure, loved & safe enough with us that they can explore these & learn how to regulate them correctly, if we help them & not shame & scare them. Instead of laughing, shaming or cussing them, hug them & let them know its OK. Talk to them about what theyre feeling & why. I wrote a blog earlier in the year, if you missed it, ill pop the link in my bio. A girlfriend on here recently told me that when she read this blog she totally changed her view & how she talked about her kids. It made me feel awful that maybe i made her feel bad, but then also so proud too because she was able to tell me that she seen why i wrote it & what i was saying & it made a positive impact on her. Its all about empowering one another to be our best. Here's an excerpt. Has anyone noticed that recently the new trend at the moment is to call our children arseholes & complain about them all the time? or gloat that we have succumb to alcoholism, bragging about downing copious amount of wine because life with children is totally unbearable. Now, I know it is refreshing to see others share intimate thoughts that we otherwise may not be able to voice & these remarks are made presumably tongue in cheek (I would hope) In hand with hearing & sharing them, we can then let out a sigh of relief knowing that we are not alone in our darkest hour –but where do we draw the line? Go read. Im not judging, just sharing another positive perspective on it.
Stevie decided to take on the new "trend", as she sees it, in the parenting world of calling children "arseholes and complain[ing] about them all the time."
Firstly, she says that we need to be more conscious of what we share about our children online. As kids become more tech savvy by the day, in a handful of years it will be easy for them to see what their parents said about them during the terrible twos. She says that this could be damaging to them as adolescents who "will have hormones raging through them, have insecurities, be trying to find themselves or fit in" and that finding negative things about themselves posted by their parents "will more than likely be taken to heart".
"Sure, I'm guilty of sharing my bad days," she continues "but that's my bad day and I'm very conscious about what I share and how it will impact my children in future."
Stevie points out that even as adults we sometimes let our moods trip us up. Children are "still learning about how to control their emotions". So we should cut ourselves, and our children, some slack:
"If we don't always have self control or regulate our emotions appropriately, how can we expect our children to control theirs? Did you skip a gym session, eat something "naughty", spend more money than you were suppose to, get angry with your husband, friend, kids? But then there are these expectations that our children should have this self control, that even we fail at as adults."
They say surround yourself with people who push you to be your best and make you want to be better. Well ive found my people - the only ones I live my life for and where my happiness lies. Who embrace my crazy and share my dreams. Who love me unconditionally and free of judgement. The only people i will ever need, will always be by my side and matter most, are within my four walls. As we get older, our circles gets smaller. We realise who and what matters. Whats real and what's not. Its important to know yourself the most, only allow people in that dont destroy your peace of mind and who find joy in your happiness too, not just their own - vice versa. Just feeling grateful after my rough week, that ive had these guys by my side. Goal today, be grateful for those who care enough about you, to make an effort for you! Llts of catching up to do, messages to read and comments to reply to. Thanks all, i really appreciate it all xx. Sorry its an old photo, but a good one. I think it shows all of their personalities. I dont really have many photos of me with all of the kids, and my husband. New goal, ask strangers to take photos of us
Moreover, sharing negativity about kids can be painful and insensitive to those who have difficulty conceiving or have lost a child:
"Women spend tens of thousands of dollars to try to get pregnant, some still don’t. They travel the world seeking help, some spend years trying. Some will never get to experience what it is like to hold their child in their arms. Do we really want to make a novelty out of how much we don’t appreciate our children at the expense of others who would literally do anything to be in our shoes?"
Instead of giving out about our children we should be grateful that we have them:
"Guys, they are our children! We should be proud of them and focusing on their growth and accomplishments instead of picking at the things that drive us crazy."
Isnt it crazy that as parents we tend to not listen to our kids as much as we think we do. Obviously we hear them, i hear mine 24/7 without much silence inbetween words, but am i listening to what they're saying? Its not just words either, its actions. Often i hear other parents talking about their kids behaviour and i often respond with, but why are they acting that way, what do you think they are trying to say with the behaviour theyre displaying. If we all took a moment to actually listen to our kids, let them share without fear of being silenced or judged.. If we just encouraged their curiosity and questioned their emotions - I'm sure they would have a lot to say and a lot to learn from our responses. We have always made it clear with our kids that they can ask us whatever they want and they will never get in trouble. We let them know there is no wrong kind of question, their opinion and feelings matter, they ALWAYS get a say and that being true to who they are without feeling pressured to be who they are not is imperative to their happiness and wellbeing. I can see already how confident the kids are in their choices and themselves, that we are raising our future leaders, future doctors, future cowboys, future parents and anything else they want to be. As they grow i need them to know that they are in control of their lives, that they can always come to me for anything and that they will achieve anything they set their mind to - making this world a better place. But it all starts with us, hearing and listening to our kids. we honestly dont give them enough credit sometimes. You too can join me in taking this pledge to listen to the children in our life, so they know that their voices are being heard, that what they say matters and we genuinely care. World Children's Day is on 20th November, to take the pledge and help our youngest generation, all around the world be heard go check out @unicefaustralia and head to www.unicef.org.au for more info. #worldchildrensday #ad. . [SPONSORED] - Honestly how i feel, my genuine Sentiments and how we are raising our children. Listen to your kids and support Unicef!
Children are still growing and even though they can sometimes drive us up the wall, they are just that, children:
"They are kids, they aren’t suppose to sit still and listen all the time, they are meant to make a mess and explore – it is one of the ways they learn. Their little brains are still developing and learning how to regulate all of those emotions and feelings...last thing we want is teenagers too scared to confide in us."
"Instead of laughing, shaming or cussing them, hug them and let them know it's okay. Talk to them about what they're feeling and why."
Are they even your big sisters if they dont dress you in their clothes at least once? He's like "What do you mean, boys cant wear dresses?" . Theyre all pretty happy with the outfit, oh the innocence of being a child and pure of heart. Meanwhile theyre pretty stoked with their efforts in the garden, finding new rocks for their collection.
Some parents replied with their own thoughts on the matter:
"So refreshing to see someone else who had the same thoughts as me. I've had a friend who doesn't have children call my boy 'a right little brat' and it's so hurtful. They are learning and so little. I know I certainly have outbursts where I can't control my emotions and if someone called me names as I did it or told others that I was I'd be so upset."
"A kids upbringing is like china plates it’s so delicate and anything they see adults do they see as normal behaviour that they can mimic...I think letting it all out on instagram is a positive thing but does it cross over into your normal life, do you forget that kids are around sometimes and say things and act certain ways. My husband thinks it’s funny sometimes to joke about this annoyance at the kids you know just joking but I have to say listen you don’t realise how much they listen to, you have to be careful."
What do you think about "child-shaming"? Do we really need to be more careful in how we talk to our children or is venting harmless but essential way of maintaining sanity? Let us know!