An embarrassed parent & your kid’s big mouth

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Has your child ever completely embarrassed you in public? Our children can say the darndest things, can’t they? But what do you do when they fluster you and those they are talking about in a public area? Let one of our experts give you her top tips on how to mitigate this sticky situation. 

By Brittany Dyer 

Let us start by acknowledging that our kids are going to say things that rattle us. They have to learn what is appropriate to say in public, especially when talking about others. So remember, that it is more than likely going to happen to you, but use it as a teaching moment for your child.

Yes, we all have those moments where we wish we could just be sucked up by quicksand because our child has just completely stunned us and everyone around us, but remember they are not meaning to hurt anyone. They just have not been taught better.

The first way to avoid this public humiliation is to talk to your child about what is appropriate to discuss at home versus what should not be discussed outside of your household. Race, weight, disabilities, hairstyles, etc., would be examples of things to only talk about at home. If your child understands these are only appropriate to talk about at home, you could potentially escape the embarrassment of public humiliation. However, remember, your little squirt may forget or something might stand out so much that it is hard not to say anything. After all, toddlers are not born with a filter to keep them from saying pretty much anything that comes to their mind. In this case, tell them you will talk about it after you get home or encourage them to talk quietly about the issue.

Also, talk to your tots about private words. There are some words that should only be talked about in private, such as bodily functions and private parts. Encourage them to only talk about these topics when at home.

Teach your kiddies about gossip. If a little one understands what hearsay is (age appropriately, of course), then you can cut them off from discussing the topic further. If gossiping is not an acceptable behavior in your household, then it will not be tolerated and can be stopped before it goes to far. However, remember if your child catches you gossiping, she will likely not learn that it is wrong.

Watch what you say! If you are cursing like a sailor, you can’t expect your little darling to not pick up on the words you are using. Also, make sure you are monitoring what your young ones are watching on the TV and the internet. They may be picking up that dirty talk from the things they are seeing and hearing on TV or YouTube or whatever else is going into that little mind of theirs.

Do they have older siblings? Make sure they are not learning those dirty words from them or older friends. Toddlers should not act like teenagers, no matter how funny it might seem in the moment. Make sure you know what your older children are teaching the younger ones.

If all else fails, distract! Sometimes there is nothing you can do when your children put you in this situation, so redirect their attention to something else.

Lastly, breathe and relax! It’s not the end of the world if your child embarrasses you or someone else for that matter. We all have and will continue to be embarrassed throughout our lives. And if your child does embarrass someone else, more than likely they will someday be standing in the same place you are wanting to cry because their child just completely embarrassed them too!

photo by julie corsi CC By 2.0

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