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Three Things We Shouldn’t Do In Front of Kids

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Whether we know it or not, kids are watching our every single move. We know what we shouldn’t do in front of kids (smoke, drink, curse, etc.) but there are some other things that are taboo when it comes to kids.

Parenting expert and psychologist Dr. Carrie Contey says that kids learn how to talk by mimicking those around them, so they also learn how to behave by watching those around them, so it’s a good idea to be aware of what we’re doing.

Lying

You’re speeding with a child in the car and get pulled over. What do you say to the nice officer? Do you explain that yes, you were speeding and accept your punishment, or do you try and wiggle out of it by lying, saying that you were speeding because you’re rushing to bring your daughter to a birthday party? She’s sitting right there in the booster seat. She knows you’re just going to the grocery store, but she sees you lying to get out of being in trouble. Author and psychotherapist Alyson Schafer says that adults tell little white lies so much that sometimes we don’t even know we’re doing it, but kids do so they won’t think it’s a big deal if they do it.


Keeping Secrets

You’re driving your kid home from practice and you’re feeling mumbles and grumbles from your tummy, so you swing in to Mickey D’s to grab a snack wrap and some fries with a Diet Coke for you and a Happy Meal for the munchkin. You’re handing the bag into the back seat and say “Don’t tell mom” or “Don’t tell dad”. You may think that you’re bonding with your kid because now you have a secret, but Alyson says actually, it’s demonstrating to your child that it’s OK to lie to someone and undermine authority.


Teasing

“If you swallow your gum, it stays in your system for 7 years.” “If you keep making that face, it will stay that way.” “If you keep doing that, you’ll go blind!” All of those things never came true, but we believed it because, “Kids are achingly literal” as Dr. Carrie puts it and because they’re so literal, they expect you to be, too. Author and Child Psychologist Dr. Susan Newman adds that making disparaging comments about others is also not a good idea. Not a fan of your mother in law? Do you verbalize it in front of your child? Do you know that’s their grandmother? Calling Grandma an “Old Crow” in front of your child may lead to them saying it in front of her the next time they see her.


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