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Children can put parents in embarrassing situations where out of the blue you find out that your entire life story and the story of everyone around you is being recited to whoever your children interact with.
With children aged 5-6, it can be harmless as children don’t tend to get into much detail. However, after the age of 7, if your child has a habit of telling others your family secrets and what happens between closed walls, you need to take a stance and teach your child about the importance of privacy and the dangers of involving other people in your business.
We spoke to positive parenting and psychology coach, Rana Hany, to help us understand how to deal with children who do not respect household secrets and share them with everyone and anyone.
What to do with children to stop the habit of sharing household secrets?
Understand what the child’s motive is
The first step to fixing a behavioral issue in children is understanding what the child’s motive is. Are they copying someone else? Do they have trouble understanding the concept of privacy? Or are they trying to seek attention? Once you put yourself in your child’s shoes, you can try to fix the issue by offering an alternative solution.
Direct a child nicely to stop sharing what happens inside the house
After you understand the cause, you can try and direct your child by explaining household privacy without labeling them as a tattletale or any name-calling.
Reach an agreement
After your child understands the concept of what happens at home, stays at home, role-play with your child to teach them how to apologize when someone asks something personal or to ask you first before disclosing information.
Agree on consequences
After practicing and explaining how to prevent anyone from getting information, you can ask your child about the consequences they think are appropriate for breaking this rule. Agree on implementing them if the rule is broken to avoid the feeling that they’re being punished.
One way that can really help a child’s brain understand and relate to these concepts is by using storytelling and fictional characters to instill values. You can tell your child bedtime stories of fictional characters who have these values as the brain is able to store information before going to sleep when it is calm and relaxed and will help your child resonate with the character.
Be a role model at home
Most important, you should be a role model at home. How do you expect your child to follow these rules and grow these habits if they hear you speaking on the phone and telling others what happened with your husband or child?
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