It is always a good thing for parents to be open with their children – to an extent. Kids can often learn by having their parents share their own personal experiences and struggles. But there is such a thing as oversharing with your children. There are just some things that parents should limit when it comes to talking to their kids. Children don’t need to know their parent’s intimate history in detail or if their mom or dad thinks about themselves negatively. They don’t want to look at their parents in a morose light which sometimes can start to happen when parents overshare certain things with them. Continue reading to learn about 10 things to avoid oversharing with your kids.
While it can be good for children to know when their parent(s) can’t afford all the extra stuff that maybe some of their friends have, it may not be the best idea to overshare money woes with children. If parents are really struggling financially and the kids know it, it can sometimes cause them anxiety; even at a young age. Kids shouldn’t be the ones worrying about how they are going to get fed, that should really be the parents’ job. So, parents should be aware of just how much of their financial struggles they are sharing with their children.
One thing parents should avoid oversharing with their kids is “intimate” details regarding their relationships; regardless if it’s a past or present relationship. As children get older, they will learn that their parents have been intimate at least once in their life (or one time for each pregnancy their mother has had).
But that does not mean that they want to know any more information than that. Some things should be left to be shared with your friends, not your children.
Cheating is never a good or acceptable thing to do to someone else. But, unfortunately, it does happen way too often and for too many reasons. But when it comes to sharing information about your relationship with your child regarding the other parent, if there was any infidelity on either end, perhaps the children shouldn’t be made aware of this. The reason parents shouldn’t overshare this kind of knowledge is that there is a good chance that a child may start to resent, retaliate, or grow a disliking toward the parent that cheated. This shouldn’t be the goal of the innocent parent either. Regardless of how hurt you may feel emotionally, maybe you should leave the kids out of this.
Venting to others can feel excellent when you're having relationship complications. However, parents should try to be mindful of exactly what they say if they choose to vent to their children about their relationship issues. If a mom or dad is still in a relationship with the other parent, is with someone that the kids have known for a while and are fond of, then perhaps it would be better to keep save those vents for someone else. If mom or dad is complaining about their partner or something they may have done, the kids may end up having negative feelings about the offending person as well. It has the potential to change children’s view of that person.
Children should know if their parents broke the law, but only to a certain extent. If it was something major that could affect the child’s life, once they reach a certain age where they can understand the situation and what their parent is telling them, it may be a good idea for them to know. However, if a parent had minor offenses such as shoplifting than perhaps it would be best to keep that from the children. The reason for that would be because – in a kids mind – if mom or dad did it before then why can’t they try it too? It could be looked at as setting a wrong example.
One parent should never bad mouth the other parent to the child in any situation. Too often parents try to make the child pick sides or try to make the other parent look horrible in the kids’ eyes. That is not a good thing to do, even if the other parent has done something wrong.
When both parents are in a kid’s life, the child should be able to love both parents equally. And when one parent bad mouths the other, it can often take that away from a kid; especially if the parents are separated and the main caretaker talks unfavorably about the other parent.
If a parent has doubts about their parenting capabilities, they should avoid oversharing those doubts with their children. Kids want to think the best of their parent(s) and they want to trust that mom or dad knows what they are doing when it comes to raising them. If the parent were to admit that they doubt their ability to be a parent, the child might start putting doubt in that parent too. They might think differently about their parent as well, even if mom or told their kids their insecurities with good intentions.
The only time it would be a good idea to share the flaws you see in yourself with your children is if it is a story of hope because it was something that you were able to overcome. Oversharing the things you don’t like about yourself has the potential to make some kids start looking for their own flaws as well as look at their parent in a different light. If you show your kids that you are confident, it can perhaps so your children that they can be confident too!
If you think your child may not be the sharpest tool in the shed – meaning you question your child’s intelligence – you should maybe try to avoid oversharing that with them. If your child knows or even thinks that you question their mind, it will most likely make them feel bad. It could really hurt their feelings as well as make them think of themselves as being less than average. For some children, if they think that their own parent doubts their abilities, it may make them try less hard, which may very well be the opposite of what parent was aiming for.
Sometimes kids tend to get on their parent’s last nerve. It happens to everyone. However, maybe parents should avoid actually telling their kids the full extent of how they may really feel about them at times. You can think whatever you want about your child, but when it comes to verbalizing those thoughts; that is a different story. As an example, if you find your kid highly annoying, telling them this can really hurt their feelings and confidence.