We all live our lives in privacy right? That’s simply not so for a parent. There is no such thing as a private family matters to a child. Heck your child probably only knocks on your bedroom or bathroom door 10% of the time, if that! The biggest problem for a parent is your kids broadcasting everything and mean everything. Your parents, friends who have kids and complete strangers will tell you time and time again that the whole notion of what happens in your home, stays in your home, does not exist for parents of human children. Sorry friends with animals, this post does not pertain to you.
I think we are going 3 years now, trying to explain to Paley the difference between sharing news and divulging private information about our family or herself. The daily challenge is the good old “innocent brag” she sees as a simple boast about some great news. For example, she has a sleepover at Sally’s house, which is happening tomorrow night. Today she has Mildred over for a playdate. The first thing out of Paley’s mouth once the front door is open and Mildred steps in to the house is “Guess what I am going over Sally’s house tomorrow night for a sleepover.” Mind you 10 minutes before Sally’s arrival, I specifically asked Paley to not say anything about the sleepover. Epic Fail.
Then there is the “innocent bean spilling”, which is always about something personal that happened in your home, behind close doors. For example, at age 6, corporal punishment has finally been placed on the docket. No we are not beating our child with a belt. In these moderns times, we have to hit our kids where it hurts. No it’s not the iPad, no it’s not the TV. We are taking back her hard earned chore money. Right now Paley can earn $1 for various projects and tasks, like cleaning up her brother and sister’s toys. No we aren’t talking a few toys here and here, we are talking about Mount Vesuvius from the TV room to the back of the house. Of coarse right after the punishment has been dealt, Paley is to attend a sleepover. Before pick up, I explain to Paley as usual, there are some things like being in trouble, that should be talked about. She opted to spill the beans right as the parent walked through the door. “I got in trouble and lost all of my chore money but I get to sleepover”.
All we can do or you can do, is just keep trying. We have tried so many different ways to try to get our 6 year old to stop and think before that mouth opens. Sadly I think this is more of a maturity issue. Keep trying, right!