The things parents say in front of their children have wide-ranging effects on their learning, confidence and
Ever said something about another person in front of your children, only to hear one of the kids repeat those
words in public when the subject of your comments is around? Yes, children’s blatant honesty can embarrass
the hell out of their parents. We need to be mindful of what we say in front of our children.
But being embarrassed by our children is only half the communication story. As celebrated US psychologist
Martin Seligman found in his ground-breaking research about optimism, children usually reflect the explanatory
style of their primary parent by the age of eight. So, for instance, if a parent is a raging pessimist there’s every
chance that their kids will pick up and convey the same ‘woe is me’ way of viewing the world from an early age.
As parents, this means we need to be really mindful of how we present the world to our kids.
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