‘Gossip, disrespect, and bullying don’t come naturally. They are learned behaviors.’: Mom urges ‘our kids are listening’

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“Our kids are listening.

They hear you talk about what you really think about their school teacher.

They know what you say about their aunt when you leave the family gathering.

They hear the hurtful things you say to someone when you’re angry.

They know what you think about someone who looks or acts differently because they heard the way you giggled or sneered about them in the grocery store.

You can read all the books on kindness to them. You can talk their ear off on the value of kindness.

But when they hear you judge and shame, gossip or ridicule, you’re normalizing it for them. You are teaching them it is OK.

You can be the kindest parent in the world to them, but it truly comes down to how you treat other people that children will be paying the most attention to, so be kind, respectful and compassionate.

Kids don’t learn how to tease or bully in a vacuum. Gossip, disrespect or cruelty don’t come naturally. They are learned behaviors. And many of them learn it in their very own home.

As parents we must do better, because our kids are listening.”

Mom of two stands with her children in a field during a family photoshoot
Courtesy of Emily

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Emily. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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