Sunday, August 24, 2008

Be Honest Or You Will Scare Them

Last week I was babysitting and the kids were up in the beginning and I had a great time playing games with them, talking to them, and then putting them to sleep. By 9:00 I had the kids sleeping, and the parents were going to a wedding so they would be home late. Since I had no school, I had no tests to study for, so I had lots of time with nothing to do.

I decided to explore the book case a bit to see if they have anything interesting to read. I found a book called “Positive Parenting” By Dr. Tewersky. I started reading different parts of the book. I came upon one part that I found intriguing. He said that children aren’t supposed to see their parents as perfect, that they should understand their human too. There are many reasons for this, which I won’t get into now.

But there was one part, which I felt was important. He said sometimes parents should let their children know what’s bothering them, otherwise the child will think the worst. He gave an example of where a kid sees his father upset, the parent doesn’t tell the child what’s bothering him. Then through different things that happen, the child assumes the worst that his father is getting fired, when in reality it was something much more minor.

Now I don’t think children should be informed with everything going on in the house. Some stuff is just not their business. However, when the child can tell that something is eating up the parent, and they ask what is wrong. It is better to just tell them the truth. Otherwise they will imagine up a story worse than it is. They will think it’s the end of the world, when its not.

Such a story happened yesterday, where I was outside with a kid I babysit for. Some people he knew walked by, and he saw the mother was holding her stomach, not a big one. So he started wondering where they were going. So he asks the 15 year old boy where they were going. The boy answered back that not everything is his business, he doesn’t have to worry himself over everything.

Since there is a hospital a block away, the boy automatically assumed the worst, that they were taking her to the hospital. So he goes into his house, tells his family that some people he knew are going to the hospital. Now I saw the lady passing by, and I could tell she wasn’t going to the hospital because she seemed to be perfectly fine, they were just taking a walk. She wasn’t pregnant, so it couldn’t have been that she would be having a baby. The only thing was in the way she walked, possibly because of her high heeled shoes, it made her appear to not be walking normally. Which gave the child the impression that something was bothering her.

Now if the person would have just been honest with the kid, then he wouldn’t have dreamt up this whole scenario. Children have big imaginations, they will worry themselves for no reason, if you’re not honest with them.


  1. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass-u&me. Kids should learn to stop assuming and learn to pester a little more. Eventually out of anoyance the adult will usually tell the truth, or at least come up with something better than, "It's not your business."

  2. 1) why are you babysitting a kid who has a 15-year-old sibling? not that i'm against you making $, but i'm just wondering

    (or is this a חסד project or school internship for a special-needs kid?)

    2) i don't think the brother's answer was necessarily wrong. maybe his message to the kid was mind your own business and don't be such a big yenta like all the other boro parkers. indeed, running into the house to yenta to his parents was not appropriate. aside from yentaing just being wrong (unless its on a blog of course), this is how false rumors get started (as you yourself show here)

  3. Lion Of Zion: 1) I wasn't babysitting a 15 year old, I guess I didn't make myself clear. The kid I babysit is 7 or 8 years old. He had asked a 15 year old where he was walking with this couple.

    2)It wasn't a brother. Yea, your right sometimes they do have to learn to mind their own business. But the 15 year old didn't have to tease him like that. He could have just said "we are going for a walk" without answering as to where exactly they were going.

    Yea, that's how false rumors start, that's why its important to be honest with the kids.

  4. Interesting thought here. But then you run the risk of becoming one of those parents who tell their children too much-to the point where the children becomes the parent's confident. I've seen people like that -and it aint pretty.

  5. End Of World: yea, I've seen that happen, that's not good either. Has to be a balance, you have to set boundaries. Like children shouldn't be involved in parents financial lives. They shouldn't have to worry about everything they buy. But if they are concerned and are mature enough, then you can tell them what they need to know, not necessarily everything, but enough to stop the worrying.


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