Permission to speak about our child – Aajol

Permission to speak about our child

Have you ever been in a situation when two people were speaking something negative about you and you happened to be within earshot?

If not, just for now let’s imagine. Imagine that the person sharing the negative information or opinion is the closest person in your life. What would you feel, about the close person and about yourself? Would you feel cheated? Would you feel angry? Would it break your heart? Would you feel safe to freely be yourself around this person after that? What would happen to your trust?

Parenting is a tough journey. A lot of frustration is an inherent part of it by design. Many situations arise when the frustrated parent in us sees an opportunity to release some of that frustration by opening up to an adult who understands exactly what we go through regularly. 

What we need to be careful about is if our child is around while we do that. Even if our child is not in the same room but within earshot and if the child knows that we are sharing something negative about them, it has the same effect. Following are some most probable short term and long term effects:

  • It harms the trust and safety of our relationship with our child.
  • It induces emotions such as shame, guilt, anger for our child.
  • The negative things we say have a potential to become a part of the self-concept for our child and then the child may internalise the negative thing being said.
  • It harms our child’s self-worth and self-esteem.
  • It gives our child the message that it’s okay if people do that to them.

Let’s not say anything negative about our child to anyone when there is even a remote possibility that our child may get to know about it.


Regularly schedule calls or meet ups with those who are your support system. Do this in the absence of your child. This can be a space to share your thoughts, emotions and experiences as candidly as you choose.

Hold back every time you feel like speaking negatively about your child to someone in the presence of your child. See if you can breathe and let go of that urge.

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