Gossip, like bullying, is a very painful weapon.
As an adult, I’m still getting kicked in the teeth by gossips. As an adult, gossip makes me nauseated. I want to come out swinging, to correct the record. To defend myself.
As an adult, gossip hurts my feelings and still makes me cry sometimes — especially when the nastiness and half-truths come from people who claim they are our friends.
This a lesson to our children that they are not babies just because they get upset by maliciousness. We all get upset at any age. Words can be very hurtful.
There is no wonder why our children suffer so much by hateful words. Kids are still maturing. Their abilities to let things roll off is practically non-existent. How can we teach them to overcome the painful emotions when we, ourselves, continue to struggle with it?
Gossip can be especially potent when it is guised as concern. Half-truths are confusing. Kids have a hard time interpreting reality as it is, let alone when the reality is couched in falsehoods. Heck, we all have a hard time with that.
One of the best lessons we can teach our children is to identify gossip and to not participate in it. If you have questions about what you heard, go straight to the source. Avoid third-party interventions.
We need to teach our children to be direct, to get the story straight. Gossip is repeating third-hand information. It’s wrong. It’s hurtful. It’s damaging.
But that’s just what I heard.