Be careful what you say around your children. Photo: Janie Barrett

Lately, I’ve noticed kids of a certain age turning into mouthpieces of their parents.

It’s a sudden and dramatic change and it appears, at least to my eyes, to take place sometime between their ninth and 12th birthdays.

One year, they’re unique captains of their own little vessels with their own, usually kooky, take on the world, the next it sounds like you’re listening to a squeaky version of their mum or dad.

Which stresses to me the importance of keeping your own kids free from your crummier influences for as long as you possibly can.

We all complain, we all blow our lids, we all trash talk people we love. It’s the defining nature of humans, our ability to… whine.

We’re so careful with our newborns to protect them from bad language, from possible negative influences. But, like everything, our best intentions get lost in the warp and woof of life.

But why ruin the perfection of a child with our own prejudices? Here are eight behaviours you should never, ever, let your kids see.

1. Complaining about feeling sick and taking sick days

Unless you’re bedridden or terminal, y’ain’t sick. Yes, you might feel a little flat, yes, your job might be uninspiring and therefore you don’t particularly want to inhabit your cubicle for the day. But do your kids need to have their worlds coloured blue?

The amount of kids I see who believe they are genuinely ill, who can’t make it to school, who walk around the house in pyjamas, gloomy, all weekend, because of some mysterious illness still surprises me… until I see their misery-guts parents.

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– Derek Rielly

Source: Derek Rielly: The eight things your kids should never see you do