a) no-one is talking to them at the same time, or
b) they are supposed to be listening to someone who is talking to them.
However, it can become a problem when a child verbalises everything they are thinking. If they speak without thinking can may find themselves in a lot of trouble! Particularly if what they say is of a hurtful, (rather than a complimentary) nature. If they share what they are really thinking with their friends they may find that they have less friends!
No friend wants to hear the honest truth about themselves all the time. In fact, most children don’t want to ever hear it. If you have a child who does not know when to keep their mouth shut here are a few things you can do:
How to deal with children who speak without thinking
- Make a list of things & thoughts they can share with their friends.
- Role play with them – what should they do if they do have a bad thought and want to say it out loud.
- Make a list of thoughts they cannot share with their friends.
- Get them to think about how others may feel when they say something hurtful. How would they feel if somebody said it them?
- Explain the importance of keeping friends secrets.
- Talk to them about the meaning of gossip and how much trouble they could end up in. Give lots of examples
- Role play with them what it would be like if they were on the receiving end of an outspoken friend.
Often children haven’t developed the empathy required to understand that something is hurtful, so we need to help them understand why certain opinions are hurtful and the possible consequences of voicing them. Role play is the perfect tool to help them understand how a friend might feel to be on the end of too much ‘honest’ talk!
Has your child ever said the wrong thing? What was the consequence and did they learn a major lesson? I’d love to hear from you about your experiences – leave a comment.