As a parent, it is so easy to forget that we need to teach our kids WHAT to say, just as much (if not more) than what NOT to say.
I go on walks often with my 10-year-old daughter. This last school year, 4th grade for her, she had plenty to chat about for our hour-long walks in the evening and on the weekends. I regularly ask her what she and her friends talk about at lunch.
When she started to worry about gossip or talking about negative things, she often just became quiet and didn’t say anything. I piped in with excitement and said: “how about I make a list for your lunchbox of fun things you and your friends can chat about so you can easily change the subject.” She hadn’t thought about trying to change the subject, as most kids won’t.
I wanted to arm her with success AND lunch fun. So, here and there I toss a few notes in her lunch that gives her actual words so that she can pipe up and change the subject.
Try it out with your kiddos….they might like the gentle advice as well.