May 11, 2002

Tips for dealing with a nosy child

Mother-daughter conversationEvery child is different, meaning that each child has unique and special needs. Some children are naturally social and love to talk. Others are extremely reserved and prefer to wrap up in a blanket and read a book all day. There are all sorts of different personality types when it comes to children, and there are also unique problems associated with those types. Some parents have bratty children while others have kind and generous children. Most kids are a combination of many different personality traits. One problem that some parents report having with particular children is nosyness. Have you ever noticed that your child sneaks up to listen to your most private conversations? Do you catch them behind doors or listening at open windows? Some parents find that their kids have been looking around in their personal information on the computer. There are many different forms of nosyness, and your child might be described by on or many of them. If you have a nosy child you are probably wondering about ways to prevent this nosyness. Is there a good way to deal with a nosy child?
It can be hard to deal with nosy children, but it can help to realize that they might be nosy for a reason. Sometimes kids are nosy because they are scared that their parents might be having some sort of problem. They might be unsure about the future and about how their lives might be different soon. Like all human beings they have a concern for their own wellbeing and they are entitled to know what might be happening. While many of the concerns of parents might not be the business of their children, it is important to remember that kids need to know what is generally going on. If they suspect a major problem in their environment they will take the steps to figure out what is going on. You can help to make your child less nosy by making them aware of why things might be tense.
You can also prevent nosiness by directly teaching your children about why nosiness is wrong. You can explain that people need to talk with each other in private and that they aren’t saying anything about the child. You might be able to explain this by asking them how they would like it if someone watched them play with their friends. In terms of problems with the computer, you can actually create a separate user account for yourself and your children on most computers. This will allow you to avoid anyone snooping on whatever you do on your computer.
Naturally the last thing you might want to do is to punish your child for eavesdropping. Although the punishment should probably not be too severe for something like nosiness, make sure that your child understands why there is a problem. Not punishing them will probably just make them think that it is OK to listen behind doors. Imagine if your child continued this behavior indefinitely. You certainly don’t want to raise a child who becomes a nosy adult. Not only will this reflect poorly on you and your parenting, but it will also make it difficult for your child as an adult. They will be constantly getting into trouble as they listen to conversations that should be left to other people. Don’t try to force your child to stop being nosy-first help them to understand why it is wrong and proceed from there. Be patient and help your child to change their inappropriate behavior.

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