Remember the game Telephone from when we were kids? One person whispers something in the next person’s ear and so on until the last person in the “telephone” line has to say what she heard. It’s usually nothing like what was originally said. And that’s why we teach our GOTR girls that we shouldn’t gossip. As parents, I know you’re concerned – with the advent of cyber gossiping and some of the cases that have hit the media in the past few years, I think everyone is being more careful about this topic, and for good reason.
When I think of gossiping, I am reminded of the words of spiritual teacher Sri Sathya Sai Baba,
“Before you speak, think:
Is it necessary?
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Will it hurt anyone?
Will it improve on the silence?”
If the answer to any of those is no, then hold your tongue.
These are great questions for all of us to keep in mind as we teach our children about the negative effects of gossiping. And we might just want to keep those questions in mind ourselves…
If that doesn’t work for your daughter how about the good old Golden Rule: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” Most girls would quickly admit that they don’t want people to gossip about them, which makes it easier for them to understand why they should return the favor.
Here are some helpful websites with exercises you can use with your daughter to teach them the importance of not gossiping: