Signposts to lower self-disclosure

Signposts to lower self-disclosure

rsz_decrease-sdYou may be concerned that your child shares their ideas, thoughts, opinions and feelings with others too readily. Healthy self-disclosing enables children to form appropriate attachments and friendships.

Children who develop a fixed bias toward high self-disclosing can have increased risks. They may dominate social contexts and lack impulse control. They may lack self-awareness and develop poor listening and collaborative skills. They may expose themselves to risks on social media.

So how can you signpost your children to lower their self-disclosure?

Introduce the metaphor of back stage and front stage to help your children understand the concept of self-disclosure.

  • The idea is that we can choose to share things on our front stage or keep them to ourselves on our backstage.
  • This is a helpful narrative for those who would benefit from decreasing their self-disclosure, as it proposes that not everything needs to be on our front stage, and that is healthy to keep some conceptualizations on our backstage.
  • This then opens up room for discussion about why is it important to keep some things private in our back stage?

Helpful and unhelpful banter…

Banter can be funny, but we need to teach our child that for some, silly banter can be hurtful.

  • Guide your child in thinking about who they are directing their banter towards. Is Abi going to hear it as banter?
  • Introduce the metaphor of a banter ball game – it involves both players knowing they are playing the same game, and both having rackets to bat the joke back.
  • If one person doesn’t feel it is a game, or doesn’t feel they have a racket and are being hurt by the ball, then it is not banter –it is hurtful and must stop.



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