One of the parents pointed out that gossip isn’t necessarily done with harmful intent — people could say they “gossip” because they are concerned and sharing important information. Personally I wouldn’t call that gossip. Princeton WordNet says:
n 1: light informal conversation for social occasions
2: a report (often malicious) about the behavior of other people; “the divorce caused much gossip”
3: a person given to gossiping and divulging personal information about others
So there is a dimension that’s just “chit-chat,” but there’s that “often malicious” in there. What do you think? Is there something inherently malicious or undermining in gossip?
Anyway, one of my favorite questions: How do we use the tendency to gossip in a positive way?
What’s so good about this is that it acknowledges people are as they are — and we still have choice… and we still have the opportunity to influence others. It’s a very strengths-oriented approach: What do people do well, and how can that come into service of a larger purpose?