We have some friends that I have been watching and trying to learn from.
Their kids range from 7 to 15 and they are ALL so well behaved, strong in the Gospel, love each other and respect their parents.
When I ask the mom how she did it, she gives me the answer NO ONE wants to hear; “they just came that way.”
I understand that there is a level of truth to her answer, but I have also noticed something that the parents do that add to their children and the personality they “came with.”
I have NEVER heard the parents of these children say ONE negative thing about their kids. NEVER!!! Not even in joke.
When Peter and I got married, Peter’s dad gave us the best piece of advice we could have ever gotten. He warned us about saying unkind things about each other, even in joke. He said that no matter how funny it is, or how much you really don’t mean to be rude, it will eventually hurt. He also said it is immature and can get uncomfortable for the people around you when you do that to your spouse in public.
We have been pretty good about taking his advice, but I feel like we have done poorly about having this same standard when it comes to talking about our kids.
We make jokes about selling them to the circus or giving them away. We are just trying to be funny, but just as Peter’s dad said; it is immature and hurtful to our children.
Whenever I am around these friends of ours, they are VERY quick to say how wonderful their children are and how good they are at this or that.
I have always thought if I do that with my kids, I would sound like I am bragging. (And come on, we have all been around THOSE kind of moms and know how obnoxious it can get!!)
But there is something different about the way our friends do it. They are not bragging. They talk about their kids like I would talk about a friend I deeply respect and admire. They do NOT take any credit for the good things their kids are doing.
I think THAT is the difference between bragging and truly speaking kindly of your children and what they are accomplishing.
And when your children hear you speak about them to other people in such a positive way, I truly believe it will make them want to live up to your opinion of them a whole lot more.
How we talk to and about our children can create or destroy them. They will live up to the label we give them. I know I want to work harder on giving my children a more positive label to live up to.
When they are in the room while I am speaking about them, but even when they are not, I want to speak of the things I deeply admire and love about them.
It will not be easy, because I have been letting the “jokes” take place so long, but I know that out of any goal I may have set for the New Year, this one takes priority.
I think it is time that we let our kids HEAR how much we love and respect them.