I was at a store and bumped into the mum of a boy in my sons class who has often ridden with me on school trips.
He always rides shot gun.
He is articulate, polite, amusing…just a really cool kid.
When I saw her at the store I relayed that to her. I told her that it had been a pleasure meeting her boy, that he had always behaved respectfully, used exceptional manners and how proud she must be to have a son who was turning into such a fine young man.
He was standing next to her as I said this and was still at her side when she responded with this:
‘Pffft, well he can be a terror a lot of the time too’
Nah, dont do that to your son.
I always try to make a point of complimenting a child to their parents if they have shown beautiful character in any way. Almost every time I get a flippant, sarcastic ‘funny’ reply along the lines of ‘well you don’t see them at home when they are doing blah blah blah hahaha’
I don’t think thats funny. I don’t think thats funny at all.
Back your kids man.
This world is going to have more than enough criticism, judgement and hurtful words to sling at our sons and daughters without us joining in with the chorus of it.
Even if you’re just being flippant and ‘funny’ its not cool. That kind of stuff hurts a kid.
If someone compliments the character of your child, be proud and accept the words and then back them: “Yes, my son is a fine young man, I’m proud of him, thank you.” Then watch them grow into those words and become those words as the affirmation of their mother or father moves beyond their ears and into their spirit.
Kids are just trying to get by in this world just like we are. I have dark parts of my own character, things I’m trying to work on and deal with but if someone complimented me only for a person I love and trust to shoot that down with a sarcastic and cutting remark about me, id be devastated.
I’d feel betrayed.
My job is to stand by my sons, to give them strong and marvellous descriptions to grow into so as far as anyone else is concerned, my sons are: Strong, Brave, Polite, Considerate, Insightful, Generous, Sharp and Beautiful human beings.
The times they struggle with this world and themselves is between me and them, not fodder for me to use to embarrass them or brush off a compliment of their character from another person.
Please don’t do this to your sons and your daughters.
If someone compliments the character of your child tell them that you already know it. Tell them that your son, your daughter is not only what they have said he/she is, but that they are also brave, funny, a fast runner, a high jumper… the love of your life.
Children hear the words of the people they trust the most.
Don’t betray them.