I was at a store today and bumped into the mum of a boy in my sons class who has often been one of a few riding in my car on class trips.
He always rides shot gun.
He winds the electric window up and down while he talks about how cool his mum and dad are.
I know that he considers his dads best friend as a good and kind mentor because he literally used the words ‘good and kind mentor’ in his description of him.
He is articulate, polite, amusing…just a really cool kid.
At the store today I told his mother that it had been a pleasure meeting her boy, that he had always behaved respectfully (he has), used exceptional manners (he does) 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, I wish he was like that with me, he’s nothing but terror at home haha’
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 being X, Y, Z (insert flippant, betraying comment here) 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 or trying to be ‘funny’, its not cool.
Kids are trying to get by in this world just like we are.
I know for example, that I have irritating, imperfect parts of my own character that I’m trying to work on and deal with. If someone praised something good that they had seen in me in a remark to someone I trusted only to hear that trusted person tear me down with a sarcastic and cutting remark, id be devastated.
I’d feel betrayed.
I am a mother of two young men and 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 is safely kept between me and them, its not fodder for me to use to embarrass them or brush off a compliment of their character from another person.
Please don’t betray 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 and those words move beyond their eardrums and settle deep into their spirit.
Don’t betray them.