Sunday Post 51: Building Them Up

Posted by Danny

Sometimes I see my kids get torn down – right to their core.  Occasionally it comes from me…

“Just get your homework done!”

“You’re wearing that?”

“I can’t right now – maybe later.”

Each phrase I carelessly toss out, I later regret.  It’s often not what I say, but how I say it. 

“You’re wearing that?”  Stupid!  I don’t actually say it, but the implication is certainly there.

I hear my girls rip each other down day after day.  I’m sure it’s natural – but I hate it nonetheless.  “Lord knows we’ve learned that the world is a tough place. I tell them.  “Within the walls of this house, we should all be safe.”  Safe to be who we really are without the pressure of living up to another’s opinion.  We should encourage and show each other grace, not cut down or use terse tones.

My argument works – for about an hour.  And then, it starts right over again.

And the hardest for me is when other people tear my kids down.  It usually occurs with a girlfriend – a snide comment about clothes or leaving one out in the lunchroom.  I’m sure my kids do it too.

With all that’s coming at them, I’m not sure how to ensure that my kids grow up feeling good about themselves. 

Periodically, I play a little game with my kids at bedtime.  We list ten things that we love about that kid.  I throw in ideas and they agree or toss in suggestions of their own.  We try to avoid vanilla things like “Stephanie is nice.”  And if we do, we try to break it down to define what nice really means.  And the list is easy – I can think of hundreds of things I love about my girls.

Sometimes my younger girls will say, “Dad, can we make that list about me?”  Come to think of it, I might ask my boss to do the same for me tomorrow.  Sometimes you just need someone to tell you how great you are!

I worry about them.  I want to pummel anyone who doesn’t build them up.  But I guess I can’t.  It’s just not the way you handle life, and, I’m not a very good fighter.

I want to set a foundation that lets them know their father likes them and not just because I have to.  I want them to be able to point out their assets and unique talents.

And maybe, just maybe, the negative things that come their way will more easily slide off.

Leave a comment


  1. Mom

     /  January 8, 2012

    Amen! You are right on the money. We all need a safe place and to be told we are something sepcial. We do far too little of that in this busy world.

  2. Norma

     /  January 8, 2012

    I totally agree with this blog! As a teacher, I try to make sure that I build up all of my students every day, even when they fall short. I want kids to know that they are respected and encourage them to do always do their best. Unfortunately, in school and in life, we are constantly being “graded”, but not everyone gets the “A” in everything. I try to encourage my own boys to just get an “A” in the way they treat one another!

  3. Helen LaVere

     /  January 8, 2012

    Just stopping in to let you know how great you are! And your beautiful daughters & Uncle Jesse each bless our lives in so many ways.

  4. Aunt Susan

     /  January 8, 2012

    Danny, the next time I see you remind me to smack you upside the head and then give you a big hug. Nobody likes to be torn down, and boy do we need to help build each other up. The smack is for even thinking that you are not building your girls, I have watched you do that from the very first day the first one was born, and you contiune to do it. The hug is for recognizing the fact that you, (and I mean everybody) do tend to drag each other down. That’s life, but since you are aware and try to see each one be supported, they are learning and practing it. Remember at you in-laws, when you thought the youngest new boots were too small and was upset, her sisters worked hard to support her and her point of view.
    Don’t be so tough on yourself, we all want to help and support you, not that you indicate that you need it! You are like the duck, calm on top of the water and paddling madly!

  5. You are a good man and father Danny Tanner! I get the feeling your house IS a safe place. Yet our tongues will get the best of us sometimes. Since you recognize this, I agree with Aunt Susan. I am sure you are doing well!

  6. Ginny Killinger

     /  January 8, 2012

    You don’t know me, but, I knew Lisa from St. Timothy’s. A mutual friend, Sallie Cahill, sent me your blog and I look forward to it when it pops up on my email 🙂 You are a wonderful writer, I laugh and cry with your every thought! What a legacy you are creating for adorable Lisa and your precious girls! Just keep up the good fight because we are all with you every step of the way!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  January 8, 2012

      Thanks for writing. The support from the St Tims family has been incredible. And especially Sallie and Dan. Oh – and thanks for reading!


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