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.