Sunday, January 24, 2016

Today's Virtue: Wear Ugly Glasses

How you speak to your children when they are young can resonate and echo in their minds for years to come, much into their teenage and adult years. If we don’t instill in our young generation the virtues of compassion, honesty, responsibility, and respect, we are dooming our future to a bitter selfish world to live in. The way you communicate with your children can also affect their sense of self-worth, individuality, and independence.

I went to the car wash the other day to get my car cleaned and detailed. As I was waiting for my car to finish, I overheard a discussion between what I am assuming to be a mother and daughter duo. The daughter had tried on a pair of sunglasses, and was met with sarcasm from the mother figure stating, “You think those are fashionable? I don’t think so. Those are (insert curse word) ugly.” As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, once the daughter put the glasses back where she found them, the mother insisted again, “You really think those are fashionable? Go put them on again and see for yourself.”

In the snippet above, the mother clearly did not show any compassion or respect to the daughter. Instead of praising her daughter for picking out a pair of sunglasses and shifting her focus to a different pair simply because the pair she had on didn’t complement her, she instead made several negative comments. There is a fine line between helpful adult guidance and using your authority to belittle and shame. All children want in their younger years is to be loved, heard, and cared for. Constant negativity and degradation will breed a hesitant and emotionally frightened child, and as a result, affect their sense of self-worth.

Think twice before saying something that may be hurtful to your child. Let your children take risks and encourage them to try new things. Let them stand on their own two feet and make decisions for themselves (age appropriate, of course). Coddling your child will not help them develop into independent, self-providing individuals. Teach them fortitude so they never give up on their dreams; exhibit charity and they will develop a habit of helping others; provide justice so they can learn to be fair and equitable with others.

As Elizabeth Joy (a member from Tumblr, 2013) wrote, ‘Children raised with positivity are our thinkers, our leaders, and our creators… and they are the ones who use their powers for good.  You can create that kind of person with careful parenting.  Or you can inadvertently crush a young soul with neglect or hostility…’ Which path would you choose?

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