No “Put-downs”

Kids are people. Now that seems like an obvious thing to say. But dads sometime seem to forget that.

For example you’re at a store and you hear a man say sternly to his kid loud enough for all to hear, “stop acting so stupid” or “shut-up you are really getting to me” or…well you know just fill in the blanks.

These are put-downs. They are remarks to insult the person and “show him/her who the boss is”! Put-downs have no place in a dad’s bag of tricks.

Sure kids need correction and sometimes need to be admonished but there is a way to do that that shows love and respect for the kid. The first thing to remember is that kids are people, vulnerable people at that. As children they are completely dependent on you. Sure they want their way but they also want to please.

When I say kids are people what I am talking about is that they have feelings and can be embarrassed and hurt and in fact can be damaged by what you say and how you say it.

Think about it. How do you feel if someone who is important to you or in a position of authority says something insulting to you? Do you laugh it off or do you feel violated?

No one likes to be put-down, especially kids. So when you need to correct them, do it with respect. You can bend down and quietly say into his or her ear what you expect of them.   But don’t make it rough.  They need your tender love and respect.

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