We all heard it growing up – if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. We heard it from our moms, dads, grandparents and teachers. We’ve probably said it to our own children. It’s such a pertinent phrase, too that we really need to take to heart when we speak about the people our children love.
It may be their teacher or someone even more significant like their biological mother, but no matter who, if that person holds a special place in their heart, our words should always reflect kindness. In general our words should reflect kindness across the board, but we’re all human and it can be a challenge at times. When it comes to the people our children love, however, we really must make it a priority.
Our children’s hearts are fragile. There are plenty of negative things in this world bruising their hearts and working against them. Don’t be one of them. You may not understand, or even like, the people your children love, but you love your children so be the bigger person for them.
In our case, the biological parents of my children have stories I never thought I would be a part of. They have stories of unimaginable trauma and although there is much with which I don’t agree, the fact remains that they are still my children’s biological parents. My children do, and forever will, have a connection with these people. They do, and forever will, love them.
It’s my job to foster that in appropriate ways. My nine and eight year olds don’t need to know the nitty-gritty details of their biological parent’s background. Eventually when they are older they will come to know those details, but right now, it’s my job to allow them to embrace the love they feel for them.
We can bond with our children by speaking kindly of those they love. We can bond with our children by encouraging and supporting their feelings about other people. Speak kindly about those they love and build a bridge of understanding, compassion and respect.