Critical Speech is a Critical Mistake

When an adult speaks to another adult, it is usually with a pleasant tone of voice and in a positive manner. Yet, that same person will turn around and reprimand a child using a harsh and ugly tone and level of voice.

Are our words harmful or helpful to our grandchildren? Do we edify or criticize? Children do a lot wrong, they spill drinks, make messes with food and their rooms are often mistaken for hazmat areas. They also do much right and we sometimes fail to acknowledge those successes.

Years of rain beating on stone will erode it, causing crevasses where foreign matter finds a footing, lodges and begins to grow. As that moss or whatever gets bigger that giant boulder weakens and can actually shear off. Every word we speak to our children builds them up or tears them down, strengthens them or weakens them, brings joy or pain to them. We all must be more intentional in our manner of speech.

Constant nagging and focus on a child’s faults will damage the relationship between grandparent and child, much like erosion damages the foundation of a mountain. He or she will withdraw in an attempt to self protect. The adult who is intent of finding fault instead of the positive will also damage him or herself. It is difficult to see the sun if one stays inside with the shades drawn. In the same way, an habitual criticizer loses the ability to see joy, perfection, need, and even love. The heart can grow a shell of hardness and the keeper of that heart will not be able to view the vulnerable little one with compassion and tenderness.

Sure we must give our grandchildren discipline, structure, admonishment and teach them responsibility. That can all be done in a positive way. My own personal example concerns my own grandson. He was not getting up in the mornings and I was calling him four or five times. I even resorted to pulling off the bed covers in attempts to make him get up. We both had bad mornings because I was frustrated and he was ill tempered. Then inspiration struck! We sat down and had a serious discussion about how grownup he has become now that he is nine years old. Therefore he was being given more responsibility and freedom. I presented him with his own alarm. We set it together for 6:30 on weekdays and placed it beside his bed. I even asked him to wake me up if I didn’t get up before him. He was so proud and felt so wonderful. He did have a question for me. What would happen if he did not get up? I told him that he would miss school and would be the one to tell his teacher and principal why he was not there. It was a simple consequence not a punishment or judgment. Since then he gets up by himself every morning. It built his self confidence, fostered independence and is helping him grow in responsibility.

Erode? No way! We Recycled Moms®©are building foundations that will last a lifetime and give our precious ones a place to stand brave, strong and knowing we are for them always. Speak positively and never critically. Sow gentleness and kindness and reap the harvest of a centered and joyous child.


Erosion weakens the hardest stone. Imagine what it does to the soft heart of a child!