Parents bring us forth. They teach us the very first life lessons. They become the people we look up to. We love them and desire to make them happy as much as possible. I used to think that their influence on us ends when we grow older but recently I have discovered that it probably never ends.
There is a relative of mine who is nearly 40 years old now. She shared something that shocked me. She still remembers that when she was like 3 years old, her mother compared her to her sister. You see she has a sister that was much lighter in complexion than her. Her mother said, probably in passing, that the lighter one was more beautiful than her. This stuck with her all her life. She decided that if her mum said it then it had to be true. She believed that she was not beautiful and so she put all her energy to her brains. She scored all As and got a very good job. She rose through the ranks, traveled the world, bought a house and big cars. She realized though a few years ago that she is now quite old and unmarried because she was hurt and spent all those years trying to feel worthy of her mum’s affection….trying to somehow prove her mum wrong…
This story got me thinking of how serious a parent’s words are. They have a serious effect on children. Children soak in everything their parents say. Some children are strong and are able to shake off the bad words as they grow up but some are not so strong. They tuck in those words and carry them around through life like a scout’s knife.
I have been practicing my driving this year but I was subconsciously waiting for my father to rubber stamp my competency. Everyone thought I was doing very well but I could not agree to drive alone. One day though just a month ago, my dad gave me his car and said that he trusted me to drive it alone. I was so surprised at the effect that approval had on me. I drove alone for the first time and I was more than proud of myself.
Parents, your words are important to your children. They might not admit it but you affect them more than you know. May you seek to build them up instead of tearing them down with what you say.