Celebrate in public, criticize in private. This is so key for teachers, coaches, pastors, business leaders and of course, parents. I get ugly mad when I see a coach berating a player on the sidelines, a pastor throwing a staff member under the bus from the pulpit, or a parent in the grocery story, or a CEO pushjng their staff around in a team meeting. To be honest, I can’t sing better than a Canadian goose. One day during choir practice in high school, my teacher asked me to mouth the words to the song we were practicing, and the entire class heard her. I didn’t have much ambition to sing, but my choir days were over at that moment. Her quick-witted response is something I remember 20 years later. Those moments stick with us forever, and often times have a significant impact on us. As parents, we hold the power and the key to our kid’s confidence. As do coaches, teachers and bosses. And we are either building them up, or cutting them down. We are either controlling, or encouraging. We can’t afford to, in a fit of impatient anger, snap at our kids in the store, or in front of their friends. It is so important that we be patient in our discipline, and generous with our praise. I recently heard in a podcast a woman said “I don’t remember my dad ever telling me I was beautiful.” That can crush a kid. They long for us to praise them and celebrate them and show the world how much they mean to us. Go out of your way to celebrate your children and spouse this week. Shout it from the rooftops. From the heart. And not just a simple Facebook post. To their face, in front of their friends, when and where it matters most. Make it a habit. And then next time you think to criticize publicly, please just wait until the time is right, and be fair about it. Our words are the key to their success. #secretlifeofdad

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