Instead of putting down your child with words and belittling him, you can bring him to thrive, grow and believe in himself; you can raise him up. With kind words, when you compliment someone you can get amazing results! There are parents that disparage and lower their child and when you ask the father: “How can you talk to the child like that?” He’ll answer: “What do you mean? I’m educating him!”
But this is a grave mistake. In Avot (Chapter 4 Mishna 12) it says: “The honor of your student should be as dear to you as your own honor.” Whether he’s a son, a student or you’re responsible for him presently, you must remember he has his own dignity even if he is a small child he has his own self-respect. As the responsible adult, parent, teacher or educator, your responsibility is most definitely to teach, guide and if necessary to reprimand. So reprimand, but you are forbidden to shame and belittle.
The same is true for couples. When someone wants to point out something to his spouse to prove something many people get perplexed by this, especially if they are young couples, good people who are truly sensitive to their spouse. One of the most perplexing things in the beginning of a marriage is; “Do I criticize or not? There’s a trap and a problem involved here. If I don’t criticize my wife/husband how will he/she know what bothers me? If I tell her she can get embarrassed and hurt and the same thing the other way from her.”
So what do you do? The rule is if your spouse had a onetime slip up and said a comment that hurt you or you planned out something and he/she didn’t stick to the plan. You can overlook it the 1st time and even the 2nd time. But if you find that this is his or her idea of how to function, then not only are you permitted to comment on it, you are actually obligated comment on it. The only question is how to comment on it.
Why are you obligated to comment on it? If there’s something that your spouse keeps on doing that bothers you inside, it’s like a balloon that’s getting blown up. Each time the episode is repeated the balloon gets fuller and fuller. If you get to the point that the balloon bursts, then it’s already too late. Then it’s really hard to repair and the damage is irreversible!
Therefore from the outset, before the balloon gets blown up, if you see a problem that keeps on repeating itself you should talk about it. The only question is how to talk about it. When you say your words with belittling with trying to hurt the other party, mentioning your hurt and not the anger you have for him, then your words are accepted differently. When a person is uplifted he can reach amazing results.
Every person has his abilities in any age in his life and in any part of his life to change his direction for the better.