Labels Can Stick


When I was a kid, my mother once called me “anti-social” because I didn’t want to go to a party. I’ve never forgotten that.

During her childhood, a friend of mine was introduced by her mother as the “pretty, but not too smart” one. She’s never forgotten that.

Words matter. Labels can stick. Especially when they come from a parent.

So try to catch your children in the act of using their God-given gifts or exhibiting a certain character quality you want to reinforce. Identify it. Give it a name. Then point it out to them.

Let’s say you ask your son to clean his room. An hour later you check and the job is done. When you tuck him into bed, you could say, “Son, you not only got your room clean, but you did it right and you did it the first time I asked. You are someone who is responsible and trustworthy.”

Maybe your teenage daughter is trying a new hairstyle (or make-up, clothing, etc.). Try saying, “You sure are beautiful, but not just on the outside. I’m so proud of who you are.”

Your words are going to stick one way or the other. You might as well make them good ones.

Sound off: What words or labels stuck with you from your childhood?


One Response to “Labels Can Stick”

  1. Pat Badstibner Says:

    Could not have brought up a better point for years I lived with the thought I must be really stupid because the only Father I had known told me constantly how stupid I was.

    It wasn’t till I realized how suffessful in business I became the I acceppted that hey maybe I ain’t all that stupid.

    After working one on one with hundrends of men, I can honestly say that it is the number one thing I see holding men back in their lives whether it be understanding God’s love or living a fullfilling life.

    What we say to our children not only will impact their overall life, but the lives they have with their heavenly Father

    Good post


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