Gustav Klimt Three Ages of Woman Mother and Child (detail)
"We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself.
But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God.
Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive.
And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it.
You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty.
Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are “enough.”"
President Jeffrey R. Holland The Tongue of Angels April 2007 General Conference