Adults wield power over children. We are larger and stronger and have more experience. It’s easy to forget how much they look up to us and hang on every word and every expression that flickers across our faces. Children, including teenagers that pretend they don’t know you exist, watch it all. They learn by watching our actions, and even more than by listening to our words. Have you ever heard children playing and known exactly who they were imitating?

Today, I’m watching one of my children grieve the hurt an adult has caused. My kids have been through so much just surviving our home with addiction, divorce, and strained relationships. It doesn’t insulate them from cruelties in the world, but it breaks my heart to see any of them suffer additional injuries.

I pray that we are all a little kinder than necessary, and that we give a little more grace to anyone we may be able to influence, especially children. As adults, let’s make sure we use our influence for good–to build up and encourage rather than tear down and destroy. If we all do that, we may spare another child a season of hurt, grieving and despair.

I pray that my words, actions, and attitudes have not impacted children adversely. I pray we each show more kindness, compassion, and love!