Danielle LaPorte is the co-creator of Style Statement: Live By Your Design and the co-founder of CarrieAndDanielle.com – a resource for living an inspired life and making a difference in the world. Danielle’s Style Statement is Sacred Dramatic. Her almost five-year-old son keeps her real.

“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.”  – Louis Pasteur

How would you feel if, when you first met someone new, they said to you, “Are you going to play shy?” or “Looks like someone’s in a bad mood.”  What would you think if, when you needed a good boo-hoo, your friend said, “You’re fine. Don’t cry.” And if someone had an issue with you and they let you know about it in front of everyone in the room, how would that go down with you?

Grown-ups say the darnedest things to kids—things we’d never dare say to a fellow adult. And in the process it can create tremendous confusion between a little person’s genuine feelings and what they’re being told to feel. It’s a discombobulation that many of us carry far into adulthood as we fumble to “get in touch with our feelings.”

Whether sad, mad, silly, or giggly, having your feelings respected fuels your shine—at every age.

This week, be conscious of your power with kids. Whether you’re a Mama Bear or a distant big cousin, this basic approach is divine: don’t say anything to a child that you wouldn’t say to a grown-up you adored.

When you were a kid, how sparkling, and “in,” and loved did you feel when a big person talked to you as though your feelings and opinions truly mattered?

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