The spirit of the message

I occasionally come across an article where I agree with the spirit—but not the letter—of the advice, and that’s the case with “10 Messages That Matter More Than a Report Card.” I simply cannot imagine ever saying to a child or teenager, “Your flexibility and grit certainly helped you grow from this adversity.” But while the letter of the advice recommends particular phrasing, the spirit—which is spot on—is that our kids’ happiness and success, both now and in the future, is dependent on so much more than just the grade they get in geometry. And we should be focusing our messaging on what’s really important.

It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as you get the spirit of the message across.