IYCSSN. The Rule.
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. It is likely you’ve been given this advice at one time or another, and probably it came from your mother. I’ll bet Cain and Abel heard it from Eve and I know I heard it from my own mother. The idea is as old as time. In fact, I would say it’s right up there with the Golden Rule in terms of importance when it comes to how we treat others.
I passed on this advice to my own children as they were growing up whenever a situation called for it. My sons are now 15 and 19 years old. I am happy to say they are becoming fine young gentlemen and as one would expect by this time, their manners and social graces are deeply ingrained. At this point, I find myself only every so often needing to make gentle reminders about things of this nature.