I've made an intentional point to be critically aware of how I say things, or react to things, with my kids. I don't always succeed at whatever it is I'm trying to accomplish, but like a lot of parents: I try. I know it's pretty easy to end up accidentally shaming your kids by saying or doing something that can be misconstrued. Mistakes happen, to be sure, but the things my kids' grandparents do that shame my kids are downright infuriating, especially when I'm making significant effort not to do the same, always set on finding effective alternatives that will make my children feel comfortable.
When I was little I was lucky to have the kind of grandmother who'd sooner banish herself to a lost island than shame me. She was loving, compassionate, and always careful with how she commented on things. Whether it was my strange fashion choices, boyfriends, or my fluctuating weight, she always knew the best ways to protect my self-esteem when we talked about anything.
My kids have pretty great grandparents, to be sure, but their relationships with a couple of them aren't as strong as the relationships they enjoy with others. When they don't spend the same amount of time with each grandparent, I think my kids feel ashamed more often when they can't really read certain family members particularly well. Then again, maybe it's because even though I'm trying to raise strong, resilient kids, they're also somewhat sensitive (just like their mom) and can take things the wrong way.
Regardless of what's said or done to cause my kids to feel any kind of shame or anxiety about who they are, it's my job to build them back up. Here's some things your kids' grandparents might do that shame your kid, just as I've experienced with mine.