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‘Your Words Have The Power To Destroy Your Children’: Leon Barretto, Dennis Padilla, And The Power Of Words
  • Dennis Padilla’s now-deleted Instagram post for his three children Julia, Claudia, and Leon first made headlines after Father’s Day.

    In it he expressed that he missed his children and pointed out that they forgot to greet him for Father’s Day.

    On June 26, 2022, 19-year-old Leon posted an open letter on his Instagram with the very short caption, “Dear Papa”.

    RELATED: 'You Forgot To Greet Me': Dennis Padilla Not Greeted On Father's Day By Julia, Claudia, Leon

    Leon started by saying that he contemplated about posting, “But it seems that social media is your preferred way to reach us so maybe I can try it too.

    He apologized but shed light on what he and his sisters may have been feeling. “We have been trying so hard to slowly rebuild the bridge you continuously burn every time you talk about our private matters in your press cons, interviews, and social media.


    Leon asks a painful question, “Papa, why does it seem like you enjoy hurting your kids in public?

    He adds, “Is public sympathy really more important to you than your own children? Your words have the power to destroy your children, papa.”

    RELATED: ‘Maybe It’s Time To Reconcile’: Ruffa Gutierrez Is Ready For Daughters To Reconnect With Estranged Dad Yilmaz

    ‘I may not have been there for you, but I always had you in my heart’

    Though this open letter was already difficult to read, the saga continues with Dennis posting a letter replying to his son’s letter, this time written by hand. 

    “To be your father is the greatest honor I have received, Dennis begins his letter. It is not addressed to Leon. It simply goes straight into his message.

    Dennis goes on to be admit his mistakes while reminding his children of his intentions. “I have regretfully made mistakes in my life. I may not have been there for you, but I always had you in my heart.

    “In the end, I regret all the moments I let slip by. I regret all the times I hid my feelings from you.

    He ends his note with a wish most parents know to be true, “I would love to spend some time with you. After all, there is not much more to life than that.

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    Dennis Padilla has recently deleted this post of this handwritten letter. This is the third post he deleted addressed to his older children.

    Marjorie Barretto, Leon’s mother and former wife of Dennis, has spoken up after Dennis' initial post and before Leon's. It was through Ogie Diaz's June 24, 2022 vlog.

    Pep.ph says Ogie said, “In time o darating din yung oras, o yung panahon na magsasalita rin siya [Marjorie] para mas maintindihan ng mga tao ang totoong sitwasyon.

    “At umaasa rin si Marjorie na poproteksiunan pa rin ni Dennis ang kanilang mga anak sa lahat ng pagkakataon.”

    Parents' words weigh heavily on kids

    From Dennis’ initial post that has now been deleted, to Leon’s open letter, to Dennis’ handwritten note, it doesn’t take much to see that all parties are hurt.

    These posts and letters come from a place of pain and although the knee-jerk response might be to find a finger to point on, it is not the place of the public.

    What other parents are reading

    As Leon pointed out, he prefers to keep their family matters private.

    Parenting adult children is different from parenting young children. But Leon’s words will remind all parents this truth, parents’ words weigh heavily on their kids.

    Why the way parents talk to their child matters

    Parents are quick to point out when children are rude but are parents sensitive about the way you speak to your child, such as snapping at them because they were stressed at work or not making eye contact because they are busy on their device?


    Here are three reasons why parents must be mindful of how you speak your child:

    1. Your child is more likely to listen.

    Even adults prefer listening to another person who is calm and kind. Why should parents expect children to be any different?

    “Even if there’s a disagreement or you need to correct something your child is doing, a gentle voice, even if it’s firm, is likely to get more of your child’s attention and she’ll be more likely to listen to what you’re saying,” says Very Well Family.

    RELATED: Mend Your Communication: These 12 Roadblocks May Be Keeping You From Listening To Your Child 

    2. Aggressive language and being harsh is not effective.

    A similar logic as the previous point can be raised: do adults respond positively or negatively when harsh language is used?

    “When you yell or speak aggressively to your child, you’re less likely to get good results and may even harm your relationship.

    The article says that research shows yelling at children “may be as harmful as aggressive discipline.”

    Choose to speak nicely to your child and work on calming yourself down whenever you feel yourself becoming angry. Even when your child is speaking rudely to you.

    What other parents are reading

    3. Kids learn from parents’ behavior.

    This is a lesson in parenting that bears repeating. How a parent behaves also has a great effect on a child’s behavior. More so when the child grows up as an adult.

    A child who was spoken to harshly will likely grow up to be an adult who also speaks harshly. Possibly, to the parent.


    It is not easy to change the way we speak, especially if it is how we have done so for most of our lives. But for the children and their healthy growth and development, parents must try to unlearn poor habits.

    What other parents are reading

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