Parenting love began the moment you held your child in your arms, whether they came from your womb or someone else birthed them. At first, it may seem easy to love our kids, when they are helpless, cute, and oh-so-innocent.
But as they grow older, parenting love takes on more challenges as kids become resistant and uncooperative. Many parents forget to tell their kids often that they love them, and if that’s you, I would encourage you to work on changing that. Your kids need to hear the words.
But we all know that parenting love goes way deeper than words; it requires sacrifice and a strength that is often beyond anything we’ve ever had to deal with before.
Parenting love takes many forms, but I’d like to suggest three specific traits that it takes on, characteristics that make it strong, resilient, and life-empowering for your children.
Parenting Love Doesn’t Quit Before the Job is Done.
Quitting before the job is done may mean that you don’t follow through with enforcing boundaries or consequences when your kids need to learn tough lessons.
It may mean backing off from connecting with your teen because they are pushing away and you are tired of the rejection. If feels easier to just stop trying.
Quitting before the job is done may also mean giving up on your child reaching their potential and witholding your belief and encouragement because, again, you are simply tired of trying.
Parenting love pushes through the hard times, loving consistently even when it’s hard, even when it’s painful, even when you are tired or feel rejected. Parenting love always believes and hopes for the best, even when your child doesn’t.
I have had many days as a parent when I felt like quitting on a child because they’d pushed me over and over and I was tired of trying and simply want to not care anymore.
Of course, I always got over it and pushed on because deep down I knew that as a parent, my job was to love my child no matter what. No matter how much they make me angry, how much they disappoint me, or how much they hurt me.
Parenting Love is Willing to Suffer.
True parenting love “suffers” in that a parent confronts their child honestly about the wrongs they’ve done, but they do so with patience and grace. It means that even though I know you need to change, I do not withhold my love.
True parenting love “suffers” when kids reject their parents or say hurtful things. It “suffers” when it puts the needs and wants of their kids before their own.
When I got married over 38 years ago, I began a journey of learning just how selfish I was and I saw that true love in marriage requires sacrifice. Then we had children and it didn’t take long for us to experience sacrifice on a whole new level. Kids require sacrifice and although I firmly believe that we as parents must take care of ourselves too, the fact remains that a huge part of our job calls us to sacrifice our own desires and sometimes needs for the sake of our kids.
Parenting love love that suffers means you sacrifice your sleep, your comfort, your time, your energy, and your convenience–and are willing to “suffer” because your kids need your unconditional and caring love.
Parenting Love Always Forgives.
Forgiveness is one of the principal character qualities of true love. Real parenting love doesn’t love only in those times when your kids deserve it. Real parenting love continues to love when their kids have no desire or ability to reciprocate. If you always expect your kids to earn your forgiveness, the results will be very damaging to your relationship.
None of us become parents prepared for the challenges ahead of us. We should learn as we grow into our job. Your love for your children will evolve and take on new forms as your kids grow. It should become deeper and more rooted; it should become love that is not based on what your child does, but who they ARE: YOUR child.
If you are struggling to love your child in these ways, I’d like to help. Schedule a free consultation call here.