What is your Valentines gift to your child today? February is known as a day of expressing love to the people in your life that are special to you.
It can be argued that we should do this every day, especially for our kids. Knowing that their parents love them gives them a sense of security.
On some days, loving your kids is easy; they are cute, funny, cooperative, and endearing. But there are other days– when they are ignoring you, not listening to you and not doing what you ask–when it may be very hard to feel love towards them and on those days, you may not do such a good job of letting them know you love them.
Loving your child unconditionally means that your love doesn’t depend on what they do. You don’t withdraw it or stop expressing it because you are upset with their behavior or attitude.
Conditional love is a controlling, manipulative love. It says, “I will love you if….”. But unconditional love says, “I will love you always, no matter what.”
You probably assume that your love for your child is unconditional, but let’s look at the true character of no-strings-attached love:
Unconditional love seeks the child’s best. It is a selfless, expect-nothing-in-return love. When a parent has to get something in return, they are manipulating and trying to control a child.
Unconditional love is patient. It spends whatever time is necesssary to connect to their child, and to teach their child. It is not just behavior modification, but it is soul-shaping.
Unconditional love believes in the child and in their potential. It is a love that never gives up on their child, no matter how discouraged they get, no matter if they secretly feel like giving up hope that their child will change or perform to their potential.
Unconditional love encourages a child when they stumble or make a mistake. It refuses to believe that mistakes make a child a failture.
Unconditional love is not easily angered and doesn’t try to make their child angry. It’s not oversensitive or overreacting. It doesn’t take every negative comment as a personal attack or difficult attitude as a personal affront. It recognizes that kids are often acting out of their own hurt or pain, and it’s not because of the parent.
Unconditional love endures. It carries on even when rejected or discouraged because a child is not responding in a way they want or even treating the parent hatefully. No matter what the child does to the parent, the parent continues to love and encourage the child.
This kind of love is easy to give on some days and not so easy on others. It can be difficult for parents who are dealing with their own hurt, their own weariness, with their own discouragement, that they don’t have enough energy to unconditionallly love their child.
If that is you, please take some time to fill your own gas tank, so that you can love your child in a way that communicates your unconditional love.
Are you willing to say to your child, “There is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you!” That is the best Valentine gift you could ever give to your child.
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