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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"If a Child is Given Love"

If a child is given love, he becomes loving...If he's helped when he needs help, he becomes helpful. And if he has been truly valued at home... he grows up secure enough to look beyond himself to the welfare of others."
~ Dr. Joyce Brothers, 1974

This quote I think is so profound. It seems like common sense, yet so many children grow up feeling unloved. So many children never feel like they are valued. Many feel like they are always in the way, their opinions don’t matter and they have no voice. I have felt that way many times over the years and I know that I never want my son to ever feel that way.

I want to show him how much he’s loved and appreciated. I want to always to be able to listen to his opinion without judgment and to be there to help him when he needs it. I want to be able to help him grow into a mature, secure man that is a blessing to others.

God has blessed me with this little young life that is my responsibility to mold into the man that God wanted him to be. This is a huge responsibility – to be responsible for another human being’s life, but as mothers we must take on this task and make it our number one priority.

Many times, especially lately as we are in the middle of the terrible two’s, I have felt that I am failing miserably at teaching my son what is the proper way to behave. I often forget that for two year olds there isn’t much proper behavior that they are actually capable of doing. Temper tantrums, defiance and impatience are part of who they are and are expected behaviors. My frustration seems to enter the picture when I forget this in my attempt to mold him into this well behaved little person.

I’m not saying of course that we shouldn’t teach young children acceptable and non-acceptable forms of behaving, I think I just need to lighten up a little. For both his benefit and mine. I notice when I teach gently, but firmly and learn to pick my battles wisely, all is calmer and the house is more peaceful. Teaching him is my job. I just have to remember that he doesn’t have to learn it all at once.

My most important job in teaching him is that to make sure he knows beyond any doubt, that he is first and foremost loved. Loved by me and by God. I am not responsible for making sure anyone else makes him feel loved – that is their job. My job is to teach him that he is loved and he should love others as he is loved.

There are many other things I want him to learn like kindness, helpfulness and empathy towards others, bravery, patience, humor, serendipity, and so much more, but knowing that you are loved unconditionally I feel is so important. To know that no matter what, you are loved is the best gift you could give to your child.

So, if we want a helpful child, then we must help that child when he needs it. If we want a child who is a blessing to others, is a value to the world then we must be a blessing to that child and make sure he knows he is valued. If we want a loving child, we must show that child that he is loved.

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