Unconditional love: What is it really?
Parenting is more than just feeding your kids and keeping them in school. It involves showering your child with unconditional love. Read on for advice on how to apply unconditional love to parenting.
Children won’t remember you for the things you give them, but rather for the feelings you leave with them of being cherished and loved - Darla Noble
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What unconditional love is and isn't
According to the definitions put out there by those who are considered to be experts in the matter, ‘unconditional love’ is love without limits. It’s the inability to not love.
Those first few weeks and months of euphoria and sleep-deprived stupor after we become parents are filled with the ‘knowledge’ that our child is perfect and will most likely be the one to finally find the solution to world peace. By the time they are potty-trained, we know they aren’t the solution to world peace--in fact, they may be the reason we’ll never have it! But that sure doesn’t stop us from loving them, though, does it?
Parents are able to love their kids without wavering affection while fully aware of their imperfections and faults. In fact, some say that true love is--loving someone not because they deserve it, but because they don’t.
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How to love a child with unconditional love
- Tell your child you love them each and every single day. Starting and ending the day with a heart-felt but simple ‘I love you’ is one of the surest ways to convey unconditional love.
- Give hugs and kisses. No, your ten year old son will not want a kiss from either of you when he’s being dropped off for school, but a hug and a kiss on the top of the head or on the cheek at bed time or as you’re leaving the house before a softball game will be appreciated whether they show it or not.
- Remember that's how you say something is just as important as what you say. There’s a right way and a wrong way to correct or discipline a child. There’s a right way and a wrong way to instruct a child. For example:
- You’ll never amount to anything if you keep acting like that. vs. You may not realize it, but what you do now can and will affect your future. It’s my job as your parent to guide you in the right direction now so you’ll know which way to go later.
- It’s not rocket science-a monkey could do this. vs. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be fine. It just takes practice. Tell me what you don’t understand and we’ll go from there.
- If your little sister can do this, surely you can, too. vs. Give it all you’ve got--that’s all any of us can do.
- Don’t put conditions on unconditional love--sounds crazy, I know, but it happens all too often.
- Make sure your children know they are loved at all times--especially when they are being disciplined. Even the best parents will experience times when their children equate discipline with not being loved. They’ll look at it from the perspective of ‘I did something bad so now my parents won’t love me’. This is a normal part of the maturity process, but it’s up to you to make sure they mature in that way.
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This article on unconditional love hopes to not only educate parents on showing their kids affection and care but guide parents on how to do it right. For Unconditional love: Definition of parenting - Part II, click on the link provided.