Have you ever withheld affection from your child because they didn’t do something right? Have you ever let your child’s accomplishments or behavior effect your mood? Have you ever praised your child for something they did?
Well….we are all guilty of conditionally loving our kids. Is it better than not loving them, right? Probably. So this brings up today’s topic: Unconditional love. How can do show our kids we love them unconditionally? Stay tuned
If you didn’t get completely discouraged by my opening remarks, glad to see you are still here. You are displaying good mental fortitude. Conditional love typically means we require someone to be a certain way or do certain things in order for us to love them. Most of the time we don’t even realize we are doing it. On the flip side, unconditional love means you love someone regardless of what they do. This may mean what they do for you, how they act, etc. Children need to feel that your love is unconditional. This will create a stronger bond with your child. It can make them feel more secure, actually increase brain development, and improve their overall well-being.
Here are a few ways to show unconditional love:
#1 – Say it clearly and repeatedly – let them know that no matter what, you will love them. If they fail a test, it has nothing to do with your love for them. If they lose a game in sports, it doesn’t effect your love. Even when they lie, it doesn’t effect how you love them.
#2 – Focus on the positive – Turn something that you may perceive as negative about them into a positive. For example, if your child is bossy, you might say “You really like to take charge of situations. This is going to help you be a good leader.” You will then need to teach them about cooperation and working with others. But telling them they are bossy, it’s not going to help.
#3 – Listen & Notice them – Be empathetic. Put yourself in their shoes to show them that you are listening and understand them. Tell them all of the things you love about them: inside and out.
#4 – Accept their Faults & Mistakes – Everyone has shortcomings and makes mistakes. It is our job as parents to make sure our children understand that they are loved regardless of their faults and mistakes. Love the child you have, not the one you want. Offer your child unconditional love as much as you can. You will see the value.