Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Words Kids Need to Hear - Chapter 7

I Love You

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant." - Robert Louis Stevenson

We must not assume that our children know that we love them - silence communicates something entirely different to a child. The idea that "they already know that I love them" is simply wrong - love matters too much to leave it unsaid.

We all aim to love our children unconditionally and want them to know that. However, our inherent desire to feel loved ourselves often prompts us - the parents - to prompt the child to say I love you in response to us saying I love you to them. This does not demonstrate unconditional love. This may seem like a stretch and going a little far, but remember we're talking about the way a child perceives things rather than a rational adult. It is not the responsibility of our children to ensure that we feel loved. Rather the higher goal should be that we hear our children say, "I believe you love me."

Three tips on expressing I love you:
1. Be Clear. "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction we are loved" - Les Miserables
2. Be Deliberate. Make this a part of your routine, daily life.
3. Be Steadfast. Do not stop saying this to your children. Even as they grow up and become more and more independent. Do not stop.


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