Teach Your Children to Love

Guest post by Brenda Silveira

Grandchildren. Tiny, innocent bundles of joy—babies are truly a gift from God.

It seems like only yesterday that I was looking down into the face of my new grandson.  His beautiful blue eyes were shining bright.   However, it has been sixteen months and he is growing so fast.

What a marvelous feeling it is to be a grandmother and much different than becoming a parent.   A grandmother looks from the outside as a spectator, watching the pain and experiencing the joy.   The mother looks from the inside as the participant, feeling both the pain and the joy.

Do parents realize what a unique gift they have been given?  Are they ready for this enormous responsibility?   A valuable human life has been placed into their hands.  Just as a sculptor creates a piece of pottery from a lump of clay, a parent needs to carefully mold their child into something special.

Was I ready to be a parent?  No, I really wasn’t.  I hadn’t taken any courses or read any books.  All I knew was what I had been taught by my parents.   They provided my basic needs and taught me some good values.  I know that they loved me, but there was something missing….emotional support.

Children need to feel loved and wanted.  Many parents think that their children automatically know that they love them, but they don’t unless we show them.    A hug, a kiss or a gentle touch can mean so much.  A simple note telling them they are special.  A quick, “You are so important to me”, can have a huge impact on their emotional well-being.  I didn’t get enough of those things growing up and it created a feeling of loneliness inside.

Too often we don’t listen to what our children are trying to say to us or we completely ignore them because they are just children, but they are valuable human beings and they need our support in order to learn and grow.  We also need to keep learning and growing ourselves, so we can continue influencing them throughout their lifetime.  It doesn’t matter how old your children are, they are still your children and they need to know you care about them.

As a grandparent, I know that I made many mistakes as a parent and I’ve spend a lot of time trying to discover what it takes to be a great parent.  I want to become a positive role model for my grown children so I can influence them and help them become better parents.

Teach your children to love.  The most important thing a parent can do is love their children unconditionally, just as God loves us.   Create a safe, loving environment so they know you will always be there for them.  Encourage them and show them how special they are.  This will help them build confidence and their self-esteem will grow strong.

Teach your child good habits.  Be a positive role model for your children.  It’s hard to be a good parent if we have bad habits and feel negatively about ourselves.  Children are always watching the adults around them and imitating what they say and do.  Try to be careful with your words and act in an appropriate way so they will develop good habits.

Teach your child to communicate.  Be open-minded and listen to what your child is saying.  You don’t always have to agree but your child needs to feel like what they are saying is important.  Try to communicate in a positive way so you will build a good parent-child relationship.

Teach your child discipline.  Set a few simple rules, discuss these with your child and explain the consequences.  Make sure they are fair and always enforce the rules.  When they do a wrong behavior  separate the behavior from the child and discipline with love.

Teach your child to help others.  Involve them in positive activities.  Involve yourself in their lives and demonstrate acts of kindness towards others.

Love your children in every way possible.  Love them enough to teach them good values.  Love them enough to influence them in a positive way.  Love them enough to support them even when they fail.  Just love them as God loves you.

Brenda is a 61 year old grandma who lives in Niagara Canada and works part-time for her daughter.  She enjoys reading books, writing and learning.  Her faith in God has helped overcome obstacles in her life and given her the ability to help others build self-esteem through her website, blogging and workshops.   Check out her website at www.imconfident.com.