I recently came across an article about not just loving your children, but actually making them feel loved. Children who FEEL loved THRIVE. (Wow, mind blown.)
What a simple concept that I never thought about. I truly love my children, with all my heart. But do they feel loved? I hope they do. But I don’t know for sure. So I am spending more time listening to them, noticing them, having more empathy, and letting them know that even I make mistakes.
It’s only been a week or so, but I really have noticed that I do believe my kids FEEL loved, and it’s not just all about me.
Here are some concrete changes I have made:
- Putting away technology when they are with me at home.
- Breathing deeply and calming down when they spill a glass of water, which is like every time they sit down to eat!
- Hugging them when they are having a temper tantrum, or are not getting their way, but not giving in to their demands.
- Sitting with them each and every night, with the door closed, listening to their stories, or just letting them know how special they are and how lucky I am that I get to be their parent.
- Letting them know I empathize and understand when they are hurt and sad, and brainstorming ways for them to work on changing that feeling.
- Pointing out more positive than negative behaviors – letting them know that I saw them help their brother, or that they really helped me get my chores done faster by giving me a hand.
- NOT labeling or comparing my children. When you have more than one child, it is easy to compare and contrast. But it’s obvious to me that each one of my children is different, and that they really need to be treated and spoken to differently.
- Remembering that it is not WHAT I say that my children will remember, but what I DO – I own my actions, apologize if I make a mistake or lose my temper, and let them know that I was wrong.
- And the most important way I have found to really make my children feel loved is by praying with them. Each and every prayer I can do with them, I include them. It is such a special moment for us, such a special way to calm ourselves down, I cannot even express in words how prayer has helped me make sure my kids feel loved.
This is just my list of reminders on how to be a more effective and compassionate parent, praying that my children will grow up to feel deeply loved, and to have a big heart to love in return.
Written by Sam’n Iqbal