Most reports that I have read show that children (and most people) thrive best in a loving environment. With this in mind it is important for us to be able to show our children our love daily. This is not always an easy task, especially on the days when they seem to be pushing every button that we have, but it still remains to be one of the more important tasks that we can provide for our children as they are growing up.
How do we show love to our children? In a recent conversation with our pastor, he gave me some tips in how we can show love that I thought I would share. He stated that we show love in four ways. These include:
The art of being a host and being hospitable to others is something that has been with us for many many years. Hosting goes back to the days where many people had to hope to be hosted as the environment that they lived in was so dangerous that if they were not welcomed, they might not survive. These days, doing small things to make people welcome in your home, at work, etc. makes living that much better. Teaching our children this will help them as they get older and live on their own and will ultimately help them to build and maintain friendships as well.
- CompassionCompassion moves us outside of ourselves and into the world. It allows us to show others through large and small gestures that they are cared for and that they matter to us. Allowing our children to understand this is important, as too often we forget to show our children that it is ok to show the love that they have. To send a thank you note, or to bring some cookies to a neighbor or friend. Compassion pushes us to be bigger than ourselves and asks us to think of others first. This is not always easy for our children to understand, but they must come to learn this to be people who will be adults who can make a difference and show love in all they do in the future (in my opinion).
- RespectHow we treat each other and how we speak to each other can say volumes to our children. Do we listen to everything that our children say? What about our friends, or our family? Or rather do we only hear what we want to hear? Showing respect is something that allows us to let go of our defensiveness or selfighteousness. We are able to love others by putting ourselves in their shoes and attempting to try and understand their point of view, even if we do not agree with it. If we don’t agree with their views, it is still important to show our children that we will act with kindness, clarity and decency.
- ForgivenessIt is important that we can set aside anything that our child may do and move forward the next day with a clean slate, thus allowing them to see that we will forgive them for there misdeeds. It is also important though to use the words to explain to them what forgiveness is. This continues in our dealings with others. If our children see that someone has done something to harm us, we must be able to show them that it is the right thing to forgive others. By forgiving others we can live with a free spirit and not be burdened with the weight of day to day resentment that sometimes begins to eat at us.
There are many other ways to show love in all that you do. Today’s task is for you is to sit down and come up with five ways you can better show love on a daily basis to your children. If you already have mastered this, come up with five things you have done to accomplish this. Once complete, come back and share these ideas with the rest of the group. I also recommend that you read the above articles, especially the first one for some other tips on being a great role model.
If you are so inclined please leave your responses in a comment below or link to a blog post if you are going to commit to joining me on this journey so that others can learn from you as well.
Good luck with day 11 and I look forward to your thoughts and comments!
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