The people we love the most are often the people who challenge us the greatest. The manner that we take care of our children is the manner that they will eventually take care of us and themselves. When our children come into our presence they should know that we love them. This was one of those pearls of wisdom that I heard many years ago that I have never forgotten. The speaker was Toni Morrison, the author, and she added that our faces should light up when we see our children. In addition to our faces, I would add that our voices should lighten up also. This is one of the many actions that I began practicing when my children were little and the fruit that it bares is sweet. It is never too late to learn or too late to change or too late for anything, until it is just too late. The too-lateness of a thing really depends on the person. My too late and your too late are different.
So, put actions before feelings and begin to smile when your children come into your presence. Eyes should brighten, voice should be lighter; look into their eyes, smile, wink, blow fake kisses, give hugs, squeezes, high fives and just be interested in them. There will be a difference that the childen manifest because there is a different behavior manifesting in the parent. Parent actions and voice create an immediate reaction in the children. In cell phone communication, begin and end a conversation with love. Even when there may be a need to discipline, do it with love. Children are not perfect, adults are not perfect; love is a choice and life does not come with a manual.
As adults, we often forget that our children are not cooked yet. Their brains are still developing and by outward appearance we think they ought to know better. They don’t. Parents are their first teacher and their most important influence. Even though they may stray, they eventually will come back to the place of comfort if they have a sense memory that they can. Our voices, our home, our apartment should be the place of peace. As children grow from adjectives-negative to adjectives-positive; encourage, uplift, chastise, explain, giggle, correct and guide with the realization that this was once you and that in time they will be you. What kind of you, you want your children to become, depends on what kind of you, you are. In these times when there are so many negative influences that our children are subjected to, I choose to believe that if we love them and they see and hear that we love them, whether we are with them or not; their behavior will show it. As their brains continue to cook, their actions will get better. It will be seen not only by their friends, their family, their teacher, their community but most importantly it will be felt by them.
It takes about 21 days to develop a new habit and keep it. A New Years Resolution to let our children know that we love them could be the beginning of a good, better and then best relationship that will sustain for 21 days and beyond. One more pearl – wisdom is something that we do now because it will benefit us later.