This and That

Teachable Thursday: Teaching Love

Posted on: September 8, 2011

My son’s recent hurtful situation with his friends has been weighing heavy on my heart, so I thought today I would talk about teaching our children how to love. Which is a funny thing to teach because it seems that it would be obvious or built-in to us as humans. I do think we are born wanting to be loved and needing love but children still need to be taught how to show that love to others.

Of course actions speak louder than words, so showing your kids how to love others by loving them is a very effective way to teach. Giving your kids hugs and kisses is a wonderful way to show love but you also need to speak to them words of affirmation. Praising them, telling them they did a good job, and telling them how smart, cute, and funny they are is so important . These words lift up their spirit and confirms to them their value.

Being affirmed by their family teaches kids the words they should speak to others. I already see this with my son. He speaks love to his brother by saying I love you or telling him how cute or funny he is, which are words he learned from me. But it doesn’t just stop there. When he affirms his brother I then praise him for his words which makes him want to speak words of love to his brother again, and the cycle starts all over again. This is a beautiful habit everyone needs to start with their children: the loving words habit!

I know there are parenting experts out there that say praising your child too much can actually harm them. Their theory is that singing affirmations to kids all the time will cause them to get a big head, think they are perfect, and believe no one should ever get mad at them or correct them. I think this is completely absurd. I praise my son throughout the day but I also correct him and discipline him throughout the day too. If I was only telling my son how great he was and never correcting or discipline him sure he might get a big head but what parent would actually do that, none that I know.

Remember you are showing your kids how to love others, which is one of the most important things you can do! Affirm your kids, speak loving words to them, and value them in your statements.

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