Advertisement

The Power of Unconditional Love in Parenting


Much about the psychology of raising children is at best theory, and even then, it is often theory without rigorous research to back it up. If it sounds reasonable to a 40-year-old, it is assumed to be true for a four-year-old as well. But there is one thing that we know for sure: children require unconditional love to mature in strong ways with the capacity to form and maintain loving relationships.

Unconditional love is just that–unconditional. It doesn’t matter about school grades, performance on athletic teams, behavior at the dinner table, or attitude. I am convinced that unconditional love is more difficult to deliver than we may think. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t automatic. We just cannot give it all the time, in all circumstances. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be perfect or constant. It just has to be good enough and often enough.

It is unconditional love that tells our children that we believe in them and trust them regardless of how successful they may be in any particular endeavor. It is unconditional love that gives them reassurance that they are in a safe place, able to test their own limits, and explore their own feelings. It is unconditional love that makes it possible for children to develop resilience and the courage to fall, get up, dust themselves off, and try again.

Our children need to hear that we love them “no matter what.” They need the physical contact and affirmation–such as hugs–that communicate love and the message that we want to be close to them. They need for us to be clear about the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is the condition that exists when I have done something wrong. Shame is the notion that I am a bad person because of it. Children need correction and direction; we all do. Shame is destructive.

Most of all, unconditional love is communicated by the honest act of loving without limits. It isn’t a technique. It is simply what happens when we love. Children know it when they see it. ■

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

01 Mar 2017


By Reverend Joe Reynolds

Recent Articles

The Motivation Struggle

in Family Life, Kirsten Raby

I think back on my own life and all of the things I thought I wanted to do…and you know what? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, how in the world do I motivate my kid to stick to something when I’m not sure I can do that for myself?

The Pain of Our Children

in Health and Wellness, Family Life, Nicole Green

We do everything in our parental power to protect our children. Desperately wanting to prevent pain. Yet, pain is inevitable. All of my children have been hurt not only by the world but by people they love, including me.

The Art of Thrifting

in Things To Do

How to shop without breaking the bank.

Making Your Own Dreams and Goals a Priority

in Family Life, Mandy Cowley

After a few soul sucking years of saying “maybe one day” and getting through the toddler years, I couldn’t pretend that I didn’t have these dreams anymore. I went back to the drawing board to figure out how to make my own goals & dreams a priority.

Featured Listings more listings

Catholic High School

in Private Schools

Catholic High's holistic approach to education builds a community spirit that is characterized by Christian values, an orderly and disciplined atmosphere, a personal approach to education and a commitment to academic excellence.

Kidcam Camps

in Day Camps

Join Kidcam Camps for a summer of hands-on fun! Science experiments, special guests, talent shows, water days, games, field trips, swimming, and more! We keep the campers busy all day with great hours and flexible planning.

Brighton School, The

in Private Schools

The Brighton School seeks to provide the most effective, evidence-based learning environment in our state for students with Dyslexia and related learning differences.

Advertisement
Newsletter