Unconditional Love – 101

19 Apr

(Photo by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot)

I was thinking about a previous post I made called Are you a Remote control Mom?.  It was written at the request of a friend who was amazed at the change in behavior her daughter displayed when I visited one day.  She couldn’t figure out why the child was so compliant and showed her best behavior with me.

I must say I completely related to that feeling.  When I was much younger, I had not a clue how to help guide children so that they could feel the freedom of unconditional love and the security of loving boundaries at the same time.  Because this is not a subject often taught nor commonly modeled often Kismet becomes the source of this information.  While thinking back on that post, I realized that while applying the techniques embedded in the example would be helpful, there might be some value in exploring the concepts that they are based on.  Kind of like moving from following a recipe to being able to apply the principles of cooking to whatever you happen to have handy in the kitchen.

Kismet was the source of the first, and I feel, and most important concept that I picked up along the way.  This idea was in a magazine advice column.  It was that you must separate the person from the behavior because people can’t change who they are but people can change the behavior that they choose.

So, if you first provide a safe place for them of unconditional love, by saying I love you and I will always love you not matter what you have given them a powerfully safe place to act from.  Of course this does not mean you do not give them loving boundaries. You then add, however, I do not like it when you choose not to do what I ask you to do, or insert whatever the situation dictates here, hit your sister, to use that whiny voice, etc. They do want to please you and rather than asking them to change who they are, you are asking them to make a different choice of behaviors.  This is a much easier task.  You are not saying that you are bad or you are lazy, it is the behavior that is disapproved of, not the person.

Recently, I have noticed that many are expressing a fear of unconditional love.  I believe that this maybe be in reaction to the practice of parents and schools bestowing approval on all behaviors equally.  Naturally this can create a sense of entitlement that will not serve the children well in later life. Unconditional love should not be confused with giving license to bad behavior and the crossing of your personal boundaries by others.  But this is a different post.

Often, the loving boundaries we wish to provide are for the safety of the child.  When we ask that they hold our hand in a parking lot they may see this as a restriction of their freedom.  This is a good opportunity to remind them that you love them and that you would feel so sad if they got hurt from running in the parking lot and getting hit by a car.  You do not like it when they choose to not listen when you ask them to hold your hand in the parking lot.  This also demonstrates that feeling of love and safety that we all need and search for.

Do you have a favorite tool to lovingly guide your children that you would like to share?

Photo Credit: <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1786″>Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 Responses to “Unconditional Love – 101”

  1. Donna Amis Davis May 6, 2012 at 5:21 AM #

    I really like this! My kids are grown, and now I’m in the grandparenting stage. Somehow I don’t know if I ever really thought about the importance of verbalizing the ‘unconditional love’ I had/have for my kids. I think this is great. And I hope to apply it to the grandkiddos. Your example of holding a hand in a parking lot or while crossing the street is great, because it happens constantly.

    • queenoffamilosity May 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

      Grand kids are the sunshine in life. I try to remember that yes, they know I love them, but they need to hear it as well. Joy to you and your grand kids.

  2. blessedbebeth May 10, 2012 at 4:03 AM #

    I really liked your post on unconditional love. I certainly experience that from my mom even though she is 90 and I am caring for her now. We have had our share of challenges through the years, but even so, her love for me was never once an issue. Now that I am here caring for her in her last days I am trying to channel that same loving patience that I received as a child back to her. I look forward to reading more. Thanks for stopping by. Beth of middlescapes.com

    • queenoffamilosity May 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM #

      Beth, your love for your mother shines through your writing. I look forward to reading future posts. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. shannon2818 May 29, 2012 at 6:54 PM #

    Great insight – thanks for sharing!

  4. queenoffamilosity May 6, 2012 at 8:15 PM #

    Thank you.

  5. queenoffamilosity May 21, 2012 at 5:03 PM #

    Scott,

    Your love for your mother shines through in your post. It is wonderful to see. You are both blessed.

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