You may truly love your child, but unless she feels it—she will not feel loved.
real love is always unconditional.
Unconditional love is a full love that accepts and affirms a child for who he is, not for what he does. No matter what he does (or does not do), the parent still loves him. Sadly, some parents display a love that is conditional; it depends on something other than their children just being. Conditional love is based on performance and is often associated with training techniques that offer gifts, rewards, and privileges to children who behave or perform in desired ways.
Only unconditional love can prevent problems such as resentment, feelings of being unloved, guilt, fear, and insecurity.
They are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service.
Whatever love language your child understands best, he needs it expressed in one way—unconditionally.
Unconditional love is a guiding light, illuminating the darkness and enabling us as parents to know where we are and what we need to do as we raise our child. Without this kind of love, parenting is bewildering and confusing.
Unconditional love shows love to a child no matter what. We love regardless of what the child looks like; regardless of her assets, liabilities, or handicaps; regardless of what we expect her to be; and, most difficult of all, regardless of how she acts.
Some people fear that this may lead to “spoiling” a child, but that is a misconception. No child can receive too much appropriate unconditional love. A child may be “spoiled” by a lack of training or by inappropriate love that gives or trains incorrectly. True unconditional love will never spoil a child because it is impossible for parents to give too much of it.
You may find it helpful to frequently remind yourself of some rather obvious things about your children: 1 They are children. 2 They will tend to act like children. 3 Much childish behavior is unpleasant. 4 If I do my part as a parent and love them, despite their childish behavior, they will mature and give up their childish ways. 5 If I love them only when they please me (conditional love), and if I express my love to them only at those times, they will not feel genuinely loved. This will damage their self-image, make them feel insecure, and actually prevent them from moving into better self-control and more mature behavior. Therefore, their development and behavior is as much my responsibility as it is theirs. 6 If I love them only when they meet my requirements or expectations, they will feel incompetent and will believe it is pointless to do their best, since it is never enough. They will always be plagued by insecurity, anxiety, low self-esteem, and anger. To guard against this, I need to often remind myself of my responsibility for their total growth. (For more on this, you will want to read How to Really Love Your Child by Ross Campbell.) 7 If I love them unconditionally, they will feel comfortable about themselves and will be able to control their anxiety and their behavior as they grow to adulthood.
We believe a child’s need for love is basic to all other needs. Receiving love and learning to give love is the soil out of which all positive endeavors grow.
Children raised with conditional love learn how to love that way. By the time they reach adolescence, they often will manipulate and control their parents. When they are pleased, they please their parents. When they are not pleased, they frustrate their parents. This leaves the parents paralyzed because they are waiting for their teens to please them, but these teenagers don’t know how to love unconditionally. This vicious cycle usually turns into anger, resentment, and acting out by the teenagers.
Your children will sense how you feel about them by how you behave toward them.
It was the apostle John who wrote, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
your child, like a flower, will benefit from your love. When the water of love is given, your child will bloom and bless the world with beauty. Without that love, she will become a wilted flower, begging for water.
One mark of a mature adult is the ability to give and receive appreciation through all the love languages—physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and acts of service.