A new school year is beginning. Many Moms are exhaling a huge sigh of relief.
“Finally!” is being whispered from coast to coast.
For other moms, the school year means “More.” More scheduling. More carpooling. More homeworking. More of everything!
With all we have to do, our children’s emotional needs can get lost in the shuffle.
For busy moms here are small gestures that will convey to your children they are valuable and important.
Ross Campbell, M.D., reminds us in his excellent book, How To Really Love Your Child,
“Unconditional love is loving your child no matter what.
Even when, at times, we may detest their behavior. Constantly remind yourself:
- They are children.
- They will tend to act like children
- Much of childish behavior is unpleasant.
If you do your part as a parent and love them despite their childish behavior, they will be able to mature and give up childish ways. If you love them only when they please you (conditional love) they will not feel genuinely loved. And that leads to other bad behaviors.
1. Eye Contact is the way we communicate with the world without words.
- Look directly into the eyes of your child with a pleasant expression.
- Smile if you can. At least look kindly if you desire some kind of change.
- Make eye contact when you are giving them instructions.
2. Physical Touch involves getting your hands on your child in a caring and meaningful way.
- This can be affectionate with hugging, kissing and cuddling.
- This can be playful and silly.
- You may need to train yourself to touch your child often in non demanding ways.
3. Focused Attention is the hardest of these because it requires TIME.
Give your child your full, undivided attention in such a way that she feels, without a doubt, that she is completely loved.
- Set aside time to spend with him alone.
- Plan the time you spend time with each child alone on a regular basis.
- Make it an activity where you can talk and make eye contact. (This is when you find out what’s really bothering your kids.)
- Make it an activity your child is interested in — not just one that you are interested in.”
We are not talking an hour per child here. If it is done sincerely and with regularity, even 5 or 10 minutes can put some love in her tank.
So take a deep breath, Mom. This is a season. If you have children for this season — they are a priority.
No matter the age of your child – from young ones to young adults — practice eye contact, physical touch and focused attention.
By these methods you are keeping your children’s emotional tank full and investing in their future. And yours!
Want to see more from Carolyn? Check out her recent article 3 Things Fire Can’t Burn!
Carolyn Dunn coaches busy women who are time starved, disorganized and distracted balance a productive work life with a peaceful and nurturing home life. Instead of struggling with overwhelm, procrastination and time management issues they can learn to say “goodbye” to chaos, and “hello” to sanity. Carolyn has a strong Christian background and a Fuller Seminary Masters degree in theological studies as well as marriage and family ministries. She is actively involved in planning large conferences as well as small retreats, and has been the speaker at many seminars and workshops.
To learn more about the author please visit Carolyn Dunn Coaching.