I’m Heather Anderson, and this is Episode 8: Showing an Increase of Love.
Hello, my friends. So you’ve gotten my 3 C’s of Successful Parenting method down completely, right? I’m just kidding. I’m not sure if that is something we’ll ever really figure out perfectly, but being aware of the method and trying to apply it to every child behavior dilemma will definitely start to make your life much easier and less stressful in your home. If you are finding yourself up against some challenges and just not exactly sure how to implement the things we’re talking about or what you’re doing that’s just not working, please come talk to me. Just go over to my website heatherandersonlifecoach.com and make a quick 30 minute coaching call with me. You will see that I can help you and I also make it very, very easy and affordable to work with me, if you do decide to continue our work together after that initial coaching call. So just come talk to me.
Anyway, today we are going to talk about love. Of course you love your child, that’s just a given, but I want to talk about how you show that love to your child. If you have been applying the 3 C’s method in your home, there has probably been some pushback from your child. Maybe “push back” is too understated. Maybe it’s been more like you’ve had some fighting back, okay well maybe even a lot of fighting back, and this is completely normal and expected. So good job mama, that means you’re doing something right.
And although you’re doing these great things for your child by setting up consequences and holding your ground, your child might be feeling a little discouraged. My method, if done well, already has threads of love weaved throughout. Your child is, hopefully, starting to understand that you are not the enemy here. You are just a really strong solid wall that, when they make certain choices that lead to certain consequences, whether they be natural or logical consequences, you are not going to budge. And you are giving the ownership of their choices back to them consistently. It’s a real wake-up call, though, for kids when they realize they’re not as in charge as they thought they were. So it’s important to show them an increase of love after one of the, probably many, battles have ended.
I wanted, today, to emphasize the importance of that love in raising your child. The ultimate goal is to help your child grow up to become a responsible, mature adult, and all aspects of a child’s development require a firm foundation in love. Actually, being firm while also being kind will cover most of your parenting challenges.
Love: every child needs it; they need it. It is one of their very basic needs. And the magical thing about love is that if you can meet your child’s need for love, there is a good chance you’ll see a change in their behavior as well. So I just want to emphasize that when raising children everything depends on that love relationship between you and your child. Nothing works well if a child’s love needs are not met.
And that love needs to be unconditional. This means that you accept your child for who he is, not what he does or doesn’t do, and your child just knows that no matter what his choices are, you as his parent still loves him. You might not be able to stand him in that moment; you might even think you don’t like him at all (which is totally normal sometimes); but trust me, you’re better at that unconditional love thing with your child than you think you are.
So what are your child’s love needs? You’ve probably heard of the book, The Five Love Languages. It’s a really great marital book. It’s by a man named Gary Chapman. Well, he partnered up with another author named Ross Campbell and they wrote The Five Love Languages of Children. I absolutely love this book, and I recommend that you get it. In the book, they talk about the same five love languages that they do in the marriage book, but they apply them to your kids. The five languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. Every child will feel love differently. So maybe you constantly are providing acts of service like cooking their dinner, and making their lunch for school, and doing their laundry, but if their personal love language is physical touch, they really need you to hug them more, and sit and hold their hand and rub their back while you’re talking to them. So depending on their love language, that is how they are going to recognize your love the most. And the goal is to try to love them the way they recognize.
Another example is maybe their love language is words of affirmation. That means that they really need to hear positive words from you (I call them “atta boys” or “atta girls”) like praising and compliments and telling them what you love about them. If their love language is quality time that means they just want to spend time with you. They need you to stop what you’re doing and sit and talk with them, maybe take them on a date just the two of you, do a puzzle, color in their coloring book, help your teenager with their homework.
This quality time one is a challenge for me. I am such a busybody I have so much to do in a day, you probably can relate, that it is hard to just stop and spend that time with my kids. I do have one child in particular that this quality time thing is really important to them, so I have to literally force myself to stop and have time with them. And it’s always so beneficial; I can tell that it just fills my child up with so many feelings of love from me. My sister has always been so good about this with her kids. Ever since her kids were little she would be on the floor with them playing trains and puzzles and toys, and I always admired that in her; she’s always been really good at it. We have to remember that just because we’re not good at something yet doesn’t mean we can’t become good at it, we just have to be aware of what our children’s needs are.
But what’s interesting is if you don’t know your child’s love language and you just spent a ton of quality time but their love language is physical touch, they might not even notice how much quality time you’re spending with them because they just want to feel loved in a different way. So I strongly suggest that you figure out each of your child’s love language. And of course, if you have more than one child they probably all have different love languages, right? Because nothing in parenting is simple. But don’t make it too complicated for yourself, you can consistently sprinkle on all of the love language onto all of your kids, but just be aware how certain kids feel love the most
The book says that if your child is under the age of five, it’s actually too young for them to figure out their love language, so just keep trying to pour all of them onto her as much as possible.
One thing that all of us moms have in common is that we fiercely love our children, right? So let’s make sure that we are figuring them out so that they feel our love. We just have to figure it out. If we learn to speak their language and fill their love cups, we will be able to have the relationship with our children that we want to.
So yes, about these love cups, just think of every child as having an emotional cup. We all have one. You’re responsible for filling your child’s emotional cup. It is constantly getting depleted by the daily challenges of life, especially lately with everything that’s going on in the world. Your child’s cup needs to be filled more regularly than ever. It’s this emotional cup being full that your child will get his emotional strength to fuel him through all that is going to happen in his life and everything that’s going to be thrown his way, especially older children moving into adolescence. That stage is so tough, so they need to go into it having a full emotional cup. Of course, it’s necessary to train and discipline our children but this happens much more effectively when their emotional cups are filled.
So this week, just remember: It’s nearly impossible to expect good behavior from a child without first making sure he feels loved.
Come back next week because I have a great idea of how to make your child feel loved, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
I’ll talk to you then.
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