Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Loving your kids isn't enough

 Little Anna is now almost 3 and officially in that stage where EVERYTHING she does is amazingly cute.  Her tantrums are hilarious, her language endearing, and her little mind always working.  She has picked up on cute little phrases like "I am pwetty sure…" which she uses at the funniest times.  Like "I am pwetty sure I need a nuggle" or "I am pwetty sure I don't wan go to seep".  
As her language explosion continues and her vocabulary grows, she has new ways of expressing her thoughts, wants, needs, and desires and I feel as though a window to her soul has been opened. As my knowledge of her grows, so to does my love for her.  

And so I have to remind myself that loving her isn't enough.  Or maybe another way of thinking about it is this 

If I really love her, then I need to show her my love by being a responsible mom    

My actions need to back up my feelings.  
When she comes to tell me she is pwetty sure she doesn't want to sleep, I can't just laugh and swoop her up in my arms and cuddle her a little more.  Although that is what I may want to do, that action would reward her disobedience.

I need to remind her, with love, that she isn't supposed to get out of bed once she is tucked in. I need to enforce our rules and help her to get a good night sleep.  I need to build trust with her by making sure my reactions are consistent.  When she throws her brothers toys, or rips her sisters homework out of spite, I can't just laugh it off.  I need to teach her to respect other people's property.   

As parents, when we let these things slide the 'stage' becomes permanent, and our children cease being those cute little things.   When the cuteness fades, we are left with a spoilt child who is hard to be around.

I am reminded much of the faith/works debate in Christianity (which through some major ecumenical work has largely been agreed upon finally).  If you really love your God, your behavior will reflect that love.  If you really love your child, your behavior will reflect that love too.  Your "works" will mirror your love.  

So next time you are tempted to let the lesson slide, just think about how much you love your kids.  Do you want them to learn the lessons in life or do you want them to be handicapped in that area? 

Teach them because you love them, 
and in doing so you will show them just 
how much you DO love them.

Thanks for stopping by!

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