When there are no words...just hold them close
Since becoming a parent, I have a new found appreciation for my own parents and everything they sacrificed, taught, supported and the love they shared to both myself and my two sisters.
I was so blessed to grow up in a family where love and kindness were the backbones of everything we did and now as I have my own family, I realise how important that is. That despite the times where I may have been in dis-agreeance with my parents for giving me consequences, grounding me, or making me miss out on something, my love for them never stopped in these moments.
It’s a nice reminder that to me now, that when I ‘parent’ and my young son is upset with me, I know that a parent-child’s love will not be broken over standing my ground and following through.
Whilst I love my children dearly, my role is to ‘parent’ my children and develop their sense of responsibility, respect, love, passion, and loyalty. As a parent we are in charge of developing one of the most complex and intelligent pieces of society. It’s our job to work towards ensuring that our children turn out to be the best they can be, and that requires a lot of blood, sweat and lots of tears.
Tears of joy, tears of anguish, tears of frustration. Our parental roll throws us through a range of emotions. When situations arise with our children, it is important to remind them that we too feel emotion. Allowing children to understand that at times they may feel upset, frustrated, scared or happy is a great way to begin with teaching children to respect others.
Talking to children about their emotions allows them the opportunity to develop a sense of understanding towards others. Recently I was chopping onions and my son walked in and saw I was wiping tears away. He came up to me and said ‘Its OK mummy’ and then gave me a big hug.
I LOVE HUGS... they are a great way to tell a loved one that they are loved when there are 'no words'. This opportunity came after we had recently explained to him about why we were sad after the passing of a grandparent. He understood what I needed in that moment of emotion which was to be reassured and how powerful the act of holding someone close in a time of need is (whilst it was just the result of onion chopping), he had developed a sense of empathy towards others that he could now carry into other situations.
I would like to share with you one of my most challenging years and how my parents provided ongoing love and support to me, when I know now it must have been just as hard for them.
I had just started my first year at university, I was eighteen years old. Thirteen years of school, growing up, teenage years, boys, lessons learnt and mistakes were all behind me and I was looking forward to the next chapter of my life.
During this year three beautiful, young wonderful women left this world at just 18 years of age. They were all people who had a significant impact on my life and all these years later I still smile when I think of how wonderful they all were. This was a tough time for me. I explicitly remember my father visiting my work to tell me the news that one of my friends had left us. He just held me, we didn’t say anything, he just knew that what I needed the most was to know that he was there, he wasn’t going anywhere and at a time where he couldn’t give me an explanation, I knew he was there for me.
Thanks Dad, that meant a lot!
As a parent seeing your child in pain, hurt or upset is one of the hardest things you can experience. Sometimes when things are just not going how you planned or life throws you a curve ball, it’s important to let your children know they are loved.
Often we can get caught up in telling our children what they cannot do or uttering phrases at them such as, ‘time for dinner’ or ‘time for bed’.
How often do you stop to tell your child, that YOU LOVE THEM.
This doesn’t have to be explicitly saying the words ‘I love you’, however showing them you care through playing with them, spending time on their interests and just being present with them.
Showing that we love our children can also mean, not allowing them to do something you know may hurt them, or not always giving in to them, but teaching them boundaries, expectations, rules and how to treat others with respect. Even if this means you sometimes have children who are upset with you… this doesn’t mean they will stop loving you.
Remember to be present, be positive and be consistent.
Belinda is a Special Education Teacher and mother of two young children who is passionate about assisting families with children’s challenging behaviours. She has over 10 years’ experience working with a range of children across all ability levels, including children with ASD, developmental delay and intellectual disability. She is also a University Lecturer. Belinda provides a calm and supportive process to working with families to make positive change with the children in their lives. Her vision is to assist families to regain precious moments with their children, she provides a gentle approach to developing strategies with families to work with their child at home, at school and in the community. Through The Resource Kit, Belinda provides consultancy to families and teachers on how to work positively with all children. She also provides support for families through the toilet training process.