The strongest bond of love is that of a parent & a child. You may not fall in love with your baby as soon as she is born but with time you will develop such a strong bond with her that it will become impossible to image a world without your sweet baby.
Children need a whole lot of loving touches that are vital to their emotional development. In working with emotional problems in adults, it has been observed that most difficulties seem to originate from the lack of affirmation of love & acceptance during their childhood. When this basic foundation of love & acceptance is missing, then adults have to work very hard to regain that self- love & self- acceptance later on. All our decisions & actions have a motive, proving our ability & our self-worth. When this base of love is there as a child, then we can proceed on to other needs & activities.
‘Sometimes a child has a good reason for feeling he isn’t loved,’ says counsellor Gary Chapman, co- author of The five love languages of children. ‘That’s why we need to learn how to communicate love in a way that makes the child feel loved’. According to Chapman, each of us uses a primary love language to express love to the child. Here’s how we can start speaking a new language to make sure our kinds are getting the message of love:
Hugs & cuddles of love
A child feels love through physical touch long before understanding the meaning of it. It’s natural & easy for parents to love their babies because they are really cute & lovely. You can’t help but shower them with hugs & kisses.
As a parent you must take time to hold & cuddle your baby. When your toddler wakes up in the morning, encourage your little one to cuddle with you. In fact, you should cuddle with your kid no matter how old he is. This sets the tone for the day, which spills (we hope) over into the next night.
· Even if you are busy with daily routine, try & find some time to play & touch your baby.
· Don’t leave you baby in a crib alone unattended for a long time.
· Read a book with your baby before putting him to bed at night.
· When your child is unwell, physically or emotionally hurt, appropriate touch is important.
· Give your child a hug when he leaves for school or returns home. This will increase the sense of inner security throughout the day.
As boys grow older, bigger & stronger they start reacting with hesitation to affectionate touch, yet they still need physical touch. Girls also tend to resist the soft touches, but unlike boys, they don’t go through the affection resistant stage. As your boy grows up, he might pull back from touch, especially in public, for the fear of being seen as too feminine.
As for girls, it’s a difficult time for them to work out how to relate to the opposite sex. Generally at this stage mother provide more physical affection than fathers do. Yet both parents need to show their love in positive ways at the right times & places. Teens also need hugs, pats on the back & other physical expressions of love.
Quality time is an expression of love
Quality time is a parent’s gift to a child. It says, ‘You are important to me. I like being with you’. Being together, doing something together, & providing focussed attention almost anywhere, & being with your child, is the grammar of love.
Spending time with your child will often lead to good conversations about everything related to your lives, from moral & ethical issues to mundane everyday problems. It benefits your child & he will learn the art of communicating effectively in his future relationships including social relationships, marriage & work.
Plan for quality time with your child by:
1. Having at least one meal of the day together.
2. Plan overnight trips or day picnics with some fun-filled activities.
3. Set reading time. All children love stories & reading to your child is a great way to begin your bedtime ritual because this will help to keep the communication open when they become teenagers.
Spending quality time with our children will ensure they feel loved & create uplifting memories for the rest of their lives.
Gifts of love
Many parents overuse the language of gifts as if it is the only language they know. Often this is an attempt to do for their children what their parents didn’t do for them. How expensive or how big is the gift is not important, but the love & affection that goes with the act of giving is critical. Children have a sharp intuitive ability to gauge parental motive.
Gifts can often be confused with payments (for having done something) or bribes (for expecting to have something done). Be careful & don’t be tempted to shower your child with gifts as substitutes for your time. Otherwise, your child may grow up to be materialistic or manipulative.
Just as your child requires the right nourishment for growing healthy both physically and mentally he/she also requires to be loved for becoming a happy and emotionally stable individual. At the same time it is equally important to draw the line between loving your child and over pampering him/her so that their behaviour doesn’t start becoming unreasonable and incorrigible.
So, love your child unconditionally and shower all your love upon your little one through the expression of body language, words, gifts etc which would enable you raise positive and happy individuals for the future.
More Articles on Nuturing Baby: