So, thinking about how to love courageously sounds somewhat new and pretty foreign. But when you break down what it means to love your child courageously then it is simple and straightforward to integrate responses and techniques into your day to day life.
How do you start loving courageously?
Well, this all starts with you.
To love others courageously, you have to be completely open and honest when you are around your child. What does this mean? Well, you do not have to be upbeat and happy all the time in front of your child.
You have to show your child that it is perfectly normal to have down days and to feel sad, so when you are feeling these emotions let your child see this side of you.
Now, we are not saying that your child will become your new therapist and spout out wisdom to you when you are feeling at your lowest. However, it is important to show your child that it is okay to express their emotions and feelings. As a parent, you are their best example of this.
How does this show that you love your child courageously?
Because you are being your most vulnerable in front of your child and that is an act which takes courage.
You are showing your child not only how much you love them, but how much you trust them because you are opening yourself up to them.
So, this is essentially an act which makes your child meet you in the middle: you are opening yourself up and in return your child will give you a cuddle and try and comfort you in whatever way they think works.
Next, it is your turn to show your child how much you love them. And, this is all about being bold. This sounds pretty intense, and also kind of terrifying. But there are some easy ways that you can open up to your child and really show them how much you love them.
The easiest way that you can do this is by doing this: tell your child that you love them. We told you, it sounds scary but it is pretty easy. Keep reminding and reaffirming your love for your child to them often every day.
This is by no means a ‘box ticking’ exercise, something that you can cross off your to-do list. This is something that you should do every single day.
It might reach the point where you tell your child that you love them and it sounds flippant or casual. This is not the aim of the game here. You do not want saying ‘I love you’ to become a throwaway remark that you use in any conversation or that you use too frequently.
You still want ‘I love you’ to hold sincerity and genuineness. So, perhaps saying it when you drop your child off to school, and before bedtime are good points to use this. Saying ‘I love you’ after your child has used the toilet is not exactly fitting.
The Next Step – Showing Them
So, here we are telling your child that you love them. Next you want to show your child that you love them. There are many ways that you can do this, the most obvious being through physical touch. When your children are younger they will appreciate this so much more, when they become teenagers it stops being so ‘cool’.
When you take your child to the park, hold their hand as you cross the street until they run into the park and aim for the slide. When you drop your child off at their school then give them a goodby cuddle. When you put your child to bed, give them a kiss on their forehead.
There are so many small gestures that show how much you love your child without embarrassing them or it coming across as over the top. So, whenever you can make sure that as well as telling your child that you love them, show them how much you love them too.
Additionally, your child will be able to pick up on your body language, so this is key to showing them how you are feeling towards them.
If you are all sitting down together and watching a family movie, and there is no reason for you to feel tense or on edge, then why are you sitting upright with your arms folded?
It is important to allow yourself to fully relax around your child. Of course you are their parent, so there has to be a line between being relaxed all the time and being a pushover, and being strict and unapproachable.
Being comfortable and being able to relax with your child again shows that you are totally open and at ease with them and so is a small reminder of how much you love them.
The last suggestion that we have for loving courageously is spending quality time with your child. Making time for your child will take a lot of dedication and will mean that you have to have a pretty good work schedule.
For instance, if you work during the week then have a family day out on the weekends. Whether you have a day at the beach or take a trip to the cinema or go for food at your favorite pizza place, doing something as a family is a great way to show that you love courageously.
Going out in public with your family is essentially the act of showing people how much you all love each other because you all love to be together.
However, this is not always practical on the weekends, especially if your child has a lot of hobbies. After all, they will have school through the week and then their weekends could be taken up by soccer practice.
You can still show your child that you love them courageously by being there for them. Go and watch them play in their soccer game and cheer them on at the sideline. Celebrate with your child after every victory and support your child after every loss.
Being at your child’s soccer match will mean more to them than you might realise because you are showing them how much you care about them.
Loving courageously does not mean that you have to make huge banners saying I LOVE YOU, or that you have to write a declaration of love to your child every day.
Loving courageously is something that you undoubtedly do every day without even realizing it. This will bring you and your child closer together and will ensure that they trust you and know how much you care about them and thus, they will reciprocate these. This will be something that your child will be grateful for and value especially throughout their teenage years.
Why? Because as your child is becoming a young adult, they will struggle to know how much they can trust you or rely on you. We’ve all been there, as a teenager who thinks that their life is the only one with problems, dramas and dilemmas. But, when they need advice and guidance you would be the perfect person to advise them.
Of course, every parent is slightly biased towards their own child, however, creating a strong bond with your child from a young age will ultimately carry on for the rest of their lives.
So, by showing your child from a young age that you love them courageously, then as a teenager, and then as an adult your child will know that they can rely on you completely and love you unconditionally.
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