Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.
Tips for teaching children about love
As a reporter, I get tons of press releases in my inbox. For my sanity, I usually ignore them. This one caught my eye simply because it’s from the town next to my hometown in New Jersey. Once I looked at it, though, I noticed that the press release offered some pretty helpful parenting tips. So here you go:
Kids have so much to teach us, so much we forget as reality takes over. We need to learn how to love everything around us: life, earth, others, etc. Kids know how to forgive, release and let go. So positive parenting isn’t about teaching how to love, it’s teaching kids to hold onto their love and reminding them how great life is. Kids are born with the knowledge of love not fear! As parents we need to remind them of this. Here are 13 tips to teach kids love through positive parenting:
1. Teach kids through example. Be the example, the role model, the mentor. Show the personality traits you want your kids to have. If you show kids love, warmth, kindness, patience and empathy, you will get it in return.
2. Teach them to want not to need. Teaching love is to remind kids they don’t need to be attached to any material objects and to be grateful for what they have.
3. Discipline is love. It shows your child you care.
4. Show love by being honest. It’s okay to say I don’t know. Be honest, clear, simple and to the point.
5. Show loyalty through actions. Make sure to give daily hugs, kisses, pats on the shoulder, hold hands, etc. Show love to your spouse; let your kids know there is a lot of love in the family.
6. Show kids love through praise. Let them know how proud of them you are with praise. Praise your child’s efforts so they stay motivated and don’t give up.
7. Show them love through listening. Be an active listener: use eye contact, don’t interrupt, show your listening with nods of the head, non verbal gestures, summarize what you just heard and ask questions.
8. Show your empathy by being an empathetic listener. Even if you don’t understand why your kids are upset, be empathetic. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how they must feel. Respond with empathy.
9. Show love through communication. Ask how they are doing, what kind of day they had, how was school? Ask questions that involve more than a yes or no answer and be a great active, empathetic listener when communicating with children.
10. Teach kids to remain their authentic self and share their inner joy and light. We need to teach kids to hold onto their lightness.
11. Teach kids to be compassionate with random acts of kindness. Get kids involved in volunteering at an early age. When kids perform random acts of kindness they feel more respect for themselves and get a boost of happiness.
12. Teach your kids to love healthy foods by eating meals together. Let your kids be involved in the process. They can help make the menu, help with food shopping and even cooking. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to eat healthy and enjoy it. Teach kids to respect their body which is their true home.
13. Teach kids that mistakes are good. Mistakes are teachable moments that move us forward into a better path.
These tips come from Diane Lang, a psychotherapist and author of ”Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career” and “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness.”