Do you love your child? What a dumb question! Of course you do! From the moment you laid eyes on your newborn son or daughter, you were filled with a deep and powerful feeling of attachment. But what does it really mean to love your child?
Feeling emotionally attached to your child is certainly important, but I would argue that truly loving your child is much more than feelings. Furthermore, unconditionally loving your child does not always come easily; it must be worked at — it involves self-sacrifice, and doing what is best for your child.
• Loving your children can be less about how you feel than about what you do. Consider the last 24 hours: In what ways have you demonstrated your love to your child even when you didn’t feel like you loved them? This may mean sitting at the kitchen table doing math problems rather than watching the big game on TV.
• Loving someone unconditionally takes practice. It means that your commitment and true love for your child is not dependent on the way they act, their appearance, or what they say. It’s acceptance — no matter what.
• Rough spots will be inevitable. Love means finding ways to laugh together, and working to move towards healing when things go bad.
• Don’t forget that telling them that you love them, and doing this often, is crucial.
The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.
For more information, or to join local conversations, contact
Mick Trombley at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Eggebeen at email@example.com
Robert Orndorff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc McCann at 237-1719 or email@example.com