Loving Your Children vs Being in Love with Them

Daily in our childcare centers, elementary schools, middle schools and on into high school we are seeing the products from parents who are in love with their children. There is a difference from when a parent loves his/her child. They nurture, feed, clothe, educate and spend quality time with them. When a parent is in love with their child, all of the above mentioned is there, but the nurturing and quality time is given to the fifth power.

Ever gone to a store and before you get through the door you hear the demands of the little darling being barked at their parent. “Give it to me, I want it now!” Screams follow as the exasperated parent continues shopping, pretending to ignore the demands of that one which they created. I am happy that they have developed the skill to ignore, but the rest of us suffer as a result.

Visit a childcare center and I can guarantee you one out of every three classes has a child, God forbid they have two in the same class, that has parents that are in love with them. Exactly how do we pick them out? Don’t worry, they will make themselves known. Just look for the child that when instructed to join and participate in the group throws a fit. Listen for the child that when asked to switch activities throws a fit. The child that always has to have what someone else has, just because. This child usually always wants a cup or some type of food when upset. Why is this? Because at home every time a tantrum is thrown, a cup, treat or food item is placed in the child’s hand instead of enacting a consequence for the unacceptable behavior.

For years it has been seen at all levels of the education starting with pre-school, parents come in and drop off their little darlings that are not allowed under any circumstances to be unhappy. Yes, the little darling comes in very happy, but mom or dad has already put in a full day’s work all before 7 am in order to ensure this happiness at the expense of his or her own peaceful existence. The constant attention given the night before, the whining, the fight to eat, fight to bathe and the grand daddy fight of them all sleeping in their own beds, which is a battle the child usually wins every time. By this time of night, the parent is plum tuckered out and cannot take one more over the top scream. After all, they have to get up in the morning and do it all over again. Sadly, the child’s happy state of mind quickly disappears as soon as the first request is made of them that he/she simply does not want to do. “Come take off your jacket”, they immediately hit the floor kicking and screaming. The first of many 10-minute tantrum starts. What had started as a quiet and good start to the pre-school morning is over.

How did he/she get this way at the ripe old age of 18 months? “They are so cute, I can’t stand to see them unhappy or cry. It hurts my heart to hear him/her scream for me, I feel so bad. I hate when he/she is upset with me. I try time-out, but he/she starts saying ‘good now, good now mommy’. I don’t want to be too hard on him/her I never know if something might really be wrong this time. I took him/her to the doctor again this week, but the doctor could not find anything wrong, but there has to be.”

You are so in love with this child until you think if you love him/her enough, give him/her every and anything they want. Give them ALL of your undivided attention every waking hour; they will have no choice but to love you. You reason, when they grow up this child is going to think you were the best parent in the world. WRONG! This child will take and take, but it is not his/her fault. As a parent, you have not taught the basics of boundaries, patience, respect for authority or the simple fact that the world was not created just for them. Then you send your little darling to school or daycare hoping that the consistent structure will in turn help you out at home and become upset when a not so good behavior report is given. Many times when kids enter daycare for the first time, the excuse for one of these little darlings are that “he/she needs to be around other children”. Maybe they are being transferred from another childcare setting, you share your sob story with the director how you were not happy with the last daycare provider because they just expected too much from your child.

This type of child rearing will destroy any chance of your child making easy transitions throughout life, as a parent, you in fact place them at a disadvantage. They will develop the stigma that the world is against them anytime they do not get their way. Will not be willing to work hard at anything, if it gets to hard mommy/daddy will fix it. Because of not being taught how to cope with changes in daily activities and routines this will carry on through out their lives making it difficult to develop necessary relationships.

Yes, our children are beautiful, they have an array of emotions that they were created with; allow them to use them all. A little crying and sadness sometimes will not kill them. Help them to develop into children that are self-assured within themselves; Instead of children that feel rejected every time their wants or not met or someone does not drop everything to attend their every whim. This training starts at home, try it and enjoy the results.

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