There’s more than one way to say “I love you”- Part 1
Well, this is it! My first blog… and yes I am anxious. I really want to do this but I lacked a little confidence where my writing was concerned. So, having said that, with Valentine’s Day coming I thought this was a good place to start!! So here comes something…
“I love you” the three magic words we all want to hear, whether it’s from our partners’, parents, extended family or our friends, these three words as Stevie Wonder’s lyrics profess “sweet and simple” are so very powerful. We have to understand that although these words are significant and important, there are many other important ways that we say “I love you”. From the time we are born into the world we need to know that we are loved and cared for. Saying the words is important but demonstration by our actions is just as important. As a trained therapist I see it all the time, we say these three words but that’s it! That’s all we do and we think it’s enough, we assume that those we profess it to know what we mean. Well I’m here to tell you, it’s NOT true!
Let’s start at the beginning with children and parents, parents it is important that your children hear these words from you regularly. I won’t say exactly how regularly that is, it’s your decision but your children need to hear it. However, they need more, they need to see it demonstrated and the way in which you demonstrate your love is by being consistent in your actions. This means setting rules and boundaries for them, which includes loving but firm discipline. It’s called creating a safe and secure environment. Children need things that they can rely on; they need a routine such as a consistent bed time, chores/responsibilities in the home, family rituals, such as a shared meal time or family fun/game night once a week or once a month. These are the types of things that say “I love you” to a child and that reassure him or her that they are important and cared for within the family.
In this hectic, fast paced world it is easy to give our children all kinds of things, electronics, jewelry, clothes and other material items as a way of saying “I love you”, but as a parent, the one thing that money cannot buy is “the gift that just keeps on giving” and that is providing a loving, safe and secure environment in which your child can feel supported and nurtured to grow and reach their fullest potential. You may be thinking “How do I do this?” especially if you come from a background where this was not provided for you. Well that’s where a good therapist can help. A good family therapist can assist parent(s) with the parenting education and support needed to improve their parenting skills and thereby improve the life of their child/children. Parenting can be a very difficult and challenging job even with the best of intentions. So seeking out assistance with what is arguably the most important relationship in your life, the relationship with your child/children, should be a no brainer. Don’t be afraid, it can be the best and most important decision you’ll ever make!!