I find my situation slightly ironic that I am surrounded by children almost every day of my life and yet I am not a father. I am not saddened by the fact that I have no children of my own. It was a choice I made in life and besides, I have two nephews and two nieces.
What with my nephews and nieces and students in the classroom, I can still dish out advice and worldly wisdom. I just have to remind myself to be careful; they are not officially my kids.
So what would I advise parents if they came seeking help about their children’s issues (See my last blog)?
Loving one’s child seems so easy and so obvious but it often becomes distorted and misinterpreted. Disciplining one’s child, as long as it’s handled sensitively, does not mean a parent does not love his child.
So how should one deliver love?
Listen to the child and understand his/her needs and interests. So when that mood change happens, it may not simply be initiated by puberty. Perhaps, there is a larger issue here. Bullying perhaps. Loss of self-esteem. The list is endless.
So know your child well and know when to give him/her space but also to make yourself available when problems arise. Show a genuine interest in your child’s abilities and talents. Genuine is the key word here. You know when you’re faking emotion. Hey, so does your child.
But most of all, sit with him/her through the bad times. You brought this child into the world so you had better take responsibility for ensuring he/she becomes a healthy, happy person.