This is a superb article that I just stumbled upon that is worth sharing; to read the entire article please click this link: 10 Principles of Unconditional Parenting by Rainbow Recognizer.
Unconditional love is the most important thing that every child deserves to experience in their life from pre-birth to adulthood. In fact I would go so far as to say that unconditional love is something that we all require as part of healthy development; more than anything else. So if as a parent you worry about money, and providing “things”, and education then maybe take a rain check and ask yourself am I loving enough, is it without conditions and am I giving my child time and connection? Be an example of unconditional love in all that you do and in all the ways that you interact with others. Your child learns everything from you.
In truth all that a child wants and needs is love and connection, food and sleep. The rest will be ok.
Consider as an adult the memories that mean the most to us; is it the love of a parent and the time we shared in connection with them?
Then consider the memories that hurt us the most. From experience personally and professionally I believe that what hurts us from our pasts can be several of the following: feeling abandoned when love was withdrawn, confusion over why love was withdrawn as a punishment, the absence of parents, lack of love and connection from a parent, hurtful words, feeling invisible, achievements and efforts not being seen, and never feeling good enough no matter what is done to seek the attention or acknowledgement of a parent. Intense emotional currents in the home such as anger, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear also deal a confusing blow to a sensitive child and may instil feelings of blame, shame, and insecurity. A still and calm home is important for a baby and infant even before birth. Highly stressed environments create stress, anxiety and uncertainty for the infant.
….. take some time to consider the above and learn. Reflect on your own childhood and take the strengths forward into your own home and parenting.
Conditional love hurts; this I have experienced far too many times in my own life and it led to me being fearful of attaching to people, of letting people in, and huge self-esteem and self-belief issues. I have spent a life-time relearning how to let love in. I have never had a problem giving love. I learnt it was easy to love but that loving hurt….because the people who I loved the most hurt me the most; I could never understand it!
I see this so often too in my clients; deep emotional wounds that then feed into real physical pains and symptoms. Yes the two are intricately linked. Our bodies are so amazing that they bundle up and store the pain to protect us emotionally. But to live in that safe zone where you cannot get hurt is not experiencing true love or the true depth of life’s experiences. To hold all emotions in is not good for us ultimately and at some point when you are strong… the time comes to let go.
Living in that middle ground of being safe means that although you protect yourself from extreme hurtful emotions you cannot go to the highs of extreme love and happiness….. So I have spent a lot of time learning to let the walls down and letting love in and I can tell you that it is worth it….
Soon you value yourself again, and you become more discerning about what is good for you in life; and then amazing things start to happen. Wealth, positive relationships, new experiences…new beginnings.
As a highly sensitive empathic person I have never been able to understand how people hurt me and others. How could love be used as a tool to manipulate and control; hurt and use; or to empower one at the expense of another? So I went on a journey where in the far end of the spectrum I learnt what love isn’t, to relearn what love is. It is only in my late 30’s that I have allowed myself to receive the unconditional love of friends and my loved one. But I also learnt in my experiences just how important the unconditional love of a parent is absolutely crucial in the formative years of a child. Not only for their personal development but also for their health in latter years as an adult.
If you learnt hurt in your youth; throw yourself in to learning what real honest unconditional love is. And if you love someone who experienced deep hurt in their youth; show them love and patience. Allow your loved one to grow at their own pace and in their own way. Whatever the route…don’t hold back!
So the following details The Ten Principles of Unconditional Parenting in summary.
- Consider your Requests
- Put the Relationship First
- The Love has to be Unconditional
- Imagine how kids see Things
- Be Authentic
- Talk less, Ask more
- Assume the Best
- Try to say Yes, when you can
- Don’t be Rigid
- Let kids decide whenever possible
To this list personally speaking I would add to be aware of what words you use and how these words are phrased; children believe every word! Be mindful of how you structure sentences to avoid controlling, manipulative or hurtful phrases; it is not easy!! Above all remember that what matters most is your intention and this is Love.
There is no perfect; so go gentle yourself.