One of my favorite parenting posts ever – this article encapsulates eloquently my core philosophy when it comes to raising my sons (and daughters, if I ever have them).
“We’ve always been told to love conditionally- to offer love, affection, and kindness only when children are doing what we like.
What would our world look like if we parents became the givers of unconditional love at all times? We worry that, if we soothe the crying baby, she’ll never learn to sleep. We worry if we give attention to a tantruming child, he’ll learn to throw fits for attention. We worry if we don’t punish the child who hits, he’ll end up violent. We worry if we don’t squash that bad attitude, she’ll get out of control. We worry if we don’t come down hard on his bad decisions, he’ll end up behind bars.
Worry is based in fear. And where there is fear, love cannot thrive.”
Unconditional love does not mean permissive love; it simply means that the love does not decrease or fade away when the boundaries are pushed, the rules broken, and the standards unmet. Unconditional love does not mean approval of every behavior or agreement with every choice; it simply means that the home and the heart and the listening ear are always open, no matter the degree of rebellion or disagreement.