Unconditional Love: Give It … Get It

Unconditional love can provide the cornerstone for a child’s self-esteem. It can offer them security and the power to take risks without fear of retribution. It’s the love that communicates to a child, “I believe in you, I’m here for you, and I love you no matter what.” Unconditional love means …

  • Giving love without expecting anything in return (no strings attached)
  • Accepting someone for who they are—with no preconceived notions
  • Accepting someone’s decisions whether or not we agree with them
  • Respecting your loved-one, treating them as an equal
  • Believing that every person is good, regardless of what they might say or do

But this sort of love is hard to give, especially for parents and their children. The main reason is disappointment … like if a child does not achieve our expectations; does not adopt our beliefs; or does not choose the path forward that we recommend. Then rather than hear “I love you anyway” these children hear “I love you, but only if…” which can undermine their development and potentially thwart their long-term human potential.

Giving unconditional love to a special needs child is even more powerful. They already know that they are different and that they have challenges … physically and/or intellectually. They know failure and disappointment on a daily basis. But when they see and feel a parent offering them love without strings attached, they can be more confident and try to push their limits–often with remarkable results! It can help them forget their fears of failure and strive to be the best they can be.

Here are some thoughts about how we can deliver our children unconditional love.

  • Separate the person from the behavior … love your child for who they are, not for what they do.
  • Make a personal connection … look into your child’s eyes and then you can see into their heart.
  • Offer plenty of appropriate physical contact … being touched means feeling touchable.
  • Celebrate your child’s uniqueness … value every attribute, not just those that you value the greatest.
  • Don’t link your ego and your child’s identity … never give them responsibility for your feelings of self-worth
  • Positive reinforcement creates a positive self-image … children see themselves as we see them. See the best in them and they will see them best in themselves.

Perhaps our best model of unconditional love can be found in GRANDPARENTING.

That’s because grandpa and grandma take joy in just being a part of the child’s life. They have no ego or personal stake in the child. They can spoil the child if they are allowed because their influence in merely temporary. And these things give them the freedom to simply offer their love—unconditionally.

Today’s question is … are you offering your special child unconditional love?





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