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16.04.2021

ABC by Paley – LOVE

Surrounded by your warm assurances, I will find the strength to cope with the difficulties. Wrapped in your support, your confidence and faith in me, I will fly… 

Katarzyna Wnęk-Joniec

Can you grow a rose from an oak seed?

Even if we try our best, we will not be able to change one plant into another. We can fertilize it with the best fertilizers, provide the right amount of water and light, but our seed will still grow into a tree, not a flower. A caring gardener cares for the emerging plant as best as possible and accepts what it is and what it grows into. It is a bit similar with love and with children. When a little man is born, we surround him with care and tenderness, and we make sure that he grows in warmth and love.

Most parents will admit that they love their children unconditionally. After careful reflection, however, they recall that quite often there are moments when they want the child to be different, to behave differently, to have different skills and temperament. They want to turn an oak into a rose. In good faith, of course – the rose looks so good, smells beautifulyl, is colorful, and you can give it to someone as a gift. And such an oak? How much time and patience does it take to grow into a strong and mighty tree.

Unconditional love is not just what we ourselves feel. This is also what the baby feels. How about asking children how much they feel loved by their parents, what would they say? Would their answer be “My parents always love me the same” or would it rather be “My parents only love me when I deserve it and I live up to their expectations”?

It is not easy to love so that a child feels this love and knows that he is always loved by us. Especially since many adults find it difficult to love and accept themselves. If we have not experienced this kind of love ourselves, and if we do not have it for ourselves, it is difficult to give it to a child.

“Unconditionally” does not mean mindlessly. It also does not mean the so-called “stress-free upbringing”. There is actually no such thing, and when we take a closer look at what is hidden under this term, paradoxically we find a lot of stress and tension there.

It is easy to feel love for your children when they are calm, cheerful and act the way we want them to. However, they need our support and love just as badly when they are going through difficult times, crying and screaming. If they are then met with a lack of understanding and shouting from us, it is no wonder that they do not behave better afterwards. When people feel bad, they behave badly. By making children feel bad, we won’t make them behave in a way we want them to. We can somehow force them to do so, threaten them, take things that are important to them – however, the change of behavior will occur more through fear and fear of losing some privileges than out of a sincere desire to change.

Children prefer to submit to their parents’ will rather than risk losing their love. Such a state, however, is not something we would like for them. By acting in this way, we risk losing trust, openness and straining the parent-child bond. By receiving conditional love, children become afraid of making mistakes and of discovering their own world. They start to hide certain things and lie out of fear of being punished, judged, and of losing our affection for them.

Our task is to show children the world, the direction and paths worth taking.

We, as adults, are responsible for keeping them safe and showing our borders. We also teach them how to show affection, inform about their needs and love. We are responsible for our emotions and how we react to them. If we want our children to feel loved by us, it is worth looking at how we show them this love. What moments? How do we behave towards them when we are not satisfied with their behavior? Do these methods benefit us, our children and our relationship with each other? If we want children to take into account our opinion and reciprocate our feelings, let us not withdraw our love when it is difficult for them. That’s when they need it the most. So do we when we are going through difficult times.