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Parenting

Are You Loving Your Child Enough?

In order to love without any boundaries, it is important that we accept our loved ones wholeheartedly for who they are.

I remember the scene very clearly – I was the next in line to get a taxi just outside the cinema and when my taxi arrived – there was a family inside who was coming out.

I never thought anything of it as they seemed like an ordinary family from the outside. But then, I saw the father coming out first, while the mother, son and daughter remain in the cab. The dad went to the other side of the cab, opened the door and told his wife to get ready.

He then went to the boot, took out a wheel chair, and placed it right on the pavement. The man then came forward towards his son, hugged him tightly and carried him out of the cab and onto the wheelchair.The process wasn’t as easy as reading this is. There were a couple of times when the dad almost lost his balance, but gripped onto his 12-year-old son tightly. His son was a special needs child and is unable to move around on his own.

I stood there looking at the whole scene, and when the father finally placed his child onto the wheelchair, he looked up and saw me watching them– so he smiled at me and said, “Sorry to keep you waiting! His favourite actor’s movie releases today! That’s why he looks so happy.”I smiled back at that man and to his son with teary eyes. And that got me thinking of how fortunate is that boy to have parents like that who fully accepts him the way he is despite his condition and do all they can to give him a normal childhood just like every other child.

There are times in life when difficulties come knocking straight at our doors but instead of looking at the negatives, we should instead focus on the positives, it is only then when we will be able to fully love limitlessly.

In parenting context, this means that as much as possible, try to accept your kids the way they are without attempting to change them to fit expectations. Here’s how you can take the first step towards fully loving and accepting your precious child.

Get to know your Child
As silly as this may sound, yes; get to know your child. Although we may think that we know them inside out, chances are, we don’t. As children grow, a lot of things change around and in them so it’s best to always keep up to your child’s development.

Quick tip: What my mother likes to do is to take us out on ‘dates’. That’s how she manages to spend quality time with each of us alone and understand what’s going on in our lives and such. Similarly, you too can bring our child out for a picnic or just for a walk at the park while probing him or her to talk and share.

Give attention to their Achievements
Does your child show more interest toward painting, dancing or soccer? Whatever their interest or excel at, do your part as a parent to further hone that skill or hobby. Who knows? Your child could become the next greatest painter, dancer or athlete.

“I had always wanted my son to learn the guitar because it was something his older brother does too. But, when I signed him up for classes, I realised that he wasn’t putting in as much effort as compared to when he attended his taekwondo lessons. I pulled him out of the guitar lessons and was amazed to see how far along he went in his taekwondo lessons. Sometimes, children do really know what is best for them!” shares Sandra Gui, mother of two.

Remember they are not You
Each child is unique and are individuals no matter what. While they may resemble or take after some of your traits, they are not a younger version of you, hence refrain from getting them to do the things you did or did not do when growing up.

“Parents whose children are different from them must consider the child’s interests ahead of their own, and do what they can to ensure that their child has a worthy, joyful, impassioned life, even if that life veers away from the parents’ ideals”, says Andrew Solomon, award-winning author of Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and The Search for Identity.

Adjust Expectations
The magic of parenting is your ability to fully mould and nurture your child to grow up becoming the person they want to be. Regardless of their shortcomings or condition, they all a special quality within them that makes them different from anyone else.

With that said, be sure to rework on your expectations such that it fits and suits your child – rather than trying to tweak him or her into someone they are not. While it may not be easy to appreciate and accept all of our children’s interests and passion, supporting them through it rather than discouraging them can help to bring your child closer to you and give you the power to love even more.