Every Month: A Time for Love
This month there are three short articles all relating to relationships.
They are very different, yet each article has something important
we can learn.
Loving relationships with our children are as important as any other
relationship. We often get so caught up in the day to day aspects
of life that we forget to have fun and show our children that we love
them. There are many every day gifts we can give our children.
Here are some ways to let your children know that you love them. Try
to incorporate at least one loving demonstration every day this month.
- Tell them every day that you love them.
- Encourage them to make decisions that affect themselves.
- Put a little note in their lunch (try their sandwich for fun!)
- Laugh with them.
- Make a cake together, then eat it.
- Stop at those rides outside the stores and let them enjoy!
- Play a game together.
- Go for a walk or hike together.
- Hug them for no reason.
- Read a story aloud together.
- Set time aside for your full attention.
- Take pictures of them.
- Use gentle movements, touch them softly,
- Talk courteously, using a quiet voice.
- Get into their world, try to understand their feelings.
- Make sure they feel loved.
- Set limits.
- Say, "I bet you are proud of yourself for_________________. So am I."
- Take a picnic lunch to the park.
- Let them make plans for an activity. Do it their way, making sure it is safe.
- Go roller-skating together.
- See a movie together, talk about it with them.
- Say, "Atta boy/Atta girl" more often.
- Ask them what their favorite part of the day was.
- Have a cuddle time.
- Get The Book of Hugs and read it.
- Make heart-shaped pancakes, cookies, cakes, toast, sandwiches, apple pieces, etc.
- Get to their eye level when talking to them.
I hope you have fun with your children this month and make sure the message of love gets through.
10 ways to build communication
with very young children
From Mid Peninsula Speech and Language Clinic
1. Get on the child's level
Try to position yourself to be on the same level as the child. Don't
expect the child to look up at you. Get down where he is.
2. Listen and observe
At first, do nothing but watch the child. Notice what the child is
doing or saying. What is he/she looking at? What does he/she pay attention
to? What does he/she pick up?
3. Follow the child's lead
Begin to make comments about what the child is doing or is looking
at. If he moves on to something else, shift to the new things.
4. Keep it simple
Use gestures, signs, single words or short sentences (2 to 5 words)
to describe the child's actions or the things that interest him/her.
5. Repeat frequently
As daily care giving is performed, repeat the words or phrases that
describe it often. Doing so helps to build an association between
the activity and the language used to describe it. The child will
eventually begin to anticipate what will happen next as you are talking
6. Don't ask questions
Young children are more responsive to statements than they are to
questions. Questions intimidate. Statements do not.
7. Be patient
Allow child time to react and respond. Do not overwhelm him with
too much talk from you. If you pause and wait a moment or two, you
may give him time to think of a response.
8. Value the child's response
Look at the child. Give him/her your complete attention. Recognize
the child's attempts at communication as being important, however
he/she may be trying to do it.
9. Be responsive
Respond with either speech or action to the child's gestural or verbal
attempts at communication.
10. Respond to the message
Focus on what the child is trying to communicate, not its grammatical
structure or how clearly it was said.
This poem really struck a cord in me. It reminds us what is important
in relationships. I hope you get as much out of this as I did, and
will look within yourself for the answers to your questions.
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (a Native American Elder)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become
shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every
and if you can source your life from God's presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the
It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep in empty moments.
Other useful resources
Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots has established
the Drew Bledsoe Foundation Parenting With Dignity
program. Bledsoe says of his success "my
parents helped me the most to be what I am today" and
his goal is to help other parents give their children the
best possible start. For more information, see http://www.drewbledsoe.com/.