Yesterday's post, Love Wisely and With Understanding is about the pain, worry, and hurt that I see in kids (and former kids) when they think about themselves and their relationship with their parents. The pain is there even though their parents probably really loved them.
Most of us don't think our kids feel this way, we believe that they know how much we love them, and they probably do. But most kids need to feel MORE loved, seen, understood, and appreciated than they do.
So how do we do it? Here's a first step. Starting today, no matter what your relationship with your child (newborn or fully grown) has been, greet them in a loving way. When you see them next, don't remind them of a chore or fix their collar. Don't frown or scold. Don't even praise something they have done!
Connect with them. You can smile, reach out your arms for a hug, and tell them how glad you are to see them. Just let yourself as a being slow down and smile at their sweet self. Start where it makes sense, don't force a hug if they don't want one, just meet them where they are and greet them in a connecting way.
Make it a new habit to greet each child (even if they're tweens, teens, or even adults!) with a smile and a connection every single time you see them. It doesn't take much time. Please, let me know what happens when you do this today!
As a mom (to 2 teenage sons), wife, and person in the world, I have been on a long imperfect journey. I have made many mistakes, but with mindfulness, emotional reflection, and lots of support I have learned enormously from those mistakes.