Exactly twelve years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I asked Sasha, one of my colleagues who already experienced what it was like being a father, to reveal me the secret of successful parenting.
I asked some other friends and relatives the same thing as well. However, the response Sasha gave me, was the best advice I ever got on parenting – you should love your child with all your heart.
Children need and deserve our unconditional love. Although it goes without saying, feeling mere love in your heart for a child is not enough. You have to show your love through loving actions. Love is the basis for every parent-child relationship and a precondition for all other wonderful and precious things we can share with our children. You may wonder how I understood Sasha’s advice?
When you love your child with all your heart, you want to show him or her the world as it should be. You try to point out how beautiful life can be, especially when you are surrounded by so many different people. You will think of various activities and challenging tasks for him, how he can spend time in exciting and creative ways. Loving your child means that you must have time for him. You will often have to explain your decisions and stick to what you have promised. Moreover, you will have to make compromises all the time, be affectionate and try to be there for your child when you are mostly needed.
You should always talk to your child, but also learn to listen what he or she has to say. Being a parent is to understand him. To read him bed time stories and lull him into sleep. To discuss about the things you have read with him. To buy him toys and play with all those things you might have bought for remorse you have had missed something very important. You will need to provide answers that make sense and do that thoughtfully.
Sometimes you will wait with your child in the theater’s lobby for the play to start, or you will take him to the cinema and laugh together at the very same movie characters you have at your own house. You will look forward to Christmas and New Year holidays not only because of the presents you put under the Christmas tree, but because you are decorating your living space together thus making it look like a real home, warm and cozy. You will reminisce the moments and people you have spent time with during the previous year. All these relatives and friends who gave you ornaments for the Christmas tree will come to your mind. Above all, loving your child is living every single moment of your lives with him.
Children are growing faster than we are getting older. At some point, they will be ready to leave and live on their own. Our problem as parents is that we are often not willing to let them go that easily. Because deep inside we know that we could have done better and a lot more for them. But we are running out of time to do so.
As festive season is approaching, we all think about the time we will spend in a warm atmosphere of our home surrounded by the people we love most. Today I packed gifts for our friends with my children. Each of them has been chosen for a reason. I was watching my girls when it crossed my mind that no matter how I tried and how much I love them, I can never be worthy of their existence. The entire life can pass, but during that time we can barely understand how blessed we are for having the opportunity to become mums and dads. All the love we give to our children and all our loving actions are the last hope for us to deserve to have their little hands embracing us in the middle of a sleepy morning. In that dreamy moment, I know that you will share with me the same thought – we are tremendously lucky for being their parents.
Let us share such happiness not only with our own children but with every other child there is. Love can change the world, not just the world of children but the world around us as well. Love is not just a word. Sasha did not even have to tell me that.