These little miracles growing up under our own eyes are the cause of our greatest happiness but can also be the source of our deepest pain and just as we need acceptance and love, they also need to know they are loved and accepted. There are two main things a parent must provide for his child and these will leave eternal marks in your child's heart and personality: love and .
1. Your child needs to know he/she is loved and unconditionally accepted.
To tell a child "mom doesnít love you when you do this or the other" creates a rejection mechanism that will bear bitter fruit especially in adolescence when the child is looking for answers. A child with a mindset like that will have an even more difficult time turning to his parents when he needs help and guidance. He will think "they donít love me now as I have done this mistake, they will reject me" and the barrier is set right there.
This sentence passes unnoticed many times but once brought to light it has to be dealt with and one of the ways is to tell them (assuring and reassuring the children) that you always love them but that you donít approve certain behaviors. Be very clear about what the wrong thing is! The child needs to be notified first!
For example if you see your child doing something wrong that you didnít first notify him about, in such case punishing the child will create confusion in his mind because he was not informed. It is your mistake you didnít tell him not to put your cell phone in the toilet for example.
But if you repeatedly told him not to place the phone in a glass of water, or in the toilet, if the boy or girl still does it, then you need to apply a form of correction that youíve also told him about (or maybe even have decided upon together). Not watching cartoons or not going out with friends that day or something you know would make him ponder about his behavior. However, if you are not consistent in this, if one day you punish him but the next day you let the thing go unnoticed, you as parent are silently telling the child "it is all right". Being consistent is crucial for your childís inner balance, for his trust in you! They need this balance and they need to see consistency in your behavior, trust me, they will test you and push the limits as far as possible - until you intervene.
2. Encourage every time you have the chance!
After doing your best to show your love to your child and also that you love him enough to punish him when he does wrong, the essential role of the parent is to encourage his child all he can, to give that child wings! If you tell him who he is, he will not need all the approval from others (wrong friends especially), he will have it from you. Words like:"you are the best son/ daughter a parent can have" or "you will do great things in life because you have all it takes" are words that a heart of a child is hungry for! If you didnít receive them from your parents, look in your heart and you will see how much youíd have loved to hear them saying words like that to you!
The role of the parent is unique and you are the one who knows that child more than anybody in the world! Oh, your baby needs your approval, needs to know that you believe in him! Encourage him every time you have the chance! Youíll give him wings!
I remember a story I heard in one of Joel Osteenís sermons about a child who had his mom speaking the blessing every evening before sleep in a special way, this mother was saying to his 5 year old son:" You are my Superman, you are my Spider-man, you are my super hero!" She went on and on with all the superheroes in cartoons or movies. The boy was thrilled taking in all those good words! One evening came though when she was in a hurry and simply kissed her son good night without going through the whole heroes' list. She got out of the room and a minute later she heard her son crying out loud:
-"What is it son?" she said.
-"Mama, you forgot to tell me who I am!"
The most important thing for a child is for you as parent/tutor to tell him who he is: your child is a blessing, an unexplored potential with a divine destiny, a God given treasure that will change the world one day and will be a Prince or a Princess with Jesus Christ for eternity!