Appreciating your children
It's father's day again over here in the UK and I received a fantastic gift from my two boys. It was a speaker set for my iPod Nano. I love it and it was bought from my sons own money which makes it all the more special as they were willing to spend their own money to get this.
Whilst being given gifts is not a pre-requisite to appreciating your children, it does help their case. Seriously, I often stop to appreciate my boys but I feel I don't do it enough.
I think about ways of being a better father all the time and think of ways to show my appreciation. I think most children want a bit of our time and attention and to be loved. If they have this then they will, on the whole, be happy. Obviously events will come up in their lives which will make them unhappy but as long as we are there to pick up the pieces then their suffering should be lessened.
When I talk about children I am talking about 0 "“ 16 years of age. After this it's time for children to take responsibility. It's important they know they are still very much supported but to a lesser degree, it's called tough love at times.
If I were to give 5 tips in appreciating your children more it would be:
- Reward them for the good and punish gently for the bad. This is basic psychology but I am constantly surprised how often people don't get this. The trick is being consistent and they will always know right from wrong. A reward is not necessarily monetary, a huge smile and an appreciative talk can do wonders for their self esteem.
- Show them love often, every single day I tell my boys I love them, every single day I wake them up with a hug and a kiss on the head. There will come a time when they won't want you doing this so make the most of it. It's this kind of love which gives them the confidence to go out into the world knowing they are loved and knowing you will catch should they fall.
- Make time for them when you can. There is a balance between working hard to give them a better life and spending time with them which they crave. I think a lot of people hide behind "˜working all the hours to give them a better future'. Kids live in the here and now; it's only adults who live in the future.
- I believe all children want a little discipline in their lives, however much they moan about it. Discipline shows our children how much we care for them, they may not know it now but believe me in 10-20 years time it will hit them. I can't believe what I put my mum and dad through and it's only when I really grew up did I realise what they did for me.
- When you've shouted at them after them maddening you for the last 3 hours, stop to remember that you were once a child, and then start shouting at them again, a little less loudly than before.
How do you appreciate your children? Leave a comment and let us know"¦
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