One of the greatest feelings on earth is when your child looks up at you so sweetly and says, “I love you dad.” [Tweet This]. Whatever might have been gnawing at you all day instantly melts away. There is nothing like the love of a child. It’s unconditional and it’s straight from all the best places. Pure. How do we make sure our kids feel the exact same from us?
When you love your children well it makes a major difference in their self worth and identity. Knowing their dad loves them and will be there gives them security. When I was little my dad was the greatest thing in the world to me. I would look at him in awe as if he could do anything. When he would pick me up and say, “How’s my little buddy?,” it was like a big security blanket on me. I remember that feeling well. There were many times I would challenge his unconditional love, yet, not once was it ever taken away. He’s 77 years old now and I just had dinner with him not long ago. I still feel a sense of awe and love when I am in his presence. As we both age I realize what a great job he did as a father.
How do our children know dad loves them? It can be boiled down to these 5 little and sincere ways.
1. Holding Hands and Big Hugs
I was blessed with two daughters. This is a good thing, because I’ve always been a hugging type of guy. Hugs are big in my family. As for hand holding, both my daughters held my hand everywhere we went when they were small. My youngest is 14 and she still holds my hand in public. It forms a bond that transcends spoken words. It is such a simple gesture that builds so much.
2. Fair Discipline
Children don’t hate to be disciplined when they do wrong. But they do dislike very much being treated unfairly. We must correct our children and provide consequences when they step out of line. Doing so fairly and justly actually strengthens the relationship. But sometimes the stress of parenting causes us to lose our tempers and act irrationally. Problems arise from that and can get progressively worse. Carefully consider how you’re applying discipline and do so with the highest standards.
3. Time Invested
My dad was a busy man as most of us are. He worked in sales when I was young and traveled a lot. So in the summer when school was out, he would often take me on the road with him. It was a huge thing to me. I even loved waiting in hot parking lots for him at some manufacturing plant. I read a lot of books in that time. To this day when I’m in a restaurant, if I close my eyes and just listen, the sounds of knives and forks and mumbled chatter reminds me of all the places he took me back then. At the end of the day he’d always let me swim in the motel pool. That time invested in me meant everything.
4. Humor and Silliness
I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m goofy. It’s not an insult to me. I like being silly and laughing. The world has plenty of seriousness for us all to share. This trait is beneficial to my parenting. Guess who else likes to laugh and be silly? Kids. When we lighten up and drop our shields, our kids eat it up. Great memories are created from sincere moments of laughter and silliness.
5. Unconditional Forgiveness
It can’t be said strongly enough – Never give up on your child. They are going to test that and we can’t fail. Some children will just test it around the edges, and some are going to test it all the way to the max. But we must never allow them to think they’ve lost us. Strong families are built on foundations that start with unconditional forgiveness. Provide discipline and consequences, but make sure they know that nothing will ever break their bond with daddy.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with kids tonight and ask them what is their favorite thing to do with you.