Teaching Children Love
Teach Love by Being Kind
Kindness is the language of love. It is shown and felt by a soft touch, a gentle tone of voice, and a happy face. Toddlers respond readily to all three and need them on a regular basis. Hugs and kisses given freely by family members help them to feel that they belong. Toddlers are busy learning about the world and want to be independent. Guidance and understanding given in kindness builds feelings of self-worth. When a toddler does something they should not, that is the moment to teach what is appropriate. Once they know, catch them doing it with excitement and enthusiasm and it will happen again and again.
Love shown to other members of the family reinforces the love shown to the toddler. Using harsh words, hitting, swearing, or belittling in the presence of the toddler results in a loss of trust and affects the development of the toddler. Trauma in the home during these critical developmental years results in language delays and social/emotional/behavioral issues. Love between family members shown by gentle affection builds security in the toddler. Discipline all familiy members with love. Older children will take their cues of how to treat the toddler by how they are treated themselves.
Teach Discipline with Love
Discipline is a necessary part of life. Toddlers, and all children, do things that are not appropriate and they need to be taught what they should do instead. Teaching discipline with love requires patience, or the ability to calm down before speaking. Disciplining in anger teaches toddlers that you do not like them as people. It focuses on the person rather than the behavior. Teaching discipline with love focuses on the behavior. When a toddler does something they should not, get down on their level, look them in the eyes. Tell them what happened as a result of what they did. Tell them what they need to do instead, walk through it together, then allow the toddler to do it independently. Catch them doing it at another time, let them know the benefits of doing it correctly. It may be necessary to teach it again and again. Eventually, they will be able to teach it to others.
Teach Love Through Music
- A Happy Family
"A Happy Family" gives toddlers an opportunity to link love to all memebers of the family. It can be used to help them feel better when something doesn't turn out the way they want.
- As I Have Loved You
"As I Have Loved You" teaches children that they are to love one another as Jesus and their parents love them. Use it to reinforce feelings of self worth along with group hugs and activities.
- I Want to be Kind to Everyone
"I Want to Be Kind to Everyone" is a great way to teach children to love each other. When children are having difficulty playing nicely together, sing the song and soon they will be singing it to each other.
Where There Are Children, There Will Be Love
Children love to run and scream. They even play cops and robbers in teams. Small children like new cars that hum, and older ones go for music with drums. Sit back and relax, have confidence, poise, for where there are children, there will be noise.
Children leave clothing strewn all about; they play with the toys and then leave them out. They really don’t know how to put things away, or clean up a mess before going to play. They go very quickly from one to another; for where there are children, there will be clutter.
Children get hungry and have to be fed, they don’t really know when its time for bed. Children will cry when they’re afraid or get hurt, they sometimes come in all covered with dirt. Children grow fast as a garden of weeds; for where there are children, there will be needs.
Children have parents to care for them now, to rock the cradle or hold the bough. No one else does it good enough; only the parents have the right stuff. Others may be short-term helpers, indeed, but their genetics do not fit the need. It matters not if you make a dime, for where there are children, there will be time.
Children have trust within their hearts; they don’t keep another’s fiery darts. Children forgive and then they forget, if they haven’t suffered injustice as yet. Children see clearly, even when adults grope; for where there are children, there will be hope.
Children make laughter and joy abound, their smiles are as sunshine shed all around. Children give hugs and kisses galore; then after they play, they come back with more! Children are simply a gift from above; for where there are children, there will be love.
I Love You, Too!
“Luf oo Mommee!” my toddler exclaimed as she planted a fish kiss on my cheek. “I love you, too, honey.” I replied, giving her a little pat on the diaper as she scooted off to play. "There is so much to do and so little time. When will she ever grow up?" I complained.
“Oh, mommy I love you!” said my preschooler as she thanked me for the latest batch of chocolate cookies. “I love you, too! Sweetheart!” I replied, hoping that one more cookie would not contribute to too many cavities. "One day she will be baking these herself," I determined.
“Mom, can I play with my friends today?” my youngster pleaded on the phone. “Oh, I suppose,” I replied. “Gee, thanks, I love you, Mom.” “And I love you, too!” I said with a note of hesitation in my voice. "When will my child stay home for just one day? She isn’t here when I need her!" I mused.
“Bye mom! I love you!” my teen shouted as she ran out the back door. “I love you, too!” I echoed as I pushed the door shut that she had left standing open. "How quickly she recuperated from last night’s heated discussion," I noticed.
“Hi, Mom! Oh, how I have missed you! I love you!” My college sophomore rushed to greet and hug me. “I love you, too! It’s so good to have you home again!” I replied with tears brimming in my eyes. "You have been gone so long! Let’s sit and visit for a while," I ventured.
“Mom, I can’t believe this is happening! I love you so much!” my darling daughter said as she put on her veil and straightened her wedding dress. “I love you, too!” I said, but my thoughts were echoing, "Where has the time gone, it was just yesterday that you were small!"
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Denise W Anderson