All parents know that discipline is important. And at the same time, we’ve all seen our children rebel because of our over protectiveness. I can look back at life, especially as a teenager, and remember how restrictive I thought my parents were. Now I find myself, imposing the same rules on my children and I can see them push back just like I did. Is there a balance to be found between correction and love, and if so how do you find it?
Experts say that for every time you correct a child you should show them at least five expressions of love, warmth, and affection to counteract the discipline. That means that every child needs five times as much love, support, appreciation, and encouragement as strictness, regulation, control, and punishment.
I don’t know about you, but I’d have to say that the show of love in my house is lacking according to that ratio. How are you doing when it comes to telling your kids that you love them? Here are three words to remember when it comes to love:
Appreciation: Tell and show your children how much you appreciate them and the things they do. Be specific, and look for things that you can do for them to show your appreciation. Leave a note in their lunchbox or on the bathroom mirror. Give them a reward in the form of a treat or a special outing.
Approval: Tell and show your children that you approve and like what they do, and that you are proud of the things they accomplish. Sometimes this may be difficult if your child is going through a difficult stage. Try and find something, even if it is small, and mention that thing several times a day until you can find more things to show your approval of.
Affirmation: Tell and show your children that you love them no matter what they do or don’t do. Affirm to them that they are of enormous worth and value to you. Let them know that no matter what choices they make, that your love is constant. Let them count on that.
These three ways of showing love may seem similar, and in some ways they are. But if you seek to separate the three and give your children appreciation, approval, and affirmation, they will be sure of your love. And the plus is, they will likely respond better when you do have to discipline them.