“I love you.”
Raising five kids at home taught us there is no cut and dried, magic formula to raise a kid as each one is unique, particularly in their responses towards challenges and rewards. While we do not shield our kids from frustrations that naturally come from facing challenges and battles, we make sure our kids do not measure their worth by our responses to their frustrations and failures.
One time, one of our kids came home from primary school feeling so low and frustrated because of a struggle she had with a lesson. In between having a heavy heart and her desire to excel, she asked me a question that stayed in my heart throughout my mothering days, up until now that I both have college and primary school kids.
“Mom, what if I come home with a zero score?,” my then little girl asked. I looked at her in the eyes and responded, “Dearie, then I will just put a one before it because for me you are always a ten.” This uniqueness throws us off many times because each kid responds differently to challenges and rewards.
We experienced in our own lives that when we love our kids unconditionally, not loving them more when they bring home a medal, a trophy, high grades, or a recognition and not loving them less when they fall short makes for secure kids. But it just doesn’t happen. It takes hard work to continuously encourage them, assure them that they are loved no matter what. They are accepted by dad and mom even if they fail, even if they lose a game, even if they don’t come home with a high score. In fact, dad and mom would be the first ones to run to, not run away from, when they fail.
At home, our children understand that they don’t have to perform, to please us for them to be loved by us, their parents. They are not pressured to deliver high grades because we emphasize learning and character over it.
For us, it is a matter of what we value as parents. In our family, we value learning over grades, character over trophies. Yes, we love our kids, period. Not because. 🙂 *** –Annabelle Bangsoy