3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Love the Right Way

BY: - 24 Mar '16 | Home

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When I think back to the beginning of my marriage, I think of all the wrong ways I didn’t know how to love my husband. I can’t help but wonder where that thinking came from.

I know we usually express or teach from the very same ideas we were originally taught or from the hard lessons we learned in life.  But I don’t want my own children to have to try and figure things out as they go.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.—1 Corinthians chapter 13, verse 13

I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend’s aunt, who was more like a second mom to her (and everyone around her). It was truly an amazing homegoing celebration. When you looked around the church, you felt the love from wall-to-wall. As family member after family member got up to speak, each of them told stories about how this incredible woman touched each of their lives with overwhelming love.

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When my friend’s dad got up to speak, he talked about the importance of teaching our children how to love. He said way in which his late sister made everyone feel loved and special, it was something that was passed on to her from her own mother. It starts with us. Our children do what they observe. If they observe love, and are treated with love, in turn, love will stand the test of time. You have to teach your kids how to love. And if you don’t know what that looks like or feels like because you didn’t have it, here are three tips to get you started:

  1. Think love

Your thoughts have more power than your words. Before you express certain things you may later regret, think about how those words will impact those that you love. Think about how everyone you come in contact with can be affected by your love. When you go about your day, or when faced with different opportunities, think about how everyone involved can come out on the winning side.

  1. Speak love

Once you’re able to think love, you can then speak love. There is so much power in speaking love into your children every chance you get. Even in the moments of frustration or overwhelming stress, expressing your love to your children can have such a high, positive impact in how they treat and respond to others. Just as you express yourself to your children, allow them to express themselves as well.

When my kids are fussing with each other, my husband and I tell them to talk it out as much as possible. We want them to be able to solve problems as they arise with their words—and avoid the hurtful ones as much as possible. Of course, there are times it goes overboard, but for the most part, they are able to negotiate peacefully.

  1. Show love

When you allow yourself to be the love for your children through your thoughts and your words, it is much easier for you to show them what love looks like. You know that saying “do as I say, not as I do?” Yeah, well, whoever created it was definitely sending mixed signals.

Another reminder at today’s funeral was that our children are always watching us. If we say we love them, but don’t follow that up with loving actions, how is that setting them up for a successful relationship? If they constantly see disrespect and poor communication, that will be the first example they have of what a relationship is “supposed” to look like. I show my kids so much love (through my thoughts and actions) because I know what not having it did to me and my lack of self-esteem growing up.

You have to teach your kids how to love. It is something that will always be with them no matter how far they may travel away from you. It is something that will enhance their future relationships. It’s something you can’t afford not to do. Because guess what? One day, their job will be to teach their own kids how to love, and they’ll now know how to do it the right way.

BMWK, in what ways do you teach your kids how to love?

 

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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I Lost a Friend to Cancer Last Weekend, and It Shook My World.

BY: - 28 Mar '16 | Home

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I lost a friend to cancer last weekend. We kept in touch mainly through Facebook ever since my family moved away from Atlanta. She eventually moved to New York with her husband and son, but later they all returned to the A.

Facebook kept us seconds apart no matter where on the map we were.

She was young. Too young. Her family was stunned.

Unfortunately in her case, as with too many cases, the breast cancer was detected way too late. This past January, she shared an image of a black text box with oversized white block letters of two words that simply read “F&*# CANCER.” I graced the post with my approval in the form of a useless ‘like’ and moved on with my life.

I never asked her how she was doing. As with most of our relationships, I took hers for granted.

I never knew she had cancer. None of us did.

She suffered mostly in silence. Only a privileged few were aware of the battle she fought privately behind her bright smile. It was her choice. And now I only think of her husband, her son and her family who have to face tomorrow and every single day that will come after without their core.

It breaks my heart.

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And then, I think about the uncle my wife lost a few weeks ago to the disease. And my aunt we lost the same week after a long battle with cancer. And my stepfather who is losing his battle right at this very second. And my three aunts who have beaten this epidemic more times than honestly fair for them (after beating it once, you should be declared winner of the cancer contest once and for all). And there are millions more. Millions more.

The saddest thing about all of these stories is how common they are. There’s not one person reading these words who hasn’t been affected by cancer. Why is cancer’s story so prevalent? Why is the loss so common? Is it a question of if we will need to deal with it in our immediate family or rather a question of when?

Cancer is the real life boogey man—the same one my father assured me wasn’t real when I was a little boy. I tell my 4-year old the same thing. I tell him there’s no need to be afraid of the dark as long as he sleeps under our roof. Nothing can hurt him or his mother or myself. The words comfort him, and after some reassurances he always falls fast asleep. I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep my promise one day.

Cancer scares me, and I’m afraid—short of a few well placed dollars—I won’t be able to do anything about it. And that may in fact be the scariest part about it.

While you can’t control whether or not cancer will come, you can lower your risks of mortality if it does come knocking at your door. All of us should get regular check-ups; eat healthy, balanced diets; exercise regularly and stop smoking and other risky behaviors.

There are too many people counting on you…on us. Cancer has affected too many lives for us to be nonchalant. It’s the one thing we can do—be aware. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our families and loved ones. Don’t be selfish.

The death rate in the black population due to cancer are the highest of any population in the United States. This affects our families. Learn more about screening.

BMWK, are you and your family taking the risks of cancer seriously? What steps are you taking to lower your risks?

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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