How do you love a child? The topic of children and their love and respect towards their parents have come up in many of my conversations with people.
I honestly believe that children unlike dogs, do not love you unconditionally just because you are their parent. I’m not saying they won’t forever love you, but the degree of that love still remains earned, not a given.
As a parent you cannot shout and swear and maybe physically harm your child and expect that child to speak to you with respect and love and adore you. As a parent we still have an obligation to our children to show them respect to earn respect in return, to show them love and the many ways in which love can be shown in return. To form bond of trust so that they learn to trust others. To argue and have conflict but deal with it in a way that teaches them how to functionally manage conflict they’ll face in life.
It’s absolutely heartbreaking seeing a child in tears, torn between the excuses they are making to rationalize why their parent lashed out at them aggressively….or seeing a beautifully lit up face drop when they see their parent either completely drunk, or the embarrassment after a phone conversation where they are being screamed and yelled at.
Your child loves and adores you! But that love is not unconditional…it’s going to fade and you’ll be loved, but never respected. Visits will end up being fewer and fewer as you get older, and your child won’t miss you much.
Take responsibility! Don’t blame your bad habits on depression or circumstance, you ultimately choose to pick up that beer or to smoke that cigarette, or to smack and even choke your child. You choose to shout and disrespect.
At the end of the day it’s a choice between choosing your relationship with your child, or your relationship with your bad and harmful habits. It’s never too late to mend a fractured bond, but once it shatters, gathering the pieces and trying to repair it might take a very long time, time you might end up not having.
I would love to beg and grovel and try to talk some sense into you! Your kids love you! You’ll never be replaced, ever… Just love them back, respect them enough to stop the habits that fill them with so much hurt…. Please!!!