AN ENVIRONMENT AND CULTURE OF LOVE IN THE FAMILY
“To be consistent with what one thinks, says and does is basic”. ~ Sathya Sai
If children find respect, understanding and love in their surroundings, no special effort is necessary. If the family plans its activities in accord, and strives to cultivate moments of joy and happiness, and to make the most of the time spent together, a good wholesome basis is established. Parents should support the innate propensities of their children and motivate them to set goals. They should help them foster self-worth by praising and encouraging their hidden qualities as well as the talents they have learned to express.
Character traits such as determination, good behaviour and scholastic achievements will become stronger when parents show their appreciation.
Order, discipline and coherence are primary traits in good education. Love and discipline do not contradict each other. If we love children, we need to warn them against the effect of bad tendencies and habits, while at the same time be of inspiration to them, so they may think along the lines of truth, thus providing them with a landmark: conscientious living. Contrarily, when we give children free play, we not only spoil them, but restrain their growth and maturity. Limits should be firmly set, and the corrective consequences of breaking the rules explained clearly. Children should be given duties and responsibilities that match their age and abilities, as well as the freedom to make independent decisions suitable to them, but only when they have been informed that every action bears a reaction.
“Words from the heart reach to hearts of others, words from the tongue reach only the ears.” ~ Slovenian proverb
Hints and secrets for kindling a happy family atmosphere:
- Remember that safety and acceptance are the most important feelings for children.
- Let us take time for them now, when they need us. If not, they may not look for us ‘next time’ they do.
- Be sure to give our children at least ‘five minutes of real attention’ per day by listening to them with concentration and patience. Let us take time to develop a ‘loving ear’ to do so.
- Let us develop ‘heart to heart’ communication and remember that love is the most important ‘vitamin’ for children’s all-round development. Only by being an example of love can we inspire children to be loving human beings.
- Let us be aware of the ‘thieves’ of family life and not allow distractions such as TV, computers, phones and other devices steal our time together.
- Let us appraise the child’s positive characteristics, talents and inner beauty.
- Let us remember to applaud their goodness, motivate and encourage, as this is also part of education.
- Let us remember that if we allow children to take the wrong path, we will, one day, face the consequences.
- Let us remember that children need to respect the limits given to them, but that they need to have a chance to express their view and opinion as well.
- Let us remember that it is important to be honest and objective with oneself and with children, and that restrictions and consequences must be just.
- Let us remember that we should not underestimate the importance of food, which is what we eat, but also what we read, see, listen to, smell…
- Let us remember that children will benefit from a good married partnership and will learn about family life also through their parents’ relationship.
- Let us remember to enable children to develop admiration and respect for nature, for only by being in nature will they learn to feel it, love and protect it.
- Let us remember that we can create goodness only through positive thinking and that an optimistic spirit and a sense of humour can be motivating actors in the family.
- Let us remember to look for the good in all people, things and situations.
- Let us remember to help children understand that the accumulation of material goods is not the goal, nor the meaning of life, by not accumulating ourselves or spoiling them with too many material items and goods.
- Let us remember that we should be an example to our children in handling time, money, food and energy.
- Let us remember not to waste these precious resources.
- Let us remember not to encourage competition among children by comparing them with others.
- Let us encourage them to ‘compete’ with themselves, to bring out their full potential.
- Let us remember that every child is a unique, unrepeatable, creative being and that if we treat children that way, they will recognize their own worth and develop respect for themselves and for other people.