Hayden, Madison and Logan after a big day at the zoo

Sometimes, I just want to tell my kids:

  • Can Daddy just have five minutes of peace?
  • Do you know how much that costs?
  • Do you know how hard Daddy works?
  • You think you’ve got it tough?  Let’s talk about orphan children in Uganda.
  • We didn’t have (insert modern gadget name here) when I was young.
  • I’ve just got home from work, can’t I put my stuff down before you start harassing me?
  • Why do you need to play with me?  You’ve got two siblings and a whole room full of toys!
  • Do you know how much money, time and sleep Mummy and Daddy had before you guys came along?

I want to tell them these things (and too often I give a version of them), but it’s not what they really need to hear.

They really need to hear me say:

  • “Daddy’s really proud of you.”
  • “Daddy loves you very much.”

These are two statements that we can never overuse with our children.

They don’t come with conditions.  It’s not, “Daddy’s proud of what you’ve done” or “Daddy loves you because of this.”

It doesn’t mean that I never mention that I’m proud of their achievements or love their attributes.

It’s just that if we always place conditions on our affection for our children, we give them reason to question our love and create the potential for insecurity.

So, Hayden, Madison and Logan, please know that no matter what happens in life, Daddy is always proud of you and always loves you.

What do your kids need to hear from you?

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