There are many things I hope my children turn out to be, but loving is at the top of the list. No one sets out to raise an unloving child. But in order to raise your children to be loving, you have to set boundaries in a real and purposeful way. Without these boundaries, kids end up a mess. Since that’s not the goal, we’d like to share with you 3 characteristics of loving people so that you can raise your children in this direction.
Loving people aren’t self-centered.
You have to teach your child that the world doesn’t revolve around them. They aren’t born with this instinct. Selflessness is a learned behavior that will only develop when proper boundaries are put in place. When these boundaries are lacking, you find children with impulse problems, addictions, or irresponsibility. When they grow up they find it difficult to sustain relationships because no one want to hang around a self-centered person for long. So help your kids learn to give to others, and teach them that other people are valuable too.
Loving people respect other’s boundaries.
If you’ve ever been around a person who won’t take no for an answer, you know they don’t come across as loving. Instead, they come across as sneaky and manipulative. They are controlling and tend to try to possess other people and use them for their own benefit. This doesn’t feel loving, because it isn’t. They may say they care, but their actions prove their words to be untrue. Teach your children the meaning of the word no. They won’t like it now, but it will serve them well later in life.
Loving people have self-control.
Many alcoholics have love for their families. They carry tremendous guilt. But they still drink and it ends up destroying the relationships they care most about. Impulse problems, while some are hereditary, are often the result of poor boundaries. If no doesn’t really mean no, then I don’t have to have self-control. If parents give into every whim of a child, it spells disaster for their future relationships. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
If you’ll teach your children that others are valuable, that other’s boundaries need to be respected, and that they need to be self-controlled, you’re well on your way to raising loving children.
Any other tips on raising loving children?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, just leave them in the comments below!
Remember: We love you. We’re praying for you. And we’re in this together!