“I love my child, really I do.”
We often hear that declaration as a mom describes a difficult situation with her child. She will actually interrupt her own train of thought with the words, “You need to understand, I really love my child. I really do!”
We haven’t suggested there was any lack of love between this parent and her child. So why does Mom feel it’s necessary to interject this disclaimer into the description of how her child has been misbehaving or how she has attempted to give consequences when boundaries have been crossed?
More importantly, why do you feel this is necessary?
- You believe people who suspect your child is “difficult” might assume incorrectly he or she is not easy to love. You are simply trying to correct their stated or implied misconception.
- You have referred to this child as “difficult.” You have identified this child as one in need of more attention. That being said, the odds are great you are exhausted and you doubt whether your love for this child is evident to others.
- You believe the lie that the opposite of love is discipline. You fear that setting boundaries and giving consequences is being unloving. We are bold to identify this as a lie because of scripture. Proverbs 3:12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
HOW TO Shake the Habit.
- You do not need to feel obligated to present a disclaimer. First of all, you are assuming one is necessary. Second, it is not really the business of anyone looking in from the outside.
- Labels can get you into trouble, especially if they are perceived as negative. Even a positive one can cause problems. For example, if you have two children and introduce one as your “smart one,” the implication for the second child is obvious.
- Loving discipline is one way a parent shows love to a child. Ask yourself this question: Do I love my child enough to maintain control? If you are giving appropriate consequences in the form of loving discipline, you are showing your child love. Actions and decisions shout! Loving words are often only heard as a whisper.