How exactly do you do that? Teach your children about love?
When my son met his baby sister for the first time he had love in his eyes.
Hubby and I had worried ourselves to the point of distraction about how he would receive her, whether he would accept her or whether he would feel put out after having us to himself for nearly 3 years.
Would he try poking sharp toys into her newborn face (I have heard stories) or would he just pretend she didn’t exist?
He didn’t. He embraced and loved her and fussed over her and when I am in my dotage and someone asks me what have been some of the proudest moments in my life, that will be one of them.
Ever since that day he has taken her under his wing. He holds her hand when we are somewhere new and a little bit scary, he fusses over where she is if I can’t find her and he does everything in his power to make her giggle when she is down.
I’ve even caught him check in on her when she’s sleeping and say: “She’s so cute when she sleeps isn’t she mum?”
That my friends is the sort of love I want my children to feel.
During a recent school project, Mia was asked who her very best friend is: The person she wants to be with all the time.
She said ‘my brother Daniel’ and a roomful of hearts melted as she wrote his name on her friendship pack.<
But how long does this last?
Will they turn on each other once they hit double figures and their lives start to really diverge?
Do we, as parents, have any real control over it?
My children know love. They feel it. They are wrapped in it.
They see hubby and I say ‘I love you’ to each other and do the usual tut and roll their eyes and act like we’re the most embarrassing people on the planet.
Children see, children do and surely if there is love in their home, they will carry that into adulthood?
I suppose it’s something you don’t really think about developing as a parent. You worry about their nutrition, their health, how much TV they are watching, their education, their physical development.
But teaching your children about love is equally as important because it will shape them as adults and how they will treat others.
We are surrounded by so many stories of children who don’t know love. And of adults who were children that didn’t know love. And it’s heartbreaking.
Dear reader, if this sounds like I am preaching or tub-thumping, I apologise because I am not.
My children aren’t perfect. They row and argue and call each other bum head or something equally toe curling.
But my hope is that love is ingrained in them now; they love each other and, I hope, always will.