Want to Love your Child more?
A major insight I had last night was: the more you give to your child, the more you love them. And if you feel more love towards them, and they feel more loved, you both feel happier. I remember hearing once: ‘you love those that you give to’. That is why in our religion, Judaism, they say the best thing you can do in a marriage to make it work, is to give to your partner. The more you give to them, the more you will love them. It is the same with your child. Lately, I have been slacking a lot as a mother. Feeling run down and tired with an on and off cold, I’m also pregnant. I have lazed about at home while my husband did all the work (he works from home) and he has been taking my son to and from nursery, then taking him out after. He did this both because I needed the rest, and also the headmistress thought it would be better for him to settle our son into nursery rather than me (as he’s more attached to me). I only saw our son much later in the day – around 4 or 5. And when I did see him, I found him to be a bit of a nuisance, and had far less patience with him that I used to have, and just less good feelings towards him. In fact I lost my temper with him on a few occasions, which I had never done before, and felt extremely uptight around him.
He kept saying ‘I just want Mummy to be happy.’ Clearly he was sensing this. He started getting very emotional and upset, and was stressing about nursery school and saying he wants me to take him to nursery school and stay with him. So yesterday I got up early and I took him. I stayed with him in the class for 45 mins and spoke to the teachers about my concerns. I waited there the whole time and brought him back and then I took out him out to Maggie and Rose. I cannot tell you what a difference this made to my bond with him, my good feelings towards him, my happiness, and his happiness. We were both so relaxed, felt so much closer and connected, and had so much fun together. He was like a different child. Whereas before he was very upset, emotional, and anxious for me to be happy, and going out of his way to get on my nerves (probably as he so desperately craved my attention) he was now so sweet, loving, easy going and fun to be with. What a difference!
The moral of the story? If you want to love your child, enjoy their company and have a great time with them, then you have to give to them by spending time with them, doing things for them, taking their feelings seriously and sorting out things that are bothering them, taking them to do fun things, showing them a good time, and being there for them emotionally and physically. This cannot be passed onto a nanny or husband, or someone else because as a result you will sacrifice your bond and close connection with them, – and above all, feelings of love towards them. It is a known fact that the more we give, the more we get. The profound truth here is that there is no better feeling than that of loving another, and that is the gift that we get by giving – feeling love.
One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is our happiness. Because if we are happy, we are nicer and more giving to them, which makes them happy. So the key is to figure out what makes us happy, and then practise it every single day. In my case, it seems to be getting up early, ready before my son wakes up, and taking him out. Mixing and talking to other adults, such as teachers and Mums at nursery school or activities, and being stimulated and active. Then doing fun things with my son and keeping busy and out of the house. My happiness puts me in a good mood, which makes me treat him with kindness and respect, which makes him feel good, secure and happy. When us Mums are not happy, it makes our kids feel very insecure. Our feelings also rub off onto them.
Human being are not isolated creatures. We are all intertwined, we exchange energy, our energies mesh and like atom osmosis, they become one. If I am unhappy and am exuding that energy, it will infiltrate his energy, and as a result he will become unhappy. He will then act out which will make us even more unhappy. If you give, and do things to try and make the other happy, you will feel more love and positive feelings towards that person. We naturally love those that we give to and look after. That is why the love a mother feels towards her baby is more powerful than any other kind of love. Because we give more to our baby than to anyone else in the world. We need to keep that up as our kids grow in order to maintain that close bond of love and affection. This in turn gives them confidence and makes them feel secure and loved. It is easy to fall into the trap that as they become more independent to feel like we can give to them less, and pull back a bit, but no, the giving must never end if you want to maintain that strong bond of love and affection.
This video by Rabbi Twerski sums up my point exactly – when you give to another, you invest yourself in them, which naturally makes you love them more.