Unconditionally Loved: Your Child’s Sense of Self

Were you unconditionally loved by your parents? If so, how has that sense of being loved blessed you and freed you to be yourself? If not, how has that lack of acceptance troubled or hindered you?

While working as a therapist I saw many adults who were still seeking their parent’s approval; in some cases, the parent was deceased. This feeling of ” not quite good enough” often leads to all kinds of dysfunctional behaviors.

Some are “driven”to succeed while others seem determined to fail. The common denominator for these folks is a void that only being unconditionally loved can supply. Parents may have died years ago but the adult child , often very accomplished, still strives for that elusive sense of being unconditionally loved.

The struggle to feel accepted just as you are is often a long and difficult one. To break this negative way of thinking and acting you must accept the fact that all your efforts to get your parent’s approval have not worked. More importantly, you need to come to realize the problem was with your parent, not you. When you break this pattern, you can do for your child something very important to his well being. You can spare him the futile searching for approval by letting him know you accept him unconditionally.

Do you want to take some steps to help your child feel unconditionally loved? Here are some practical things you can do to help your child in this area. All this may seem counter intuitive if you have been reared in a negative, critical environment. But, do them anyway and you will help your child develop a positive sense of him self.

Emphasize the positive. Your child will make mistakes but your emphasis needs to be on how to learn from those mistakes.

Be patient with his childishness and gently help him  grow and make good decisions.

Expect good behavior and look for ways to compliment him on his good choices.

Here is a final word on this. Give your child a good example to follow. Your child’s sense of identity and emotional development are greatly influenced by who you are. You are their first and most powerful image of a man or woman. Your loving, encouraging character can be a lifelong inspiration for them to be the best person they can be.

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