TRUE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR OUR CHILDREN – MONTESSORI MINDSET PART 2
When you hear the phrase, unconditional love, what comes to mind?
During this session of Montessori Mondays with Holly, we talked about shifting into a Montessori mindset. Watch the show above and click here to join the Facebook group.
If you’re ready to learn more about Montessori parenting join us for the 3 Day Connection vs Correction Livestream Event by clicking here.
True Unconditional Love For Our Children
Until a few years ago I would have told you that unconditional love just really meant loving someone no matter what. Or love without end.
I never REALLY thought about what it meant. Love without condition. Unconditional love. Love – without – condition. When I hear it like that for some reason it sounds different to me. It relays a different message to me.
What Does Unconditional Love For Our Children Really Mean?
When I hear love without condition to me it makes me think there are no strings attached to my love. There are no boundaries to my love. There is no reason out there that could interrupt my love for my child.
I think it’s important we talk about what unconditional love truly means. Because when we focus on truly loving our children without condition we are giving them what they need to live to their highest potential.
When we talk about our relationships with our children we talk about loving them, wanting the best for them, and wanting them to be happy.
Is Your Love Conditional?
We talked about this last month. A lot of times us parents have visions for our children that aren’t aligned to our children’s goals or vision. They are more about what we want as a parent.
For instance, if you were a good athlete you may hope your child is one as well. But what if they aren’t? Are you going to push them to become better? If so, would you say that your love is conditional then?
Would you be much happier or more loving if your child was a professional athlete? Would you feel more proud of your child gaining this title?
If that is true your love would be conditional. Sure you may not totally take your love away but maybe you start to grow apart because it wasn’t working out? Or maybe you become angry at their disinterest?
Most of us Montessori parents aren’t quite that extreme but this example shows you the context of conditional and unconditional love. If this does sound like you or someone you know this message is especially for you.
How Is This Relevant With Toddler Aged Children?
Just because there isn’t a parenting manual doesn’t mean we know exactly what to do as soon as that baby gets handed to us. Unlike popular belief, parenting skills don’t just come naturally to everyone.
Us parents are on a journey! It is ok to accept what we have done in the past when we were just winging it but it’s time to move forward. Grow and heal ourselves so that our children can grow too.
Some ways that a love WITH condition can show up in parenting is through a term you are probably quite familiar with, discipline.
When a child is this young you might think you need to give your child a time out or yell at them to get your point across. This is quite common in traditionally parenting philosophies. And even for those of us who have just tried to parent naturally with our instinct.
How You Are Putting A Condition On Your Love
When you do any of that you are not loving unconditionally, in fact, you’re doing the opposite. You are putting a condition on your love.
If you throw your food at the table then you have to go sit in your room by yourself.
This is being translated to the child as:
- I’m not going to love you if you throw your food.
- I won’t love you if you hit or bite someone.
- I’m not going to love you if you don’t share.
- I won’t love you unless you do exactly as I ask.
This example of discipline and punishment are often seen in traditional parenting methods.
BUT there are lots of parenting philosophies out there that follow the idea that punishment is NOT the answer, and I agree. So what is the answer?
How Do You Truly Unconditionally Love Your Child?
Now that you may have discovered some holes in your unconditional love for your child let’s make sure you get those holes fixed with this three-step process.
Think back to a recent battle or disagreement with your child. Let us know in the comments what was it about?
The last time I wanted to yell at my 20-month-old was when he was using a marker to draw on the couch.
The Three-Step Process
Ok, let’s go over the 3 steps using my example of drawing on the couch.
- The first step is to understand what the root cause of the behavior is.
- Are they tired? Is he/she hungry? Are their needs being met?
- In my case, my child was not tired or hungry and yes their needs were being met.
2. The second step is to find the emotion underneath the behavior.
- Are they sad? Is she/he scared? Are they anxious?
- In my case, I would say that my child was curious.
3. The third step is to control YOUR reaction to the behavior and investigate it a bit further.
- Hit pause. Think about what’s happening. Leave the room if needed. Hold your boundary if needed.
- After hitting pause instead of just yelling right off the bat I was able to see that yes his needs were met, and that he was feeling curious as to what would happen if he used the marker on the couch. He was not deliberating marking on the couch to get a rise out of me. This enabled me to stop from instinctually yelling at him and hold my boundary. “It is not ok to write on the couch the markers are getting put away now. We can try again tomorrow.”
The Third Step Is Often The Hardest
The third step is often the hardest for us parents to adjust to but when all 3 steps are done you will start to see harmony with your child. You will be free from punishment, from yelling, from time outs, from all of it.
By truly loving your child unconditionally you can start following their unique path in life which you probably already know is one of the most important Montessori’s principles.
Because like we talked about last month the last thing we want is for our child to be leading a life that does not suit him. To be living a life for someone else’s satisfaction.
And following their unique path comparable to no one else’s including your own, will absolutely 100% allow your child to live to their highest potential. And that’s a vision I can get behind.
Want to continue learning how to diminish power struggles for good? Join us for the 3 Day Connection vs Correction Livestream Event by clicking here.
Are you putting conditions on your love with your toddler? Tell us the steps you will take to truly love your child unconditionally.