<<

   PARENTING WITH DIGNITY®

Parents Workbook

Lesson 5-6
   
Preview this video Lessons:  1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7 | 8 | 9 Printer-Friendly Pge - Click Here

 

Lessons 5&6 - Messages of Love


"Send a Constant, Continual Message of LOVE"

Love is not just something you say; it is something you do!

You can fake like you care but you can't fake being there. To send  messages of love to your children you must show up. Love is not a spectator sport. From here on, if you are not willing to give your children lots of your time, you might as well stop reading! Every technique from this point on will require lots of your time.

There is a fallacy afoot in the world. It is the statement that, "We give quality time to our kids." Baloney! It is impossible to turn on quality time. We adults can't do it with each other and it is even more impossible to do it with our children. There is TIME; period! There is not a person alive who owns the switch for turning on quality time.


Kids spell love T-I-M-E!
Parents must give freely, and lovingly of their time.

  1. Say it: First thing in the morning, last at night, in the middle or at the end of arguments, on the phone, at unexpected times. No matter what, you must say the words, "I love you!" If parents do not say the words, then it is very likely that all other attempts at expressing love will fail.
     

  2. Write it: Letters, notes/post-its, cards, posters, baby books, on a mirror, or in a lunch. Writing is magic; it says you thought about them while you were not with them. It says the same thing today that it says tomorrow, that it says next year. And when you write, you can say it very carefully and precisely before it "gets all over the kids". Write it over and over until you get it just right. One of the most loving things that a parent can do for their children is to write exactly what they believe about honesty, integrity, compassion, courage, spirituality, love, family, etc. As an act of love, writing does not have to be "gushy stuff." Write to them about exactly what you believe.
     

  3. Make it: Make clothes, doll clothes, Lessons, cakes, cards, burgers, models, cars, collections. Make things for your kids, and make things with them. Don't be surprised if some great conversations happen while you are sharing time making something with one of your kids.
     

  4. Play it: Laugh and play with your kids! Play cards, The Ungame, Pictionary, Charades, and have water fights, throw water balloons. Start a tradition of playing a particular game at special times. Let your hair down and play with your kids... it is a justification to be young forever. Instead of spending your money on remodeling your house, take the kids water-skiing or camping.
     

  5. Eyes: At school plays, at games, while they are playing, let 'em catch you watching. Wink, smile, wince. Video Lesson your children in the same way you watch them... when the parade comes by, Lesson them adjusting their underwear in the back row. It says, "no matter what is happening around you, I am watching you because I love you!"
     

  6. Listen: Stop what you are doing. Let them say it; let them finish. Ask for explanation or clarification. Remember the six active listening statements: "Oh!", "Really!", "Wow!", "Ummm!", "I didn't know you felt like that?", and "Tell me more!" Resist the natural urge to fill their pauses by interrupting and saying it for them. Just listen.
     

  7. Touch: A pat on the back, an arm over shoulder, or a hug can often be the only way that love can be expressed. Use them all. When kids say, "Don't hug me," they most likely just mean "not now, not right here in front of my friends!" So, hug them later, but don't stop hugging them!
     

  8. Shout down haters: Talk back to TV, read editorials aloud and offer caring alternatives to the hateful expressions. We cannot allow the negative people to win just because they are louder. The big tragedy in all of the negative stuff on the TV is that it is the only voice in the room. Nobody is worthless, everybody can serve as a bad example to someone. Sound off about what you believe and why you believe it to your kids.
     

  9. Control the emotional meaning of words: Mom, Dad, home, family, friend, honesty, LOVE. Your actions will define these and many more words. What are your actions saying? Forever and always the definition of "MOM" or "DAD" for your children will be what you were and what you did. Ask yourself, "What is my definition of family?" Then let your actions define it that way! Your kids won't remember much of what you say but they will remember forever exactly how you acted!
     

  10. Teach it: Give them this list! Actively teach them how to be loving to you, to family, to their friends, to their grandparents, to people less fortunate, or to their pets! Continually look for opportunities to model love for your children.

THE TIME THEY MOST NEED TO HEAR THE MESSAGE
IS THE TIME YOU FEEL LEAST ABLE TO SEND IT!

When you are at the point of sending your children out to live in the street, that is probably the time when their heart is most open to receive your message. Be the adult in the situation and express your love at that time. This is not permissiveness. You can still be very strong in your expectations for your kids behavior. You are simply confirming that you love them, unconditionally; regardless of their actions. Fill their hearts with your love at this moment when it is most open to receive it and then it will be so much easier to ask for desired behavior.



Assignment Sheet – Lessons 5 & 6

  1. Write each of your children’s names on each day of the next week on a calendar that is in a handy place so it is possible to see it and refer to it often. (A day planner would work great if you use on as a part of your regular day. Turn to the page in your notebook where it explains the 10 ways to tell your kids that you love them titled "Messages of Love" and from that page write one of the ways after each of your children’s names on each day of the week on the calendar.
  2.  

  3. Now, for the next week follow your plan and communicate your love to each of your children once each day just as you planned! Do not do this for any other reason than because you do love them. Stay with your plan regardless of the reaction of your children.
  4.  

  5. Make note of your actions and your children's reactions and any observations you have as the week goes on; but be careful to not expect any specific reaction... simply send your messages of love to each of your children
  6.  

  7. Keep a daily record of your actions, your child’s actions, and any observations that you have as you go through this process for a week. Remember to record both positive and negative actions, reactions and observations.
  8.  

  9. Come to the next class prepared to discuss what took place in your family over the week. In this space make notes of comments that you would like to make comment about at the next class meeting.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of these exercises is to maximize the number of positive and productive ideas that are stored in your mind and the minds of your children. In order to do this you must actually try to structure effective thoughts in your own head as you plan strategies. Then you must observe the resulting behavior in your children. Remember that unless your child chooses to tell you what ideas are in their head, the only way you have of knowing what ideas are stored in their head is by observing their behavior; so pay close attention. 

A big part of this process involves not only creating positive change but also observing strategies that did not work and then devising new and better ones that will work. So, as you go through this process do not be the least bit hesitant to list things that didn’t work! Sometimes our best teacher is a mistake. The only time a mistake is counted as a failure is if you let it be the last time you try.

Also, when you try something that doesn’t work remember the important phrase: "keep the anger out!" Anger rarely results in productive thought processes and effective action.

Pause here - and see some great caring suggestions!

(Get a printable version of these 100 tips, click here)

 

Back | Video Series | Workbook | Order | 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next
 

Parents Blog Mac's Blog

 
Main Menu Links

Menu links:

 Your ALT-Text here
Home | Blog | Take the Tour | What's New | FAQ | Curriculum Overview | Video Program | DVDs
PWD Books | Video Workbook | Facilitators Guide | Newsletter | About | Press Room | RSS

Search | Contact | Link to Us | Donate | Shop Online and Support PWD | Warning Signs
Mac's Speaking Schedule | Ask Mac to Speak | Links | Privacy | Order Books | Order DVDs
    

 

 

Copyright 2007 Parenting With Dignity® - a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization
Mail: 730 Capistrano, Kalispell, MT 59901 - Bus: (406) 752-8035 - Fax: (406) 752-8037 Comments  / Suggestions