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Monday, March 20, 2017

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Recently I broadcast a podcast episode that began a short series about the importance of love in the parent-child relationship. This love topic applies to more than just a parent and child; it also applies to a teaching relationship as well. In this episode I again stressed the importance of why parents are important in a child's life and I expanded my ideas. Here are the basic points about love that I made:
  1. Children want to please their parents, so parents have a great deal of power when it comes to influence and role modeling.
  2. Parents are with their children more time than anyone else. Again, parents have a great deal of power to influence because of the hours spent with the children.
  3. Parents care how well their children do or develop more than anyone else.
  4. Parental love is the first love a child experiences and this experience affects how the chid will develop a relationship with the world and others later in life.
  5. Love expands. It never contracts or constricts.
  6. Love is a verb. It is something we do, not something we have or hold.
I also discussed the importance of building an interdependent relationship between the parent and the child rather than push the child toward independence too soon or before the child is ready.

I continued the discussion by setting out a few things that parents might do to establish and strengthen the parent-child bond of interconnectedness and interdependence. I also related Dr. Suzuki's admonition that children will treat their elderly parents as the children witness how the parents treat their neighbors and others now.

I finished up the current episode by discussing unconditional love. How does one define this ultimate expression of love? Here is St. Paul's definition of love, written to the Corinthians over two centuries ago:
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first, "Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
(The Message by Eugene H. Peterson, affiliate link
Dr. Suzuki was once asked, "Why do you teach?" His answer was:

"First for the love of the child; second, for the love of teaching the child; and third for the love of the music that is taught the child, but the child always comes first."

You may listen to the podcast episode on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher Radio, or you may click the link here: Click here. The subsequent episode that completes this mini series discussion can be found here.

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----
 © 2017 by Paula E. Bird

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