By Phyllis Dolinsky
Definition: loving the person as they are without letting the way you wish them to be get in the way.
Very often when we think of grandparents and their interaction with their “perfect” grandchildren, we use the term “unconditional love.” They seem to get it just right.
So let’s look at this term: It’s something we all want, and it is something we can all give. It’s free. Yet the ugly truth is that we think more of unconditional love and grandparents than we think of unconditional love and parents. Most parents will eventually go on to be grandparents and like magic become endowed with unconditional love, but how does this happen?
When our children are newborns, they are perfect in our eyes, and we imagine our perfect children living in a perfect world. Yet we don’t live in the perfect world we want for our children. To give them that, we have to go out and work and make sacrifices of ourselves (and our precious gift of time). The very act of doing what we think we must do is part of the downfall in giving unconditional love. The stress of this additional burden at times overflows and impacts how we behave with our loved ones every day. We forget or bury some of the idealistic values we had.
This does not have to happen when we realize the priorities we set for ourselves are still there. We just have to dig deeper to keep them in the forefront.
Respect for our children, no matter their age, breeds respect back not only to you but all the other people in their world. Positive feedback works. Negative does not.
Yes, there are ups and downs, but consistent loving and positive behavior help develop loving, self-assured children who go on to become future loving parents themselves and assets to the community.
The beauty of the above is that we get back the unconditional love. It’s like putting money in the bank for future use. It gives you a secure, contented feeling that has more value than all the riches in the world.