Karen’s Parenting Mini-Course Part 4 – Love and Look After

I’m Karen. Welcome to my Parenting Mini-Course. This Simple Solution is to Love and Look After and let your children know you care for them.

I already Love and Look After my children, so how can I change their behaviour by doing it more?
When our children are being horrible, a little extra effort and TLC can be all it takes to make a big difference to their behaviour. If we get over tired, don’t get enough exercise and eat a bunch of junk, we feel terrible. And if we don’t get an ounce of attention or affection, we can feel lonely and unhappy. Same with our children.

Without proper food, exercise and sleep they can be irritable, unkind, unhelpful, irrational, hyper, unfocussed and lazy. And without Love and affection they can feel lonely, unsafe and insecure.

So if they feel better, they’ll behave better?
The way children feel physically is directly linked with their emotional well-being and behaviour. They’ll feel better and be far more agreeable if we make a little extra effort to Love and Look After them.

It’s so important to try to look at what’s going on with our children physically before we jump to conclusions about their underlying characters. How many times did my children behave appallingly, only to come down with some terrible bug the next morning? When they were little their most vile melt-downs were almost always birthday party sugar and additive induced. And now they’re older, their grumpiness is most likely to be from lack of sleep.

But getting them to eat, sleep and exercise properly isn’t easy!
Getting the balance right all the time isn’t easy for any of us, especially single, divorced and working parents. Who wants to spoil the time they have with their children arguing over whether they have another chocolate biscuit or stay up to watch TV? It’s so much easier to let them have a good time and do what they want. And you may be thinking you really want your child to like you.

But especially when children are young, little differences can have a big impact on their behaviour. So it’s worth considering that your time together may actually be easier and more enjoyable if you don’t indulge them. Getting our children to eat properly, sleep and exercise are common problems almost all parents face. For free advice, take a look at my website – you’ll be amazed how easy it can be!

But being more affectionate isn’t always possible either!
Giving children plenty of affection sounds like such an obvious thing to do. It’s even proven to reduce stress. It’s easy when they’re very little. We have to pick them up to feed, bathe, dress and even just to move them. And it’s hard to resist lots of cuddles along the way.

But it can get much harder as they get older and more independent. They may still hold our hands, but before we blink they’re teenagers and it can be very difficult for us. It helps to make it part of our daily routine to kiss our children when they leave for school and go to bed, and to give them a hug when they have a problem or even when they’re just standing there. Otherwise days can go by when they get no affection at all. Here’s another great way around it – give them head, back and foot massages. They really love them.

Are there other ways I can create a warm, Loving atmosphere?
Just being with our children can be very reassuring. When mine were little they’d do their homework in the middle of the kitchen floor to be with me. Now they’re older, we often sit together at the dining table and work. When it comes to being with them, anything counts: combing their hair, tickle fights and chasing, snuggling up on the bed or sofa, reading bedtime stories, chatting before tucking them into bed, telling them we Love them. We can also convey warmth and affection by smiling and our tone of voice.

Our Love and attention are so important. When they know we’re there Looking After them, our children feel Loved, attached, safe and secure.

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