My Daughters never fail to get excited by Easter, something to do with the ritual of receiving Chocolate Easter Eggs. But this year I wanted to give them something more. As Love is the greatest gift we have to give our children, through my blog today, on Good Friday, I want to say to them ‘I love you more than you’ll ever know… and my love will follow you wherever you go’.
As Paul Simon sang in ‘Father and Daughter’
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you’ll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father who loved
His daughter more than I love you.
Maybe, as my singing voice, isn’t the greatest, I should let Paul Simon do it for me.
It is a wise father that knows his own child. – William Shakespeare
So as I am quite knowledgeable about both my girls, I can only assume that if they found their way to this article today, by this stage they will have run away, and deleted any links to it from their facebook. “Dad you can be so embarrassing” I hear them say.
Last Saturday they both got a make over and photo shoot. The photograph I have shared with you my readers and friends, brings a smile to my face, joy to my heart and happiness to my soul. They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, but this picture is worth more than any money and whatever it could buy for me. Just looking into their eyes through this photograph allows me to make believe they’re here with me at times we will be parted, like now. I feel the elation because I know they’re part of me, but a little sadness because I can’t hug them right this second.
The love I feel for my two daughters gives me strength, keeps me determined and motivated in everything I do. My children are my world. I have no idea where I would be without them, and never want to find out. Wherever my children are, they will be with me in my heart. Nothing or nobody can ever take them away from me.
In the words of Carol King in her song “Daughter of Light”
You smile and all the sadness leaves my heart
It’s an easy course for sailing that you chart
But it’s only temporary
You have to go away
You’re too beautiful
And you know I’d never ask you to stay
Having children is an amazing and life-changing experience! What a remarkable journey you undertake when giving life and then nurturing another human being throughout their life. The minute you become a parent for the first time, you feel unbelievable happiness, but at the same time tremendous responsibility.
I wanted to be a father who would put his children’s needs before his own and I wanted to be a father who would teach his children how to live their life to their fullest potential. I pray that I have gone some way to succeed at this.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt
I am far from being a perfect parent. The time a parent spends with their children is one of the most precious gifts life can offer. Alas my work commitments over the years have taken me away from my children far more than I would have ever wanted. I do know that the time I have had to put in to work made it that I missed out on something crucially important, and that is time with my children. I imagine with sadness how too often my children waited for my arrival home. Excited to share the thrill that they both had known that day. Yet even me, beaten down by the stresses of my working day, exhausted mentally and physically, I can still hear myself say, “Not know, baby, I’m busy, go watch television.” No matter what gifts I have been able to lavish on the two of them, I ill always be a little sad that I couldn’t give them what they both probably wanted the most, which is more of my time
When I look within myself, I accept that I had no choice, but will always regret that I couldn’t find more time to be with them. Yet I truly recognise the importance of every moment I have with them. These times of togetherness, the happy loving moments will live in my memory for ever. I also have always believed that no matter where I may be, there will always be a deep connection between us, and I carry them in my heart wherever I may go. I know this, they know this. But what is beyond doubt, is that we must make the most of the moments we have together.
Let’s be honest, every parent I imagine loves their children unconditionally. Don’t they? But ask yourself a question, do your children know you love them unconditionally? Sure, they know you love them–but do they recognise this all the time?
Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of the loved one’s qualities or actions. The unconditional love of a parent is without question the most important message to convey to any child: “No matter what you do, I will always love you”. But do e do this well?
Too many children believe that parental love is conditional, based on such conditions as academic achievement, behaviour and so on. When they get in trouble or feel as though they have let down their parents, children think that the love is withdrawn. This demonstrates to them that love is conditional. They come to believe that they are only worth loving when they are well-behaved, and doing whatever it is we ask of them. This is not the way it should be. I love my children no matter what, even if at times I’m not happy with something they may have done.
It is crucial to separate out displeasure regarding their bad behaviour, mistakes and bad decisions from our constant love for them. You must show you love your children, even when you don’t like what they have done.
When your kids know that you love them all the time, unconditionally, they feel:
- Lovable and Worthwhile.
- Acknowledged, valued and important.
- Comfortable in our company to be themselves.
- Self-confident, independent, and happy.
Now I love nothing more than sharing affection with my daughters. To me it is a great way to show that you love them. When they were younger my children loved to be hugged and kissed. As they became older, they began to shy away from these forms of affection that they once enjoyed. They are no longer comfortable with physical contact. It is not cool to be hugged by dad especially in front of their friends. I can’t say that I don’t miss these moments of shared love, but I do understand it, and don’t take it as personal rejection.
Here are some simple alternative ways to show your love for your children and let them know how special they are to you.
Talk with them. Make time to talk with your child today without strings attached. Even when you are away from home, just pick up the telephone and give them a call.
Listen to them. Totally tune in mentally when having a conversation with your children. Focus on just them, nothing else. Don’t think about what else you have to do, your work, or anything other than what they are saying.
Write them a message. Your children like mine are probably much for proficient at text messaging, but it doesn’t hurt to just text them something, even if it’s just, “I love you”.
Steal the occasional hug. Ok, I’m sneaking it back. Every now and again, as you need a little physical affection to thrive take a minute and just hug your child.
Boast about them. My eldest, Laura-Jayne (LJ), she’s now 20 years of age. Right through her A’Level year she was crippled by severe back problems and unbelievable constant pain. This didn’t stop her achieving incredible exam results, getting in to her number one university choice. She is now studying Forensic Science and Criminology. In between the end of June (A Levels completed), and the beginning of September (start of university) she underwent a major surgery – spinal fusion operation. She is a true hero in my mind, and has true courage. I could never describe how proud I am of her.
While I’m on the subject, there is Carly, who at 16 is my youngest child, my baby, my little girl that I brought into the world. She is fast becoming a young woman. She is in the middle of sitting her GCSE’s, and I’m so proud of the progress she’s made in the last two years. She is also a talented actress, and loves working with children. She is so capable and determined she could become whatever it is in this world that she desires. She is one of the most genuine, kind, considerate young ladies I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, and everyone she comes in contact with would echo these sentiments. I wrote about her in a previous article named The World is Your Oyster.
Do something with them. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion before having an outing with your Children. I love nothing more than spending my Sunday’s with my two girls. It is the one day of the week I truly look forward to. We developed a family ritual, one I loved, it was simply sitting together watching X-Factor on a weekend.
Let them make their own decisions. Your children deserve to be involved in making their own personal choices when the whole family are making decisions which concern you all. When we demand that our child acts in a particular way, we attempt to deny them their right to decide how they will spend their time, money, energy or life. We refuse them their right to think for themselves, or be themselves.
Debra Elramey in her Blog “Pure and Simple” asks “If you knew there was no tomorrow, what would you choose to be doing today?” When my last day on this earth arrives, I don’t think I will say I wish I had worked more, or put more time into my career. Instead, my hope is I will look back and celebrate the time I had with the people I loved the most, my two girls.
My final message is to LJ and Carly, if they’ve got this far. I don’t think it is possible that I could love you any more than I do. You are so special to me. I absolutely adore being a dad, being your dad. I hope our best years are still to come.
What is your number one way to show your love for your children or parents?
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone