My friend Nicole is 3 years old, she always tells me she loves me when we meet, of course it comes with an adorable ‘aunty Yodah’ and then adds ‘I am fine in the yord’. Guess what? I keep visiting to hear these words. So after spending time with her family I realize these are words that she hears all the time. Her parents keep telling her that they love her, and she says ‘Thank you I love you too.’
As other people walk in, I notice that she doesn’t tell everyone ‘I love you’, she tells specific people, mostly her parents. She is also quick to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. At age three, she seems to understand these valuable words.
Back to ‘I love you’, many of us were not told these words within the home, when we were kids, our parents did many things to show their love for us, and we appreciate. However, anyone who told us those words later in life became our god. Well of course we worshipped them undercover because, if our parents knew someone was telling us ‘I love you’ we would be taken for a pregnancy test immediately.
I can already picture 18 year old Nicole, I don’t think when a boy tells her ‘I love you’ she will melt down and do everything to keep that love. Because she is used to the words, she knows she is loved. It is not something new. Come to think of it, What if a child is not affirmed verbally, what if the only person who tells your teenage son he is handsome and hardworking is a beautiful classmate, what would keep him from wanting to be with the girl all the time, and keep hearing those beautiful words?
One day while I was in campus, a pastor came to preach to us on ‘fatherhood’ and the roles of a father. After the sermon, he offered to hug anyone who has never been hugged by their dad. Astonishingly almost everyone went for the hug. This does not mean that mothers are safe; it is a collective parental responsibility to let children know that they are loved.
We all would like to hear this words, as many times as possible, but are we willing to give them out? Your child needs to hear these words, they need your affirmation, they need to know they are beautiful, handsome, strong, the best, meant for greatness’ e.t.c. Let your children hear this from home, and not go ‘out’ to find this words.
Remember, there is power in what you speak to your child!