Do you love your children? The majority of parents would respond with a resounding yes. A large percentage claim to love their kids unconditionally and want them to know it. But throughout my experience coaching, teaching, and volunteering in schools I have seen too many kids tie their self-worth to individual performance.
Deep down in their hearts, they feel the following pressure:
My parents will love me LESS if I…
- Miss the shot
- Fail this test
- Don’t try my best
- Get caught in a lie
- Wake up in a bad mood
My parents will love me MORE if I…
- Score the most points
- Make good grades
- Have lots of friends
- Obey all the time
- Never fail at anything
Growing up in today’s pressure-to-perform culture, most children feel this way. But you can change it with these simple words.
I love you the same no matter what you do.
That’s it. My love for you doesn’t change based on your performance. It remains the same in any circumstance.
I don’t love you more when you bring home a stunning piece of artwork, or master the math concept you’ve been struggling with. My love for you doesn’t increase when you work really hard to become the most improved player on the team.
I don’t love you any less when you hit your sister or roll your eyes at me. When you bring home a failing grade I love you just as much as the time you aced a test. You could call me from jail and it wouldn’t change how much I love you.
I love you because I do. It is not at all tied to your performance, good or bad.
When children understand the gift of unconditional love, they thrive in the freedom to truly be themselves.
When they know that their accomplishments can’t EARN your love and their mistakes can’t LOSE it, the game changes. Free from the pressure to perform or the fear of failure, kids are willing to take risks and follow their passions. To grow into the person they were meant to be.
Your children need this gift more than anything else you can provide them. Make sure you tell them every day.
I love you no matter what you do.