Love has always been associated with some measure of softness and often described with tenderness – not very far off from it. I actually agree. When you love someone, you give yourself totally, and any measure of discomfort on your loved one brings you pain. People have gone all lengths to protect, provide and bring comfort to those they love.
But you see, love is deeper than a feeling. There’s a part of love that is often ignored. It is choosing to help a loved person become the best he or she was born to be. When this part of love comes into play, sometimes it doesn’t create a warm, fuzzy feeling, it can be aggravating.
This type of love is what I call tough love, and I can say that is almost impossible to raise children without it. One reason is because children don’t even know what is good for them. They have no idea how much rest they need, or the nutrients necessary for daily growth. They are clueless about the type of friends to keep and the movies to watch. They judge based on what they see and what is immediately available to them. To leave them to their own devices in the name of love is a disaster waiting to happen. Unfortunately, many disasters have already happened.
Sometimes, you see young adults or teenagers who you can tell have no concept of what life is really about. We have built a fantasy world that is absolutely unrealistic. Life is not a bed of roses. You can’t get everything you want just because you desire it. People are not at your beck and call. Working hard is essential to making any real progress in life. These traits however are not inherent in any child. They need to be taught and these lessons are usually not very pleasant.
In the end, however, we have to keep the end in mind. The question we should always ask is: “What do I want to achieve?” “What kind of individual do I want to raise?” “Do the present actions I’m taking gravitate towards achieving that purpose?” It’s the answer to these questions that determine which way to go.
To create a better nation, we have to create a better people. Creating better people starts from moulding better children so that they can grow into better individuals. Therefore, it is essential that when we are training our children, we see it not only as an individual goal but as a national goal. How your child turns out affects a whole nation.
Tough decisions are necessary to raise children, correcting even if you don’t feel like is essential. Instilling right values even if it’s uncomfortable is the way to go. Insisting on the right thing even when your child feels like you’re being unfair will yield greater value in life.
So, the next time you’re firm with your children because you are insisting on something that is necessary to their future and you get the question: “But why mum?” You can tell them calmly; “Because I love you.” Even the Bible says it, those who God loves, he corrects. Why should we be different from our children?
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