How to Love a Child (From a Child's Perspective)

For Mother's Day, my 10 year old son's teacher had her class make these gifts for mom.

They decorated mason jars and inside wrote their moms 21 little notes, folded accordion style.
Each note was 'something their mom did (or does) for them'.

They wrapped up the jars in this pretty, hand selected paper and ribbon, and brought them home.

When my little man told me what the gift was, I figured my jar might include things like:

- You take me out to eat
- You make me cookies
- You allow me to play the computer
- You give us  movie night
- You let me stay up late to watch The Draft and Monday Night Football

 Because, really, those are some pretty important things to a ten year old boy, right?


Well, while a few of the notes were definitely like that, I was surprised about the others

1. She gives me hope
2. She cares for me
3. She signed me up for tackle football after I begged (I denied him tackle; after 2 yrs of flag I caved)
4. She reads me stories
5. She sat by my side in the hospital
6. She goes to muffins with mom (a school event)

Each day I have opened one and can barely wait til the next to open another.

Because I didn't know all that he meant with some of these, I will explain them to you as he has done for me:

1. Hope: during a recent struggle with academics, I helped him study, wrote encouraging notes in his assignment notebook and kept telling him that he could do it. He said that those were what helped him through. He says that I give him hope by preparing him for what's next in life.

2. Cares: provides a roof over his head so we have a place to live and makes sure there is food in the cupboards and fridge; gives breakfast, lunch, dinner and all of his other food.

3. This was about listening to him and what he knew he was ready for: I finally gave into his knowing what he had been ready for tackle football. I had to cast aside my own fears of him getting hurt or not being ready - he has been one of the smallest guys on the team for the last 2 years, but conditions as seriously as the big boys and shocks me by never crying when he's hit and always gets back up ready for more.

4. Reading to my kids has always been our way of spending time together at the end of the day-from infancy to pre-teen (then we move to just 'tucking in').

5. He's had asthma since he was 10 mos. old and we've had some long, scary nights in the hospital. He knows I was always there and prayed for him and stayed with him every time.

6. For the past 4 years we have attended Muffins with Mom with him at school. One day a year we head out to school very early and enjoy a small breakfast together that the PTA puts on. He likes it when I do this because it makes him feel special (and I spend time with him).

Sometimes parents believe it's the things we give or buy our children which shows our love.

It's not.

When it comes down to it, your child knows you love him/her, not by what you say, promise or purchase, it's what you do…

Today, read to your child, ask them out for ice-cream, tuck them in and maybe ask them how that test went last week or if that girl on the bus is still picking on them.

Just put everything else down, look into their eyes, and listen without distraction.

It's the first thing you can do to show them love.

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