Giving Unconditional Love Even When It’s Not Easy

 Kenneth Ginsburg M.D. wrote an article for Psychology Today titled Giving Unconditional Love Even When It’s Not Easy that echoes The Post Institute’s guiding principle of just how valuable relationship and the quality of ‘presence’ is for parenting. In fact, as Bryan Post likes to say, “without it you’ve lost everything. With it you always have the opportunity for influence.” “Nothing Matters More Than Your Unwavering Presence” is how Ginsburg phrases it and this we feel is the foundation for loving and effective parent-child relationships.

Giving Unconditional Love Even When It’s Not Easy

Unconditional love gives children the knowledge that all will be okay in the long run. Even when we dislike or disapprove of their behaviors, our children must always know we stand beside them. Keep in mind that unconditional love doesn’t mean unconditional approval. You can reject a behavior without rejecting your child. Love is never withdrawn or withheld based on a behavior. If you approach even your greatest concerns in this way, your adolescent will not go down the dangerous path of believing she has nothing to lose.”

— Kenneth Ginsburg M.D., M.S. Ed, Author of Raising Resilient Children and Teens

What Being ‘present’ Might Just Look Like
I read a beautiful example recently that presents an image of just what ‘being present’ might look like that hopefully will give you something to use as a model for ‘being with’ your children and spouse. There are two ways to “be present” with others. One is where we think we are present for them, and the other is where they think we are present for them. Let’s stop thinking and start feeling.

This stuff really is simple when it comes down to it, but it does take time and intention, and practice. But, what else is there really if we want to be a loving and effective parent?

“Dr. Benzel had a way of looking at people that let them know he was really looking at them. He was several inches taller than my parents, but he made sure to sit at eye level. He turned his seat away from the computer and pointed himself directly in front of them. He did not twitch or fidget or even react when my father talked. He had that habit of waiting a beat after people have spoken before speaking himself, in order to see if they are really done.” Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Be present today!

David Durovy