As Christmas approaches, what do you think is the most important gift you can give your child?
The answer is, of course, unconditional love. The one thing every child needs to know is that their parents love them, no matter what.
Author Max Lucado wrote a children’s book that relays this same message. It’s called You Are Special, and it’s a great little story about a village full of small wooden people called "Wemmicks".
The Wemmicks go about their day putting little stickers on each other:
The pretty and talented people get a gold star, while the clumsy and plain ones get a grey dot.
They learn to measure their worth by the kinds of stickers they have.
As parents, we run the risk of doing the same thing to our kids: if we only praise them when they succeed, and criticise them when they fail, we’re teaching them that their worth is dependent on their performance.
By loving them unconditionally, we’re teaching them that they’re accepted in spite of their failures or shortcomings.
And that’s what most kids need most.
(extracted from ‘Focus On The Family’ by Dr Bill Maier)