A Parent’s LoveSep 8, 2012 at 04:16:16 PM
We're all incredibly busy, and sometimes our myriad responsibilities – work, social, health, etc. – clash with the core goal of giving proper attention to our children. So assuming we cannot give them optimal attention 100% of the time, how can be assured that our children will have the secure feeling that we absolutely love them with full devotion?
There's a story told about Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading Torah scholar in America from 1936–1986.
One of Rav Moshe's grandson's was becoming a Bar Mitzvah, but Rav Moshe was unable to attend, as it coincided with a major rabbinical conference taking place the same day.
Rav Moshe's son, Rabbi Reuven Feinstein – the father of the Bar Mitzvah boy – was asked how he felt about his illustrious father not being able to attend. His answer: "It's alright. I know that my father loves me."
He then described a few incidents in his childhood which served as a constant reminder of his father's great love for him:
In the New York winter, before waking up his son for school, Rav Moshe would put the boy's clothes on the radiator so they would be toasty-warm.
Over the years, many famous and important people joined the family's Shabbat table. Yet Rav Moshe never allowed any visitor – no matter how wealthy or well-connected – to supplant his son's seat next to his father at the table.
I thought about this in reading an article by Erin Kurt, who spent 16 years as a teacher around the world. Every year, she would ask her students what their mother did that made them feel happy or loved.
She reports that
surprisingly, many of the responses were the same. Year after year, in every country I taught, and in every type of demographic, the students were saying the same things and had the same message:
It's the small things that their mothers did that meant the most and that they remembered.
Here's a list of the top 10 things kids say they remember and love most about their mothers:
- Comes into my bedroom at night, tucks me in and sings me a song. She also tells me stories about when she was little.
- Gives me hugs and kisses, and sits and talks with me privately.
- Spends quality time just with me, not with my brothers and sisters around.
- Gives me nutritious food so I can grow up healthy.
- At dinner, she talks about what we could do together on the weekend.
- At night, she talks to me about anything – love, school, family, etc.
- She lets me play outside a lot.
- We cuddle under a blanket and watch our favorite show together.
- She disciplines me. It makes me feel like she cares.
- She leave special messages in my desk or lunch bag.
So what's the key to instilling a lifelong feeling of security, acceptance and love? Small acts of thoughtfulness that make your kids feel important and cared for. Good advice.