【Day 4】The Need of Love in Different Stages
The loving relationship between parents and children should meet the needs of children’s development at different ages. A child was created by God, so he or she meets the laws of human growth in life; there are different laws and needs at different ages, and parents should give their children timely and corresponding love according to their needs. In a child’s growth in life, the most important time is the first three years after birth, in which maternal love is most needed. This love is the first love a child experiences.
When a child is born, maternal love is most needed. This love is especially needed until the child is 3 years old. Attachment relationship is an emotional connection between a child and the mother/the caregiver. Attachment relationships begin from a child’s birth or even from the mother’s pregnancy. This is the first loving relationship and the first understanding of love to a child and is also the foundation of the social development of a child’s emotional intelligence and affects their future happiness. From a mother’s point of view, the attachment relationship begins in pregnancy; the mother has a special feeling of love for the child from the beginning of pregnancy. Especially when the child moves in the mother’s womb, the maternal love starts to operate.
For children who are over two years old, parents must be a safe harbor for their children. After two years old, while the child’s realization of independence strengthens to explore more, he will return to his mother (or the person he loves) from time to time, stop a little bit and continue to explore. Therefore, at this stage, parents must establish a relationship with their children and become a safe harbor for their children. Not only that, but parents should also use the experience of this stage to become a safe harbor for their children throughout their whole lives. So when the children grow up and encounter difficulties and problems, they can come back to find their parents for fellowship. At this stage, on the one hand, children need to learn to be independent, but on the other hand, children need to have a safe harbor where they can come back and stop at any time to be full of security. Therefore, parents should follow the tendency of the child, provide what they need according to their needs, and establish a relationship with the child, that is, whenever the child has a need, the parents are there to listen to them, support them, help them, encourage them, enlighten them, and discipline them, etc.
When the child is a bit older, parents must communicate with the child. After three years old, the child will go to kindergarten. Parents should sing hymns and tell Bible stories along with their children to gradually put unfeigned faith, living faith, and the word of God into their children. When a child goes to kindergarten, he or she experiences separation anxiety while being away from their parents. On the one hand, he or she is separated from the parents, but on the other hand he or she has the anxiety of adapting to the new environment. At this time, parents need to accompany and help their children to go through this anxious stage. For example, before going to bed, parents should not only tell the children stories, but also ask the children what happened in the kindergarten, and use the Lord’s words to teach them and then lead them to prayer. For example, if he takes someone else’s toy, parents need to lead him to confess his sins; if someone else takes his toy, he must pray for that person and learn to be compassionate, forgiving, and even loving and be generous to lend it to others. Regardless of the various situations and difficulties that children encounter at home or outside of home, parents should discuss, fellowship, and pray together with their children, and bring their children to the Lord to experience the Lord together.
Parents should take their children to meetings and visitations, to serve together, to do housework together, and to do exercise with their children and their children’s friends. After a child enters kindergarten, not only parents and family are important to him or her, but little by little friends are also important; he needs good friends and needs to expand the scope of social interactions. This is when a child needs to grow up, and we need to provide him or her with such an environment, he or she will be very happy, and even give the parents a hug. Even if you do not play with them, you provide such an environment to meet their needs, your relationship with your child will be deepened and strengthened.
In addition, we must live a wonderful and vibrant life in the real environment. Most children now live in the virtual world, but it is very important for children and their parents to live in real-life situations. In the past, when we served the Lord, we took our children wherever we went. It seemed that we pushed our children, but now that we look back, we perfected our children. This is the best way to lead our children to live a real life in the real world with us parents, which is beneficial to their emotional intelligence and language development.