Lessons you can share with your kids or with your inner child.
# 9 Recognizing a cry for love
Here’s a big idea for you:
Everything that anyone ever does is done in one of two ways:
When you begin to see everything that people do and say as one of these two possibilities you will start to have a lot of compassion for people who are calling for love. You’ll understand that it says nothing about you that they are behaving the way they do – it simply says that they are feeling bad about themselves.
If it is safe to do so, the best response to a call for love (if someone is behaving in a way that shows that they are miserable) is to be kind to that person. You can do this with your thoughts or with a kind word. If it is one of your parents then you might give them a hug. If it is your brother, then you might ask him what is going on for him and would he like to talk about it? It isn’t always possible to show love to someone who is being mean and it is OK to move away and tell someone you trust about it.
When you offer kindness to someone who is calling for love, you’ll be amazed at the results. The bad mood they were in lifts. They may even start to cry because it was not the reaction they were expecting. They were behaving in a way in which they expected to be rejected or they expected an angry response. They were looking for those responses to prove to them that they are worthless. The truth is that everyone is equally worthy. When they were little, they made up that they are worthless and don’t deserve love, but it was never true.
Now you know something very important. You may find this pretty difficult to understand at first, but think about it from time to time and see how you feel about it a year from now and even longer.
This may sound strange. If there is a person, perhaps a classmate, who is constantly calling for love by being mean, make sure that every time you are with that classmate you say in your mind (not out loud!!) “I love you”. That person will receive the love that you are giving and so will you. This can actually improve the situation and lessen the mean behavior.
I know firsthand the emotional and financial costs of having a troubled teenager and I don’t want that to happen to you. That's why I wrote my book What They Don't Teach in Prenatal Class: The Key to Raising Trouble-Free Kids and Teens (available on Amazon).