I read the various articles in The Herald whose content is concerned with parenting. As a retired clinician who has practiced in the field of emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, I would like to offer a suggestion that is disproportionately and deeply successful in relation to its simplicity.
Write love letters to your children.
Age-appropriate love letters beginning in their early childhood, ages three or four.
Mothers equally to sons and daughters and fathers equally to sons and daughters.
Separate your feelings of love and appreciation and respect for them from all else that might be going on.
It enhances emotional maturity in the parent, elevates emotional maturity in the child and contributes to healing in both parent and child.
Sometimes it unleashes love when it is most needed. Other times it reinforces love. It brings out the best in both parent and child at times when the worst is what is most readily available in both. Love begets love.
It demands emotional strength from the parent and setting an example when it is most difficult but most needed, sometimes when parent and child are most angry.
Write to your child once a month or so, when things are good or not so good, more often if there is the need and usefulness or spontaneously, just because you feel like it.
It can potentiate for a lifetime all that is good and positive between you and your child.
Doris Sinclair, M. Ed.