Two days ago while one of my sons was doing a writing assignment he got really frustrated. He was so upset that his handwriting was not “perfect” that he threw his pencil on the floor and kicked his paper away from him. I was a bit stunned. He had never done this before and I had to process what I was going to do next. He looked at me as if expecting to be reprimanded.
Praise God for the wisdom he gives! He gave me the idea to “just hug him and tell him I love him.”
So I looked at my distressed son and said in a sweet and reassuring tone, “Come here.” I did not mouth out corrections or commands. Instead, I took him in my arms, hugged and kissed him and said, “I just want to hug you and tell you that I love you. I will love you no matter what. I will always love you and you don’t have to be perfect. I love you just the way you are and I know that you try your best and that what matters.” I also added, “I will only stop hugging you when you feel better!” And I squeezed him real tightly. He started to giggle and then laughed.
When I was confident that his emotions had settled down, I let him go. He went right back to doing his work and finished 17 pages of his language arts material with cheerfulness and gusto!
What I learned: Big hugs and sincere I love yous have an amazing medicinal and motivational effect on our children. So keep them coming!
God does the same thing with us and he paints a picture of his love through the story of the prodigal son. “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NASB)