ZIG ON…THE ABC’S OF LOVE
By Zig Ziglar
Psychiatrist Louis B. Cady of Evansville, Indiana, gives us the ABC’s of love as it relates to our children.
Accept your child–not as perfect, not as a “model,” but as a basically good kid.
Be there! You can’t be absent all the time, nor can you show your interest or love for your child if you aren’t present. Be there for football games, dance recitals and the like.
Care for your child. Even when s(he) messes up!
Discipline; don’t punish. It takes “guts” to discipline; it only takes a “wimp” of a parent to let kids get by with anything.
Expect the best: Generally, you’ll get what you expect (bad or good).
Family–the center around which the child’s life should revolve. School, friends and games are the “planets” which should circle around the “sun” of the family.
God/Spiritual – pick yours carefully; there will ALWAYS be a “god” of something in your and your family’s life. Make sure it’s a good one. This doesn’t mean you have to be a ”super-Christian” or go to church seven days a week. It DOES mean that you must instill some sense of spirituality, moral order, and ethics in your child.
Honesty–the bedrock of good character. Make sure you demonstrate it by example.
Interest–in your child. If you aren’t interested, the friendly local drug pusher will be.
Joy– in raising children, watching them develop, being a part of their lives, seeing them turn out as wonderful adults.
Kindness–in discipline and relationships with your kids. Avoid harshness or punitiveness.
Listen! Frequently, YOU are wrong. You are a parent, not God, and certainly not infallible.
NO to negativity! Be positive! Any dummy can be negative about things that anyone else does, especially kids. Look for the good in your child and emphasize it. Things that are focused on and emphasized get bigger and stronger.
Open to questions and concerns of your child; be open to examine your own actions and motivations, as well.
Practice (makes perfect); you can mess up, and you don’t have to be perfect. Just don’t make a habit of it. Learn from your mistakes.
Question; interact–your child will not always tell you unless you ask and demonstrate interest.
Reason with your teenager; don’t demand or command arrogantly when there is a disagreement. If you must, discipline, but not until you have attempted reason.
Say your feelings–your child is not telepathic. It’s also important to frequently “say” your feelings of love and affection.
Touch–your child with hugs and kisses. Hugs are appropriate for virtually all ages. Don’t be embarrassed, and don’t get out of the “HUG HABIT”!
Unity–as a family. Don’t allow splits or divisions to develop between warring “factions.”
Value your time together–you won’t have it forever.
Wonder at the priceless gift of your lives together–you will value it more and do more with it.
X marks the spot for your treasure: the home and your family.
You–the critical person who must show your efforts, caring, affection, interest, honesty. Don’t wait to respond; INITIATE!
Zero— the serious problems you will have in your and your teenager’s life if you follow these principles.
Based on his research and practice, Dr. Cady believes this alphabet of love will make a positive difference in your child and your relationship with that child. Look for his book; think about it and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Zig Ziglar is known as America’s motivator. He is the author of 29 books and numerous audio and video recordings. He brings his message of hope to thousands on the stages at the Get Motivated Seminars.