Countless people throughout the world have grown up without unconditional love from their parents. One parent or both parents may have abandoned them when they were children – physically, emotionally or psychologically.
Unconditional love. It means love never fades. No matter what a loved one does or says, the love stays.
Initially, children depend on their parents for this kind of love as their foundational “secure base.” It’s letting children experience that Dad’s love and Mom’s love is not based on the choices they make or their words or their behaviors.
Awhile ago, I was counseling a 22-year-old young man who remains at odds with his parents. He was angry at them. According to him, both his Mom and Dad love him “conditionally.” They’d always compare him with others and force choices on him. And when their wishes were not fulfilled, he said that both his Mom and Dad would physically and verbally abuse him. He never felt truly loved by them. I could see the tears coming down his face.
That was devastating to feel that pull of “conditional” love by a child. If you’re a parent, like me, help your children to know that your love for them is based on who they are, not what they can accomplish. Even as you encourage them to grow, show them that you love them unconditionally. When they get older, you want them to remember how important they are to you.
Unconditional love builds in children a solid foundation for them now to be able to love and trust others in the future.