I believe wholeheartedly that the breakdown of the family unit is to blame for where society has devolved. How do we fix our society? We focus on the family unit. It is how we teach children that they are loved. The presence of a loving family directly helps children learn that they are valued, they have a purpose, and that a loving support is with them always.
This post is sponsored by Kendal Clawson, author of Fred The Oversized Watermelon. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please view my disclosure.
Teach Children That They Are Loved
I shared in my article The Compass of Values, that being a stay-at-home mom is more than keeping a clean home and making nourishing meals. It is the example of real-life love that can make or break our child’s self-esteem.
That may seem like a big leap, but when we study child development, young children struggle to believe what they can not see.
Yes, there is imagination. Children make up ideas and follow unreal dreams. But, when those fairy tales do not come true, they realize that some things are real and some things may not exist.
As a child, I could rely on my parents being present. My mom was home all day. If I had a bad day at school, she was available to talk to when I got home. I was not getting in her way of work or other tasks. She was always present when I was at home.
My mother and father were people present in my life. They overcame challenges. Despite that, they prioritized my life. They were always available to parent through the times when I was hurting and the times when I needed a course correction.
When children grow up with loving, present parents, a family unit and culture are formed. That family unit and culture is how we experience God on earth. Without that family unit, who would believe that a higher power is always working for our good? Who would believe that love even exists?
Book to Teach Children They Are Loved: Fred The Oversized Watermelon
It has a silly and fun title. The story is very important for kids. Fred The Oversized Watermelon is a children’s storybook written by Kendal Clawson that teaches children they always have a loving, watchful friend.
When I read it, I immediately thought how it puts in concrete illustrations and words how God works in our lives. It teaches children how God works in their lives.
Fred goes on a search for friends. He does not want to be alone. But, each time he encounters a challenge, his newest friend runs away.
One time he is mistreated. Children have to navigate some hard experiences in their young years. Things like bad friendships, bullying, feeling alone or disconnected from strong, true friends can be a hard challenge for kids to bear.
Fred goes through those experiences. The story takes you through his eventual awareness that he has had a loving, watchful protector the whole time.
Children can believe they have a loving, watchful protector in Jesus because they have felt our loving presence. We are there for them. We help navigate their tough moments. We have to be or our kids can easily go astray.
Even as my children grow older, the parenting I do is much more about teaching my children to hold true to values, set boundaries with friends, know their worth, and be patient with people.
Giving others grace but not allowing them to tear you down and hurt you is a draining part of parenting through the teen years.
Starting when the kids are little, reading books that teach solid values like Fred The Oversized Watermelon, helps give kids an accessible way to always know they are loved and protected.
Hard experiences teach us to rely on God. They help us grow into stronger people.
I love how sweet Fred is relatable for kids in this way. He does not always fit in with the kids around him. But, he is always accepted and loved by his true friend in the end.
My 9-year-old daughter read the book and shared her thoughts. She said she liked the whole story. It was funny and silly. She did not quite put together that Fred’s friend was there to protect him. So, we talked about it and related it to our faith and values.
As parents, we are always needed to bridge the gap to understanding for our kids. We can help them and guide them to know and believe.
Our presence is so important for building up our family. It is how we teach children they are loved from the start. Without that family connectedness, we falter. That is not what we are made to do.
We can love each other as God loves us. Always.
>>Check out Fred The Oversized Watermelon over on Amazon (affiliate link). It is a perfect book to add to the summer reading basket.<<
Connect with author Kendal Clawson on her Instagram page.
Here are more summer vacation fun ideas for kids.
What are you doing each day to teach your children that they are loved? Do you use books to help?