The other day I came across a quote online that read something along the lines of a "child's parents are their first true love". Process that for a second.
This quote stopped me in my tracks. Not because I was shocked at what it said, but because it was a jolt in my perspective on parenting (which up until that moment, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on). As clear as my parenting style had been to me and as much as it is in accordance with the quote, I just had never thought of it in this way before. Now that I have read the quote, I will never unread it or forget the intense feelings it bestowed on me.
We are our children's first true love! Not that person you dated in grade 9 (when you thought you knew everything you ever wanted or needed). It's us. We model it with our partners and directly to our children. We set the tone for what to expect in good times and in bad and we demonstrate with our mind and bodies what relationships should be made of. On that note, it goes without saying that if we hug and kiss often, snuggle through the sadness and breathe through frustration we will teach our children to long to be loved in those ways. To look for a partner who speaks the same love languages that they do. The healthy ones.
In addition to this we have a very serious job on our hands. What we do today, will determine who our children will allow to love them later in life. When we yell at our kids to hurry up, clean their toys or put on their shoes we are telling them that love looks and sounds like that. To expect to not only be told what to do, but to be obedient and quickly. In this way we display a side of love that bleeds intolerance and inferiority. This can have awful implications when your child comes home with their "first" love and that person interrupts them, shows a lack of respect or patience.
Oddly enough, my most used mantra show love, grow love is really just a broader idea of the very same thing. So why did it take this specific wording to jog this change in perspective? Who knows haha, that's the beauty of the universe and it's seemingly random but oh so calculated delivery on teachings and messages. Now more than ever I have a deep understanding that love is love, romantic or not. Love feels, love grows, love remembers and love lets go.