Chapman writes of parents unintentionally making their children feel that their love is conditional. Making statements like "If you clean up your room, I will hug you" or "You didn't pick up your toys, what is wrong with you?" can be damaging. Children will learn quickly that their self-worth is tied to their ability to competently do chores.
I want my children to know that I love them, God loves them, and they are wonderful whether they clean their room or not. However, I also want them to clean their room. I need to be so careful what I say to my children.
God, please let me listen to my own words and make wise choices in what I say to my children. Make me aware of what I say and give me the strength to censor my statements so I can build their self-worth in a healthy way.
This post is inspired by the book Five Signs of a Loving Family by Gary Chapman.