Torch, Summer 1978

nearly three years old, she climbed up in my lap and said, "Daddy doesn't love Tammy when she's naughty, do you?" I quickly responded, "Oh, Tammy, Daddy loves you when are naughty!" With a very puzzled expression she said, "You do?" "Sure, I love you all the time . I love you when you are naughty, but I don't like what you do!" She understood quite well that I was committed to hanging in there with her no matter what. That's perseverance! COMPASSION The seventh ingredient for a relationship is compassion . Compassion is demonstrating that you care for your child . It's showing affection in various ways. In the midst of a vicious divorce scene we brought the two children in for a counseling session to reassure them that their parents really loved them. The counselor said, "You know that your dad really loves you, don't you boys?" One boy lit up and blurted out, "Yeah, he dunks me in the pool!" The brother immediately followed with, "He tickles and wrestles with me!" That which communicates compassion and love most effectively to the child is the warm, physical contact of the parent. They seem never to forget it! Compassion is also empathizing with your child's feelings . Don't reject your child's feelings; draw them out! When your child is disappointed, frustrated, or angry, empathize with his feelings by saying, "You are really frustrated, aren't you?" or "You are very angry, aren't you? I understand!" It helps him to know that you care and understand. When you identify the true feeling, most children will readily agree with you. However, there is one feeling children never want to acknowledge. "You are tired, aren't you?" "Nope! I'm not tired!" It's only when the child reaches the unconscious state that he will finally admit tiredness, and that admission only comes through his silence! CONCLUSION I found these seven ingredients in a very interesting place- ., Corinthians 13, the love chapter! These elements guide you in learning to love your child. Do you love your child? If I had asked that question earlier, you may have quickly replied, "Oh, Yes!" But now I ask : Do you love your child? Does your child know that? The kind of love we have been examining through the seven ingredients of a relationship is not natural. That is why Paul instructs Titus to have the older women teach the younger women to "love their children ." It's not natural, but it is most significant! Maximum Parenthood is a 13 biblical game-plan for parenthood through which parents can build a quality relationship with each child and give him a sense of responsibility! No matte r how well your philosophy of di scip line is designed to move your child toward responsibility, if you don 't establish and cultivate a relationship with your child, then you can give him nothing meaningful! Do you love your child? Does your child know that? Tim Timmons, a 1967 Cedarville College graduate, resides in Newport Beach, California with his wife, Carol, and their thr ee children: Tammy, Tacy, and Timothy. Tim is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and is the founder of Maximum Life Communications, an incorporated counselling and international seminar ministry. He !ias written several books, including One Plus One, Maximum Mar– riage, and Ultimate Lifestyle.