The Definition of Unconditional Love
One definition of unconditional love is self-love. Another definition
of unconditional love is loving the child despite his behavior. What
is unconditional love? This article will attempt to answer that
question, but first, let's ask some related questions.
Do you want your child to love you for the right reasons? Do
you want your child to love himself and grow up with confidence?
Parenting with unconditional love may allow you to attain
these goals. How do I know? Did I discover this invaluable piece of
advice from one of my many psychology books? Actually, I
learned more about the definition of unconditional love from
my grandmother than any book.
She had no psychological training, but she instinctively knew
how to love a child. She showed that unconditional love in the way she
made you feel like you were the most important person on earth.
Lest I forget, grandma saw to it that I behaved. She was no
push over. However, because she treated me so well, with such
great respect, sensitivity and interest, I keenly desired to behave well
for her, to show her my best side.
Trust, respect, sensitivity and interest are all part of the definition
of unconditional love.
Imagine, feeling, as a child or for that matter, at any
age, that you were the most important person on earth!
So, what is unconditional love?
It is positive parenting that makes your child feel like he or she
is the most important person in the world by regularly, looking at her
and what she is doing with genuine curiosity, which gives you
the joy of noticing what a unique character she is, causing that joy to
bubble up from your heart to your eyes, such that when your
child looks up into your eyes, she feels your joy as her joy. Then
when and if appropriate, communicate this joy and interest to her.
This definition of unconditional love can be a tall order, so I will give an
When I was five years old, grandma watched me play with my
stuffed animals. As I looked up into her admiring, smiling
eyes, she laughed and showed interest by asking me what I
was doing. After I answered with my usual, “Just playing,”
she laughed again and said, with genuine enthusiasm and
glee: how she delighted in watching me play, how she never
saw anyone having as much fun as me, and how amazing I was
to get so excited and energetic in my play.
Grandma was a busy woman, but she always took time to show
me unconditional love throughout my life. It never waned or wavered.
In turn, she was rewarded for her kindness by my making
time for her in my life. After I’d grown to adulthood and become
a busy professional, you’d think the president of the United
States had come to see her when I visited. You see, even as
an adult, when I entered the room, she made me feel as if I was
the most important person on earth. This is a good example of the
definition of unconditional love.
Granted, grandma had been blessed with this tremendous
ability for making people feel good about themselves. Nevertheless,
if we, as parents, keep this definition of unconditional love in mind,
and give a little of grandma’s unconditional love to our children, it
will go a long way in helping them value themselves and develop
into all they can be, instead of wasting time trying to gain the
approval and love of others as adults.
I have grandma to thank for becoming a counselor because
when I grew older, I remembered how she watched kids and
found their behavior interesting and exciting. She said,
“You just never know what a kid is up to. Whether
it’s something mischievous or good, I just get a kick
out of them.” I learned to look through her eyes and see
kids in interesting and exciting ways. Perhaps you can too.
What a real gift, not only for your child, but for you too.
We are parenting with unconditional love when we think about and
do the following:
- Take some time to observe your child and give yourself
an opportunity to notice and appreciate his behavior, both
negative and positive. Can you delight in what a unique
character he is?
- Unconditional love for your child is love in action.
It is the act of demonstrating you care through genuine
respect and interest in your child that is reflected in
your elevated expression, speech, feelings and other
- One result of unconditional love is the child feels
known, valued and important.
- Another result is the child feels comfortable in your
presence to be herself.
- Through unconditional love, the child learns to love and
- Verbal I love yous are okay, if they are genuine, but
they cannot replace love in demonstrated action as
described in number one above.
- Unconditional love can be a very tall order. Just realizing
what is unconditional love and its importance to our children can
help us all, slowly, improve in the way we see and treat them.
Can you see and love the uniqueness in your child?
Understanding the definition of unconditional love will help you parent with
love and logical consequences.