In a world of expectations, a world of competition and a world where we should constantly show empathy, but secretly want to not just survive, but be better… we have little children who only wish to be heard, to be cared for and to be accepted… by us.

The more I listen to my children and spend time with them, the more they seem to tell me (either in words or their emotions) what they want from me, need from me. It could be a look, it could be a cry of frustration, or it could be a long constant dialogue from my verbal processing little girl. But the more I discover their hearts and mind, the more I realise that they simply want me to hear them, love them and accept them… no matter what.

Unfortunately, the sad part of all this is that I see heart-breaking images of children being told off, yelled at, ignored or harshly spoken to because they won’t comply, and not because they were doing something ‘naughty’, but all because they were afraid, felt they weren’t being heard, or that they simply wanted to choose a different path.

I see all this beautiful children, fully capable of beauty, love and kindness, with such a willingness to please their parents, crushed by the weight of expectations and their unheard cries for help. Not wanting to enter water with a stranger, not wanting to do that particular sport, unable to just choose… because a future has been set for them.

I saw a beautiful souled boy today (he looked just like my Mr. 3 so maybe that’s why he caught my attention), crying because he didn’t want to do his lesson today, he wanted his father to hold him. He just wanted to be held. But his father and mother sat him down, and felt it necessary to tell him off loudly, with a finger pointed in his face. The boy complied and did what was expected of him. And every-time he did something right, he instantly looked as his father’s face, to see love, gratitude and acceptance. It was at this time he saw that to receive the love he wanted, he would need to listen. His father’s love for him appeared conditional.

Sometimes children get use to the disappointment and conditional love. Some children grow to work extremely hard to ensure that they keep receiving this love. Some walk away from it. For me, neither outcome seems ideal. The idea that achievement is expected would not be my message for my child’s life and future.

I hear some interesting conversations from parents to their children in the change rooms of some sports and lessons. Most are of parents who are telling their kids that they could have done better if they had listened, concentrated, watched that other kid or why couldn’t they be like that other kid. There isn’t a lot of praise. And I get that…

I understand for a parent, it’s hard. Because we sign our kids up to all these activities, and we rush them to them, because we want them to succeed, be better, be better than we were, be given more opportunities than we may have had, or if you were successful, be just like you were. It’s hard, life is hard, and we want them to try hard, appreciate these opportunities, appreciate how hard we are working for them, and doing for them.

But without the listening, the support, the hugs and without the UNconditional love, the effort you put in for your kids might just be ignored and unrecognised. Because all these beautiful children want to do is have your love, make you happy and be in their world.

See, in their eyes, you are their world. When your kids are young, you simply are their world. Their eyes are full of love, acceptance and warmth for you. You could be unaccepted in the world, look like a mushroom and have no teeth, they will still look at you like you’re Christmas. You are simply amazing just as you are.

And so are they.

So lets start by stopping all the expectations, and let our children be freely loved and recognised for how wonderful and miraculous they are. Children have such a wonderful beauty inside them wanting to come out and be shared with the world. How about we stop trying to make them fit into someone else’s box, and let them create their own artistic wondrous forest of magic?

Love those little ones as long as you can, and be there for them when they need you. They love you, and cry to you, because you are the one person that they trust more than anyone else.

Let’s not make our kids fit into this world. Let’s help them be themselves and change it for the better.