LovePrints is covering those around us in love. It is making sure that our loved ones can identify love in action, and actions of love. It is the process in which the other thing is identifiable as NOT love.
It is time to have a talk parents. It is time to action in love!
When the young people are sent off to high school, and then college, and then life, they should be sent with a covering of love. They should have a clear example of what love looks like, sounds like, and feels like. They should have experienced love at its simplest, and at its deepest. They should have been around love, about love, and for love.
What happens is, some parents get lost in the business of acting in like. They get caught up in attempting to be a best friend, a bro, a girlfriend, instead of the love standard. The standard is often the ability to say what needs to be said, rather than what the young person wants to be said. Sometimes, there is a need for cold hard facts, stone cold truths, and absolute boundary. Sometimes, the young people need to know what is important rather than what is easy. That is love. Caring enough to say what needs to be said. Sometimes, no is the best thing that you can say,
What happens is, a hole in the relationship between parent and young person leads to a vacuum that requires filling. When the vacuum exists, it is natural for a young person to try and fill it. Sometimes, they have been conditioned to fill it with love. In some cases, they are familiar with filling the vacuum with the first thing willing and able to fill it. This is when the LovePrint is needed. It should good friendly. It should make the other thing not stick. If love is not present, the young person will search for something, anything, to fill it. Give them something good. Give them love.
What happens is, a change in the environment is inevitable. It is going to happen. The moment the young person becomes accountable for their time, their energy, their well-being, and their spirit, the sharks in the water surround prepared to attack. To feast on the young one if possible. If the young person is taught to recognize danger, they know how to defend, how to analyze, and how to make a decision that honors the mission rather than the impulse.
What happens is, the young person needs access to you. They need the freedom to tell the truth. They need the freedom to ask questions, and the freedom to not have all of the answers. They need to be able to be wrong, but not limited to it. They need the ability to stand up for good, run away from bad, and the wisdom to know the difference.
What happens is, a price tag has mistakenly been stuck on their self-esteem. The price tag is wrong. The ability to understand and have access to folks like the good that they seek to see and be, different from them, and those in question and with doubt. And, if done properly, the young people will know their value, live within their own boundary, and stand strong in their beliefs.
What I hope is that parents sit down and have some honest discussions with your young people. You need to know what apps are on their phone, what emails and profiles exist, what is being said, and at what level. What I hope is that conversations begin with I love you, and end with I love you. If parents remember the mission, the result is clear, and the path is straighter.
Prepare your young people. Give them answers. Give them skills. Do not send them unprepared into the world. Teach them to add to their community and environment. Demand that they know more than to ask for more. Demand that they are capable of basic life skills, basic adult skills so that they are not a burden to you, your family, or your community. Give them the information required to add to whatever school, team, or club they plan to join. Make them impossible for those clubs to refuse them. Do that!
Do not send your young people into the pool with dirt on them. Teach them to be clean, to be considerate, and to be kind. Teach them to handle the basic needs of a young adult away from home. That is an act in love. That is making them better, their future better, and their possibilities better.
Teach them to balance a checking account. Teach them to save money. Teach them to do laundry. Teach them to manage time. Teach them to wake themselves, bathe themselves, and medicate themselves. Make sure that they can prepare a meal, know how to shop, aware of the price of vital items, and to eat well.
Show them how to be online safely, how to date safely, and how to communicate with strangers about boundaries. Make sure that they know their value, they know their contact information when not stored in a phone, and talk about dating apps on their often not smart phones. Have a secondary contact process in play, have a regular check in day and time, and feel open about asking who they are dating and why.
Teach them to iron clothes, use the dry cleaners, use a vacuum, and clean a bathroom. Make sure that they change the sheets, can write a handwritten note, and can look people in the eye as they talk. Remind them that a phone is often used to actually make a phone call, that books are meant to be read, and that you don’t have to have that last drink. Teach them to travel safely, walk with purpose, and to know who to trust.
Let them know that it is always a good time to call home, no matter the hour, day, or reason. Its is perfectly fine to get an ok from the parents before making that big dating decision, and there is always room for the update about good grades.
Never forget to remind them of who they are, what they want to be, and why they are wherever they are. Keep their eyes on the important prize, and nothing is the end of the world. They will never be too old for a hug, even if its after cheers or tears or fears. The next thing is waiting, the last thing is past, and mom and dad can talk them through anything.
The truth is always more welcome than a lie or an omission. A failed test is just a strong lesson, and we all have the same 168 hours a week to accomplish whatever we are doing.
And finally, Cover them in love. Cheer them, correct them, redirect them, inspire them, example for them, and love them. Out loud. A lot.