What Should We Teach Children About Love : Pt. – 1

Herkanian Theory
What Should We Teach Children About Love. Pt. 1
What should we teach children about love? This is dependent on their age. In the beginning we should teach them the basics of love, the importance of caring along with the value of being dependable and trustworthy. These are the actions that build and maintain love over time. And they are the things that also build and maintain relationships because love is the glue of relationship. Children have an innate understanding of love because in order to survive infancy their mothers or caretakers have modeled the actions that build love, not necessarily with intention. At birth a child arrives with the brain systems in place to build memory and the ability feel emotion. And so by the time a child leaves infancy the experiences that have allowed survival also serve to insure that a child learns to want and desire both love and human connection; something that has played a critical role in the evolutionary success of humanity. What children don’t have is an intellectual understanding of love. And this is what must be taught.
As a child matures its important that we both model and explain caring. Intellectually children need to know that caring is anything that promotes life and well being. They also need to know that the specifics of caring rests with the situations and conditions that we find ourselves in. In one setting caring might be sharing a beer, in another a beer might be seen as a threat to health. In one society caring might be getting your child vaccinated in another vaccines might be seen as threatening. What is seen as caring is dependent on belief, context and situation but ultimately it always about enhancing and protecting life and well being.
Learning has evolved as a tool of survival because the world in general operates in predictable ways. Water almost always flows down hill, apple trees almost always have fruit in the fall, herd animals almost always feed where the grass is plentiful. The human brain tells us that we are safe when the things around us are predictable. That is because predictably empowers memory and enhances the possibility of survival. When those who share are lives behave in ways that are predictable the brain reminds us by generating the feeling of safety and love that we can relax because the brain knows what is likely to happen next.
Trust is the emotional response that we feel when things are predictable and we feel safe. For children this is simply explained as being dependable, but there is a caveat. Children must understand that dependability cannot be ridged or unbending. In other words reliability or consistency must be flexible enough to put caring first and adjust to situations. Or love is put at risk. Love is the trust we come feel in response to the predictable caring of another. When we build love and any relationship caring must be first, predictability or consistency must be second; unpredictable or unexpected behaviors can always be tolerated by the brain in the short run providing the outcome proves to promote life and well being. But inconsistency that proves to be uncaring invites hate and threatens relationships in the long-run.
If we can give our children anything that will help them in life it is an understanding of love. Love makes us social and it makes us human. It has played a powerful role in our survival and continues to play that role. Love is a core part of being human whether we know it or not. And like anything that is part of being human; the more we know, the more we understand, the more insight we have, the better we can meet our needs. Something that in the end always gives life greater joyful and makes it worth living. To teach our children the role of love and how it works is to insure their happiness and ours. Understanding love is the greatest gift we can give; for love is the key to understanding ourselves.
Be a Builder of Love.
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