Captain Earthquake climbed up on the couch with Hubby a little while ago, and just chatted away with his dad about motorcycles and bullets and important boy things. Eventually I joined them, and the Captain was blissful, getting the full attention and affection of both parents all to himself. He was so happy that when The Manager showed up to get in on the fun there were no objections to sharing the glory. He kept laying back against me and getting lots of hugs and kisses, and I laughingly asked him if his Love Bucket was empty and needed a refill.
The Love Bucket is a concept that a speaker shared with us back when I was teaching. To be honest, it’s a bit of a fru fru phrase, and I only say it out loud at home because I feel silly saying it.
The concept, however, is a solid one.
We all have emotional storage tanks that need to be full enough for us to function. The love and support we get from others helps fill those tanks, as well as the love we show for ourselves. If those reserves are depleted, we don’t do so well in life, do we? I think this is magnified in children. If they haven’t gotten enough love and attention, some kind of automatic mechanism kicks in and they start doing what is necessary to get some attention, even if it’s the wrong kind.
It only took about ten minutes to fill up two boys with what they need for now. If I keep making little deposits of love and attention into their lives – stopping what I’m doing to answer a question or appreciate a stunt or accomplishment, then those storage tanks will be full enough. I’m off to heckle the older boys…that’s what gets them grinning.
What can you do to fill your own children’s Love Bucket today?
Earnest Parenting: tips to empower parents.