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Unconditional Love featuring Book Spotlight: No Matter What | The Rejected Parent Newsletter

This newsletter is for parents who are being rejected by their children and those who support them. I will be sending regular newsletters to give suggestions and support to parents dealing with rejection from their children on all levels. I generally support parents whose children are 18 years and under; however, some of this will apply to parents with adult children as well.

Hello Reader,

When children feel like their parents love them unconditionally, something magical happens: Children feel secure, deeply loved, accepted, and safe. Children need a sense of safety that no matter what happens in the world, they can return home to their parents, and all is well.

Children who have that sense of secure attachment to at least one of their parents thrive in the world. They do better at school, are free to explore and be more creative, have healthy friendships, and seem like happy kids.

Deb Gliori wrote a classic children's book, No Matter What. This book illustrates a parent’s unconditional love for their child. Children get a clear message that no matter what they do and say, or who they choose to become, their parent will always love them.

As one of my favorites on my bookshelf, I use this book to illustrate the importance of unconditional love for healthy parent-child relationships. No Matter What has a strong message that gets across to most parents I work with. The book starts with:

“Small was feeling grim and grumpy.

Good Grief, said Large. What is the matter?

I’m Grim and grumpy, said little Small, and I don't think you love me at all.

Oh, Small, said Large, grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.”

This dialog is the essence of unconditional love and applies to parents when their children reject them. Parents continue to love their children no matter if a child rejects them. Parents can be hurt, angry, or sad AND never stop loving their children. It is a tough place to be in for most parents. It just doesn't make sense why their babies can’t just come back and for it to be like it was before. What’s important is that parents remember that their love never goes away and will always be there for their child.

The Child Who “Got It”

I remember hearing about one child whose parent used to read this book, in addition to the child’s choices, each night. This child had a hard time regulating her emotions, and would have temper tantrums almost daily. Being emotionally dysregulated made the child feel awful inside. So, the parent wanted to get the message across with beautifully drawn pictures and a touching story about how that child would be accepted every day no matter what they did. Even if they were “a grumpy grizzly bear,” this parent said, “I’d always love you, no matter what.”

One day, the parent was having a bad day and yelled at their child, who was about five years old. The parent knew right away that they leaked their own emotions onto their child, because they too became emotionally dysregulated. When the parent calmed down, they apologized to their child for yelling and said they loved them. This sweet little child went to the bookshelf and pulled out No Matter What. Then, unexpectedly, this child started to read the book to her parent as best she could.

I understand that you may have little time with your child right now. When there are opportunities for contact, remember how important it is to focus on how much you love them and their feelings and perspectives. Even if you have 15 minutes here and there, if you consistently give the message that they are loved no matter what is happening, you are planting seeds of love inside them that will hopefully grow and bring them back to you someday.

Consistently showing up with unconditional love in your heart can help change your child’s perception of you. And, it may someday open that door for your child to come back into your life to have a healthy relationship with you. And like at the end of this book, you can always be there for them when they come back around:

“Large” talks to “Small” about love and whether it lasts or breaks. “Large” says,

“With time together, a smile, and a kiss - love can be mended...”

Then Large comments on what happens to love if they aren’t together:

“It’s like that with love- we may be close, we may be far, but our love still surrounds us…wherever we are.”

My hope for you during this time of celebrating Love on Valentine’s Day, is that you continue to remain full of love for your child and accept them back with open arms when the day comes that you are reunited again.

-Cathy Himlin


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